Lord Miros and other animals

Friday, September 09, 2005

How much is an inch?

J-E-T-S YTD: +£31015.16

There are a lot of pubs in Wokingham. Predictably this also means there's an awful lot of pub quizzes, and most people in Wokingham are quite stupid so these really should be easy pickings. Apparently not.

Lady Miros and I did manage a bronze medal the other day, but 3rd out of 3 isn't that special, especially considering it was a quiz which paid prizes to the first 2 teams. Bubbled again. On tilt I then spent a fortune on the raffle - which had 3 different draws - and didn't win a groat there either. It's a stitch-up.

Still, if ever the gambling goes tits-up, I've formulated a plan to earn an easy alternative wage. All Alice and I have to do is travel round the local quiz circuit, sitting quietly in a corner, texting any unanswered questions to our third man, who with the aid of google will swiftly enlighten us. I'm amazed that no-one else is already trying it. Some of the jackpots in these quizzes are huge rollovers, so we could really live high on the hog for a good few weeks, or at least until we get rumbled by every pub in Berkshire, which would take some time. And it would make me feel quite clever.

My ignorance is a source of constant irritation. Evidently my 20-odd years of expensive education were all for naught, as I now know basically fuck all about anything, except horses and sports and poker, which are overwhelmingly trivial. I hated school and couldn't wait to leave, but know that there's no pressure on me I actually want to learn stuff, and know things, and not be such an ignorant arse the whole time. But then again I'm lazy, and I don't really NEED to know anything, so why should I bother?

I went to the hairdresser's recently for a pre-wedding trim, and she suggested cutting off an inch. I had to ask her how much an inch is. All I can remember is that those long rulers at school were 12 inches, which isn't much of a reference point. She could have suggested removing a hectare and I'd probably have agreed.

Meanwhile the JETS YTD continues its inexorable climb, slowed only by the fact that I've pretty much murdered the market on Betfair. As I write this there's 14 quid available at 23-1. Marvellous. Where have all the sickos gone? Come on boys, throw me a bone. Some of us are trying to get out of it.

Also it's the stag night tomorrow, which I'm vaguely dreading. Happily I've been promised there'll be no strippers or nasty surprises, but when I look at the rogue's gallery of sickos that are coming I can't help feeling that something unpleasant is going to happen to me. I warn you now, you horrible little fuckers, you'd better not try anything funny. It's more than your life is worth.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Back to form

J-E-T-S YTD: +£14512.83

Just a quick update to reassure myself I'm not dead. Life seems much less gloomy now, what with seeing plenty of friends recently and generally venturing out into that stuff called sunshine. Mad, must try it more often. The wedding looms and Lady Miros is crapping herself (in a very ladylike manner, of course), meanwhile I've done practically zilch to prepare for it. Should be a breeze anyway. What's the worst that could happen?

After much shilly-shallying, every single one of my invited friends has decided to turn up. Bunch of liggers. Once the Camel sussed out the prospect of free food, his reply was in the post quicker than you could say pork scratchings. And this despite the fact he lives in Darlington, and the more-prescient fact that the Camelette is on the verge of dispensing the long-awaited Humpling. I expect he won't come. Don't worry Keith, I'll send you a doggy-bag.

And a quick message to those who thought they might be invited, but aren't... well, soz. That's about all I can say really. I obviously don't like you that much.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thank fuck it's the NFL

J-E-T-S YTD: +£7138.28

If there's one thing certain to raise my spirits, other than getting my rocks off or eating a nice beetroot sandwich, it's a big fat fuckoff dose of American sports. And I don't mean just baseball. In fact I don't mean baseball at all. Recently I've come to the conclusion that glorified rounders is not my weapon of choice when it comes to paying the mortgage.

Fortunately the weekend after next is the start of the real sport - N Fucking L. Yes, it's that glorious time of year again. Not so good for poor Lady Miros perhaps, who is facing the prospect of 21 consecutive Sundays (honeymoon excepted) of me spouting ignorant nonsense about strong safeties and defensive pass interference and interceptions and sacks and fumbles and other mad stuff that she neither knows nor cares about. But she'll live with it, because she loves me.

This year, as it was last year, the object of my affection is the offensively-challenged New York Jets. Last year I decided, for no apparent reason, to bet on the Jets EVERY DAY both pre-season and during the season, eventually mounting up a potential payout of £27,000 if the Jets had done the business. And fuck me, they weren't far away. If they hadn't scuffed not one but TWO game-winning field goals in Pittsburgh, they would've been in the conference playoff, and I could have at least hedged a bit off. Poxy kickers are always the death of me.

That said, they did get lucky in the previous playoff game. I was in the Bahamas at the time, lounging in the sportsbook in Atlantis, when the Jets-Chargers game was sent into a nail-biting sudden-death overtime. By this stage I was struggling to breathe, having endured the Jets' ignominious failure to wrap up the game earlier, and was gloomily drowning my sorrows in a bucket of white russian. Once overtime got underway, I resorted to pacing the length of the sportsbook, muttering angrily to myself and pondering which of the many Chargers fans I was going to kick in the nuts (before running away). Great fun! This is what all sports should be like. It has to mean something.

A guy I know called Todd (Greg Raymer's brother-in-law, a sort of travelling professional funker) turned up to lend his superior funking talent. I was bouncing off the walls by this stage, as the advantage in the game swung wildly back and forth. He seemed highly amused, although he clearly thought I was a few sandwiches short of a picnic, which was fair enough. I'm also not sure the increasing swarms of Jets fans could understand why they had a lone wild-eyed Brit standing amongst them, noisily chanting J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!! "Hey buddy, you got a bet on this game?" one savvy yank inquired, to which my honest answer was of course "not on this game, no", which served only to confuse them even further. Nevertheless my kalua-fuelled enthusiasm stirred up quite a cheering section of East Coast faithful, and for several minutes I found myself so busy learning ditties from the rather limited J-E-T-S repertoire that I completely lost track of what was happening in the game.

As it happens this was probably for the best, as it was all one-way traffic. In the interim those annoying but tenacious San Diegans had crawled, inched and staggered their way towards Jets' territory. A fresh first down resulted in much wailing and gnashing of teeth from my new-found chums (well, swearing and swilling of beer more accurately, but you get my drift). The Bolts were now within field-goal range, and with one more first-down were odds-on for a TD (apologies to non-afficionados, but I have little sympathy). Basically, if they scored any points, the game was over. Marv.

Fortunately the Chargers made little attempt to get any closer, putting their faith in Nate Kaeding to convert a 40-yard field goal to win it. At this point, they were massive odds-on. Presumably the casino staff were busily readying fresh craps tables to accommodate the influx of steaming New Yorkers. But then Kaeding choked and the kick sailed wide, leading to bedlam in the sportsbook as me and a hundred Jets fans raised the roof. Now, I've been to some manic goalfest FA Cup finals in my youth, but this topped the lot. Collective euphoria is better than sex.

The Bolts didn't get another chance. The Jets booted a field goal with 5 seconds of overtime left to seal it, and I think I declared my undying love for Todd, although he didn't seem willing to reciprocate. All in all, the greatest NFL experience of my life.

This year I've decided not to give up on the Jets, which is why I'll now be keeping you abreast with the J-E-T-S YTD. Every time I cobble together a few quid on Betfair, I'm going to lump some of it on the Jets (currently 23-1 on Betfair), until ultimately I've backed them to win a new house, or at least a small timeshare somewhere in the Balkans. The figure therefore represents my potential payout when those much-underrated fellows cop in February. And they will, be sure of that. After all, I was sure they were going to win last year, and they didn't, which must mean they're CERTAIN to win this year. I was just way ahead of my time!

Get on now. Rob someone if you have to. It's practically free money.