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I Have Never...

Sunday, May 22, 2005


"I Have Never come out of a casino with more money than when I went in."

It was my sister's birthday celebrations yesterday night. She'd decided she wanted to go to a casino.

Now I've been to casinos a couple of times previously and not been wowed. Gambling's not really my bag. Still, it was my sister's treat, and if that's what she wanted to do, that's what we were going to do.

I travelled over to her house on the outskirts of Manchester late afternoon. She's been there for a couple of years but I've never visited before, mainly down to the fact that we usually catch up at my parents. She's got a pretty cool pad.

We necked a pizza before catching a cab into town. Three pints of Guinness in a local pub and the group were ready for some action. We headed over to the Hard Rock. Now, I didn't realise they did casinos, and it was quite a bizarre experience to wander into the foyer and discover a life size image of Jarvis Cocker greeting people on the door. What he's got to do with gambling (or Manchester for that matter) is beyond me.

It was very reassuring that the woman behind the counter had LOVE and HATE tattooed across her knuckles...

We signed in, then descended the stairs to where it was all happening. Scoped the place out, got another pint. Tried a fruit machine, then found myself strangely drwn to the roulette table. After watching the form for 5 minutes or so, I figured I'd go for £10 of chips. I was given 10 discs of red plastic.

Having got out £50, I was prepared for an expensive evening. It was not to be. My first two bets and I won both.

Up on chips I made a fatal error.

"It's bad luck to take a winning bet off the table" the croupier commented. So it proved. My luck nose-dived and I found myself back down to 2 meagre chips in no time at all.

I produced another £20 note. Got 20 more chips. Plonked them down in front of me and placed my last two chips from my initial stake...

I never needed to break into that second £20 stake. Somehow I lucked out on every other whirl of the wheel. In half an hour my sister and the majority of her friends had blown their cash. I had over doubled mine.

£70 of chips sat in front of me. I cashed them in, and we headed elsewhere.

Now, a £40 profit may not seem like a big deal to some of you. To me I was on top of the world.

The night became bizarre.

We went to queue outside a club. By pure coincidence, who should be in front of me in the queue but a friend from Bradford's ex boyfriend. So what? Well, as he lives over 100 miles away and I live about 50 miles in the opposite direction, it was odd that we would converge in a city which neither of us are really connected to.

We eventually gave up on the queue and headed to a late night bar. There, I was introduced to a band my sister knew. One of them looked oddly familiar.

"Did you go to Bramhall High?" he asked me.

"No, but my mates from junior school did."

"Oh, so were you at Hursthead?"

"Yeah, that's right."

"How old are you?"

"Nearly thirty."

"Do you know Johnny Bennett?"

"Know him? Know him?" I exclaimed. "He was only my third best mate."

(Isn't it weird how kids do that? David Yard was my best mate, followed by Anil Noorani, then Johnny. We all kind of lost touch when we went to seniors)

"I'm his younger brother."

So, three strange occurrences.

1) I come into unexpected money.
2) I meet someone I know from Bradford.
3) I meet the brother of a mate who I've not seen in 20 years.

I got back to my sister's. Had a piece of toast. Popped to brush my teeth. Hanging at the window was the self same pendant that adorns the top of this blog. I don't remember Sarah having been given this by my parents, but that's the only explanation.

Isn't it?

Today's listening:
Rufus Wainwright: Want Two. Hmmm. Jury's still out as to whether this is as good as Want One or Poses. However, he's still the campest genius around.
Highlight - The Art Teacher

1 comment(s):

So you had good luck at Roulette. That is my game of choice, the hardest thing to do is to walk away when you are ahead.

It sounds like you had some strange coincidences; I guess fate has a way of doing that.

One word of advice, don't go back to the casino.

By Blogger Bill, at 11:37 pm  

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