Like I said before, I was into gambling. Betting on horses, football games, baseball, hockey, even pro wrestling. You name it, I'd bet on it. I'd make so many bets in a period of time, that I often lose track of whether I was winning or losing. I guess it was the thrill of making a prediction. Hawk, on the other hand, was much more tight-****** with his money. There were two reasons for this. Hawk was of Scottish ancestry. This may offend some, but it made him wise in the knowledge that a penny saved was a penny earned. Also, Hawk grew up on, while I wouldn't say, the poor side of town, I would definitely say, on the modest income side of town.
We were at the old Exhibition Park, now the multi-million dollar Queensbury Downs, an ultra-modern, magnificent edifice. Exhibition Park was a rickety old place, really a disgrace in its later years. Believe me, it had many, many years.
Anyway, the nags were running one night and Werewilf and I decided to try to make some money; Werewilf thought of himself as some kind of horsey guru, but he had the odd good insight that I would sometimes cash in on. The evenings winning was progressing as usual. Werewilf hit a winner on the Daily Double and made enough to double his bets on the rest of the races. I was donating to the upkeep of the barns and the jockeys wages. I maintain that I had a part in building the new Queensbury Downs.
After the seventh race admission was free.
That is when Hawk showed up. He would spend his admission money on the last three races. The eighth and ninth races were a bust for all of us. The final race was going to be the saving grace for me and the Hawk, and Werewilf was definitely buying drinks at the curling club later.
Hawk and I looked at the horses and saw a big old grey that looked pretty good. The odds were favorable on Grey Goose, so I place my bets across the board. Hawk bet him to place. Werewilf had money on the horse as well, so it looked like a shoo-in. We were all tensed up in anticipation for the race as the horses were at the post.
"They're off!" the track announcer blared over the loudspeaker. Grey Goose cantered out of the gate and was so far behind at the quarter that he had no hope of placing. "How about an eight-horse pileup!" Hawk yelled. Forget if Hawk, this was horses, not cars. It wasn't a good thing to hope for anyway.
The rest of the pack reached the half when it became evident that Grey Goose had to let go of a load of horse buns. The laughter from the stands echoed throughout the place. Hawk seemed to take the whole scene as a personal insult. The race was over. Grey Goose finished what he had to do and came in dead last.
Hawk said, "I just paid two dollars to watch a horse have is a daily dump! I'll never bet on a horse again!" Wilf and I thought the whole thing was hilarious and considered it money well spent.
Later we met Moneybags at the Regina Curling Club in the exhibition grounds. Hawk was still grumbling about his two dollars. Moneybags was at the races too and thought what had happened with Grey Goose was very amusing, even though he had money on the horse too. Hawk was still grumbling. Moneybags accused Hawk of having Rectinitus. "What the **** is Rectinitus?" we all wondered.
Moneybags, low key, said, "Rectinitus is a medical term. It occurs when your ****** is connected to your optic nerve, culminating in a ****** outlook on life. But don't worry Hawk, It's very rarely fatal."
Republished from "Ghosts in my closet" George Merle 1947-2014