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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Myself and He Who Only... decided that the very little money that we have between us was going to waste when put towards things like rent and food and electricity, and so we thought what would be better would be to throw it all in a bin, or burn it, or leave it unattended on a tube seat. But instead of doing any of those things, we went to the dog races in Wimbledon on Saturday.

This was partly in celebration of the birthday of one of more friends, but more to do with the fact that we thought that it was about time one of our Get-Rich-Quick schemes worked out, because the damned lotto wasn't providing all of the money we had been led to believe it would. However, out of 13 races, approximately 9 of which I bet on, and every one of which I chose a dog I predicted would win, I won a grand total of no races. That, statistically speaking, is worse than chance. Which means I really had to go out of my way to keep on losing. And yet I did.

We tried working out a system based on the previous form of the dogs (although I noticed, when perusing the form book over breakfast on Sunday, that I had actually been reading the form book entirely wrong). Then we tried to base it on how the dogs looked when being paraded around before the race. He Who Only... was working on the theory that the dog who did a wee/poo just before the race would be the one who won it (on the basis that they were that bit lighter on their feet). We even tried going by name, or lucky number, or colour of vest. None of this worked.

Out of 13 races, He Who Only... won twice. On one race I put on a "place" bet and my dog came third. We were incredibly excited, until we realised it turns out that, unlike horse races, a "place" bet only counts for first or second place.

But what was important was how much darned fun it all was. Now, I know there's a lot of things wrong with making animals race for our gambling entertainment, but I do know that these dogs are very well looked after up to the point at which they are retired from racing altogether. And the plight of the greyhound has been so well documented in recent years that most dogs are re-homed and retired to a good life as a family pet (for more info on that, go here). So, when you think about it, there's absolutely nothing at all wrong with wasting money, drinking heavily and eating some suspicious tasting chips on a Saturday night when you could otherwise have been doing, I don't know, some voluntary work with the homeless.

The only thing that I've learned is that gambling is a mug's game. And that also it would help if I had a system.


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