Lucky break brings New Year prosperity
AND so it has been proven that Ireland is the new Iceland both financially and meteorologically.
My bookmakers and long-time associates, Eric Browne, and his son Berkie were very lucky. Their car went into a skid on the way to Limerick Races and finished up in a field 10 feet below the level of the road. Amazingly, the car landed on all fours and the bookies weren't injured. The gate of the field was locked but the intrepid duo managed to prize it open, driving it out the gap and on to the races where they lost five grand.
I'd have taken the crash as a sign that I wasn't meant to go to the races, but how do you explain what happened to me?
On the same day, I slipped on secret ice and fell on my back, which has more curves than the old Mallow Road.
My back is perfect for the first time in years and I took my miracle cure as a sign that I was not to stir outside the door. Torvill and Dean wouldn't hold their feet on the side roads. And even on the main roads, grit was as scarce as diamonds.
Fate intervened. A colleague sat on his phone in a pub in Cork. The contour of his behind somehow dialled my number. He gave me a tip for a horse in Wolverhampton.
I made my way gingerly to the bookies and a woman in a fur coat tried to kill me when her car left the road. She literally hit the post but avoided me.
I asked her if she was alright.
"What were you doing out walking on a day like this?"
"I was on the footpath," I replied.
The furry woman asked me for my name and address as she said she was going "to have me up".
"Oh, I know you," she then said. "You're yer man who was on 'Celebrity Bainisteoir'. You got engaged over the Christmas. Will you invite me to the wedding?"
I promised her she'd be sitting at the top table next to Bono and Fred Astaire. "I thought Astaire was dead," said my furry friend.
"Still to the good," I lied. "103 on his last birthday and dancing like a young lad at a Feis. Fathered a child only the other day."
She must have been badly affected by the bang off the pole because she gave me her details for the invite to Gerald Kean's wedding.
At this stage, I was thinking of ringing in the bet but my pre-New Year's resolution was to give up backing over the phone and on the net. When you have to count out the notes you get a real, tactile sense of what it is you're investing.
It was now getting dark and the beautiful Christmas Lights were swinging in the snow. I was distracted by the Christmas card vista. Normally I would spot the serial tapper from a mile away and could take evasive action.
Anyway he tapped me for the 'loan' of a tenner. I knew that even with the help of Nama and the Mafia I would never get it back but I couldn't refuse him it being Christmas, the season of goodwill and all that.
This man conned a Kentish Town pawnbroker out of five shillings with a ring he found in a barm brack in the Halloween of 1962.
And then I thought it through. If I gave him the tenner I would buy him off for a couple of years, by which time I would have forgotten he owed me the money and he would catch me again. In the meantime, though, he wouldn't be able to come near the pub and my customers wouldn't be tapped when my back was turned.
A tenner down and no horse backed, fell on my back, a woman in a fur coat tried to kill me and asked for an invite to my wedding. Definitely, I should turn back.
I'm scripting a short movie with a working title of 'Cannibal TV' -- a cookery programme for cannibals. Just to give you a flavour, the main dish is Heart Barnard in honour of Christian Barnard who carried out the first heart transplant.
I was thinking about the script when I stepped in fresh dog doo. I had to use the (thin) end of a teaspoon to scrape it off. Naturally, I binned the spoon as I felt it would have a deleterious effect on the tea. Another loss.
Karma was coming at me as the snow morphed into ball bearings of projectile hail. I felt I couldn't have luck, but I Tom Creaned on to Eric and Berkie's betting shop on the very day they jumped the ditch.
The horse was 10/1. I invested €58 which when multiplied by 10 comes to €580, the exact cost of taxing the car.
The tip won by a protruding nasal follicle. I told you the bookies should have come home.
But then how do you explain my good luck?
Have a lucky and happy New Year.