On Saturday I ventured into an establishment I don’t usually go in – a betting shop. It was the Grand National, and Sam and I always have a little bet on the horses every year. Sometimes I win, and sometimes, more often than not, I lose.
If I did have an addiction (which I don’t) I know it would be gambling. My maternal grandfather was a gambler, who used to win huge amounts at dog racing, but then would lose most of it when he placed the next bet. However, in my opinion it’s quite exciting to watch a horse race and for your horse to win. We go to ‘Newmarket Nights’ every year in July, where for 4 summer Friday evenings there are 6 horse races to bet on and then a band plays to finish off the evening. The first time I placed a bet at Newmarket Nights back in 2010 I won £19.80. Sam told me to keep the money and quit while I was ahead. I lost the lot.
In the betting shop on Saturday were two elderly women playing some kind of online Bingo. They looked rather unkempt and down-at-heel, and it occurred to me whether they could actually afford to play in the first place. For all I know they could have been at the top of the rich list, but by the look of them I rather think not. Scary times when all their week’s housekeeping could have been gambled away in a couple of hours.
A neighbour divorced her husband because of his gambling. One day he stole her life savings and blew the lot. She marched around the streets searching for him, and from the look on her face he did well to stay out of sight for a few days.
It’s quite weird how the brain works. Sam has an addictive nature (a few addictions successfully beaten in the past and he is now forever mindful) but he wouldn’t ever become addicted to gambling. However, that’s the only one I could become addicted to if I ever decide not to be my usual sensible self.
Thinking about it, gambling doesn’t affect the body, only the bank account. Sam keeps a tight hold of his finances, whereas I’ve always been a bit of a spendthrift. I would never become addicted to anything that affects the body, as we’re only given one body and as we age and pay the price of our excesses we’re not able to get away from ourselves! All Sam’s past addictions have affected the body, but thankfully he is still hale and hearty.
Did my horse win? Nope. Did Sam’s horse win? Nope. The only one who won was the Bookie, who was undoubtedly laughing like a drain as he locked up for the evening. Even I know gambling is a mug’s game!