Archive for the 'gambling' Category

Spun Short by 2 Lengths

My much touted new favorite racehorse is a bit of a speed demon.

I know I know: what a smashing coincidence!!

Did anyone take my advice and bet smartly on Hard Spun last weekend? I didn’t. Oh I bet on him alright. Just that I didn’t bet smartly.

Whole thing reminds me of 3 years ago when I somehow managed to convince what must have been a dozen or more friends to bet Lion Heart to win the Kentucky Derby. Because Lion Heart was the #3 horse. And it just so happens that my lucky number is three.

“Are you sure this horse is going to win?” They asked.

“Oh shit yes.” I insisted. “Ab So Fucking Lutely!”

Occasionally I will take the time to peer pressure you, good readers, into betting on a particular racehorse. Like Hard Spun. When I do just, you know — don’t be a fool.

Bet more than you can afford to lose!

I’m right every single time.

Can I get a Witness??

It’s true.

They all came out to the Bar to watch the Big Race. Lion Heart led 3-quarters of the way around the track. Everyone cheered gloriously & reeled. I gasped elatedly. I’ll never forget the feeling; that a bar-load of friends would win cold cash plus a beautiful buzz — thanks to me! I felt deeply & dizzily pleased.

Now Lion Heart throws the gauntlet down & opens his lead by three!

So said the Churchill Downs track announcer. With only a quarter-mile left to race! It was all over in my book; nothing left to do but grin wildly & lay back — with my mind on my money & my money on my mind.

Bitchin!

But Smarty Jones is a stalking second as they reach the Quarter Pole.

That’s what the track announcer said next. I wasn’t sure what he meant — was there another horse in the race?

Bogus!

Stalking — I learned a few seconds later — is when a racehorse hangs strategically a few lengths off the lead and waits for speed demons like Lion Heart to tire in the homestretch.

My lucky #3 horse got sacked in the race’s final strides. The once-exuberant Bar din fell to what sounded to my ear’s like a disgusted hush.

Ah, fuck.

We who were once so mighty!

All eyes were on me.

Probably the only people in that Bar who felt more dumb than I did, about our collective loss, were the people who put their money where my big mouth was. I told them I knew for sure which horse would win the Kentucky Derby & their dumb asses believed me!

Why not? Remember — I’m never wrong about these things. Also remember: never believe me when I say I know for sure which horse will win a Kentucky Derby. That’s the fantastically wishful thinker in me talking. I have no clue who will win actually.

But I’ll tell you for sure who wants to.

And any racehorse who wants to win stands a fine chance of finishing In The Money.

Hard Spun likewise commanded a powerful lead at the quarter pole in last Saturday’s Derby. I lifted my NY Mets cap off my head and whirled it excitedly. Hard Spun!! Get it? Like, spun on drugs dude!

Awesome.

Way.

But I knew he would get sacked in the end; all good speed demons meet the same fate on Kentucky Derby Day. But you know what?

It was way awesome anyway.

Here’s why — and this is the secret to a good day of gambling anywhere on planet Earth.

I figure I’ll lose. But I want to win. How to reconcile? Make bets I’ll pat myself on the back for even when I lose. Like last Saturday, when I bet $10 on Hard Spun to Win. It was a bet, at the race’s end, that I felt good about. In large part because my heart wanted Hard Spun to win. And to a lesser, though nowhere near insignificant, extent, because I placed that bet with a $10 spot generously donated to my Cause by Absynth Eve.

It also helped that Absynth Eve had Street Sense to Win. I positively whooped on her behalf when her horse took over at the eighth-pole. And Absynth Eve kindly refrained from teasing me over the her/me won/lost scenario all the way up ’till today.

Not lost on us was the fact that our horses came in 1-2; we had the Kentucky Derby exacta. Not that we bet it but we could have. Shit for $2 apiece we could’ve boxed the fucker — to spare ourselves a quibble over particularly in which order those top 2 horses would run.

Also adding to the fun was the total of 1 friend who bet and won on my solid — if not exemplary — recommendation: My buddy KC bet $5 on Hard Spun to Show. A show bet is when you cash in — albeit at shorter odds than the straight bet to Win — when your horse finishes anywhere in the top 3. KC none-too shabbily banked $17.50 on that piddly $5 investment.

The same $5 would’ve returned $25 had I bet my new favorite racehorse to Place (finish in the top 2). How obscenely dumb of me not to!

Like I said: I picked one fuck of a good horse for this year’s Derby. Shit my bitch ass picked the second place finisher in the greatest horserace on Earth! And failed to win money only because I did not bet smartly.

But what the hell? There’ll be more Kentucky Derbies — end of the world notwithstanding. I’ll win money next time; and if not it won’t be for lack of Practice. With that…I’m off to the OTB.

Enjoy the smashingly good race!

Advertisements

My New Favorite Racehorse…

…Does a good-time flying breeze leap across the finish line.

hardspun.jpg

What does your favorite racehorse do for fun?

the Million Dollar Race

My very first post on open container speedWay – the Get Rich Quick Trick of the Week – was a bit of a failure.

No one got rich quick on my advice that week.

I wrote it the morning of last year’s Preakness Stakes. The Preakness is the so-called “2nd Jewel” of the Triple Crown; the fabled & elusive grand prize of American thoroughbred horseracing.

The Triple Crown is a 3-race sequence that begins on the first Saturday every May with the Kentucky Derby. It’s followed in two weeks by the Preakness. The third and final jewel, run 3 weeks after the Preakness, is the grueling mile & one-half Belmont Stakes; a veritable equine marathon.

These races are restricted to 3-year-old horses. For a variety of reasons – the distance of each race; the length of time between races; that they’re run by a particular crop of horses just once – it is a supreme achievement to win all three. A supreme achievement, and rare. Accomplishable only by the rarest of Champions.

The Triple Crown was won three times – by Secretariat, Seattle Slew & Affirmed – during the 1970’s. None have won all three races since.

With few exceptions, none of my readers are racehorse enthusiasts. Still I feel certain that each of you will feel touched, in a strange way – touched by joy – when finally the Crown gets claimed by a rarest of equine champions.

It’ll give cause to celebrate.

In each of the past three years an exceptional racehorse has very nearly won. Came so close that their losses, viewed in combination, can only be described as an extreme fluke.

In 2004 Smarty Jones nailed the Derby & Preakness in impressive fashion – only to lose the Belmont by a mere length before a stunned & saddened crowd of 130,000.

In 2005 Afleet Alex treated fans of the game to emotionally stirring Preakness & Belmont Stakes wins – after he was eliminated, from Triple Crown contention, when he finished the Kentucky Derby one seemingly inexplicable length behind 50-to-1 longshot winner Giacomo.

Last year, of course, it was Barbaro.

Barbaro buried fellow Kentucky Derby contenders so profoundly that his ultimate sweep of the Triple Crown was considered an all but unstoppable certainty.

“Barring some unforeseen tragedy,” Washington Post racehorse columnist Andy Beyer – a deservedly well-regarded purveyor of such opinions – swore, “Barbaro will win the Triple Crown.”

I disagreed. So I wrote a blog-post, the morning of last year’s Preakness Stakes, which urged readers to bet against Barbaro. That was my Get Rich Quick Trick of the Week.

“Barbaro will lose today,” I assured, it turned out, too correctly.

So in a sense the post did succeed. I was right. But I came up short in two crucial ways: 1. I did not explain why my certainty that Barbaro would lose. 2. I did not provide my readers – or myself for that matter – with a viable alternative wager.

The fact that Barbaro ultimately lost his life, to a gruesome leg injury sustained at the race’s onset, still makes me feel a little…weirded out. By the irony. But grateful, ultimately, for my failure to predict the winner.

Barbaro’s loss was a genuine tragedy. Not just for the horse, his connections, and fans of the race game; Barbaro’s loss is indicative of a greater calamity.

Humankind’s.

And I want no profit from humankind’s calamity.

The equine as a species has been profoundly good & helpful to humans. But humans by & large have treated the equine cruelly — racehorses in particular.

One example: In his final race before the 2005 Kentucky Derby, Afleet Alex, despite his already insurmountable lead, was whipped mercilessly by jockey Jeremy Rose. Though it was a profoundly careless decision, one can’t blame Rose entirely. He was over-excited. His mount’s owners were considering replacing him with a more experienced jockey for the Kentucky Derby. So Rose wanted to prove he could pilot Afleet Alex to an impressive win.

“It was a Million Dollar Race,” Rose explained, when asked by reporters to justify his plainly needless whip action.

It was a Million Dollar Race.

One Afleet Alex indeed did win impressively; but the cost of that performance was dear.

Fast forward three weeks: Afleet Alex, with a quarter-mile to go, is in a perfect stalking position to surge forward & overtake the Big Race’s tiring leaders; superbly poised to win the Kentucky Derby. Yet he ‘failed to fire,’ as they say in racetrack parlance. His one-length loss, I’ve mentioned, is considered inexplicable by fans of the game.

But I can explain it easy.

Perhaps his blowout win 3 weeks earlier caused Afleet Alex to inadvertently expend the ATP he needed to triumph in the Kentucky Derby. Though I believe the loss was more conscious, than biochemical, in nature.

I propose it was deliberate.

When asked by his jockey to hit the gas, as it were, and make a winning move in the Churchill Downs’ homestretch…Afleet Alex simply said, “Whatever dude.”

Remember: Afleet Alex went on to score huge wins in the Preakness & Belmont. Thus, had he won the Derby, Afleet Alex would’ve swept the Triple Crown – a priceless prize that would give humans joy – and he plumb did not want to.

Not after he got his ass whipped for money.

And that, albeit belatedly, explains why I knew Barbaro would lose last year’s Preakness Stakes. Overwhelming likelihood is, had he won the Preakness, Barbaro would’ve gone on the claim the Crown. But he, like Afleet Alex, did not want to. Or perhaps he wanted to but regrettably could not; because people are cruel to racehorses. And cruelty inevitably begets disappointment.

Heads Up to the human community: the racehorses are trying to tell us something!

Smart bet is to listen.

Cheap Thrills on Planet Earth

part one: conspiracy theories & longshot bets & make.believe

How does one describe the Super Bowl to Plutonians?

First question: why would I want to?

I need practice.

I’ve been hired to cover the ’08 presidential race for a periodical on Pluto. Which one you ask? I, ah…I get back to you on that. I’m not done making it up yet.

It’ll be a good one though! Very prestigious.

~e

To gain an intellectual grip on what their problem is one must understand Americans’ relationship to their National Football League.

“What’s the big deal about American Football?” Any Plutonian will ask. That’s because they think football is a 2-team contest where players kick a ball into nets with their foot.

Every toe & heeled inhabitant in the cosmos plays football, right?

Yes. For certain. But in America they call Football soccer. American football is a different creature entirely.

Dig:

[For video: Click then scroll to 11.27.2006 Hail Mary Play option].

Despite that it largely involves an oblong shaped, just barely ball-like object handled, when it counts most, by the hands of two violently opposing hoards, Americans are raised to believe that the word Football most accurately describes their nation’s version of the game. They accept this failure of linguistics as fact and are prone, even, to wonder bewildered why the rest of the world calls soccer football.

Stupid foreigners.

Each year in early winter America’s National Football League holds its’ playoff/elimination contests to determine which two teams will compete in the final match known as the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl’s winner is the World Champion of American football.

As I write this just four hopefuls remain. One of these is the New England Patriots.

In the north-east corner of the nation, New England is the region of America that was first colonized by Europeans. This wave of settlers came from England across 3000 miles of sea. The British royal family claimed lordship over these colonial settlers. Charged them high taxes to live in what, soon after, became America. So the colonials declared their independence from England and fought them off with rifles, cannons & bayonets.

Proponents of America in this war were called Patriots. The war began in the region we now know is New England. So they named the local pro US football team after the Patriots. The New England Patriots.

After two planes knocked the World Trade Center down in 2001 it was very important to be a known Patriotic American. One example: in the wake of the attacks, tens of millions in the US attached miniature, red white & blue American flags to the FM radio antennas on their automobiles. The fuel efficiency lost to reduced aerodynamics was more than offset by a sense of participation in this unprecedented display of national pride; this way for ordinary Americans to show they, like Patriots in the Revolutionary War days, wanted America to win big.

Who wouldn’t? Unless you’re With The Terrorists…

Those flags are long ripped, tattered & gone poof. Like sad snips of confetti swept up in dirt piles from the dance-floor of last night’s party. Another good time that was too good to last. But back in the day…boy! Everywhere you turned there was a flag snap-whapping in the noxious, exhaust fume-filled breeze. And it was good to be an American.

Hell the PATRIOTS even won the first Super Bowl after September 11!

Security was tight at whatever stadium hosted 2002’s big game. Officials feared America’s most-watched sporting event could prove fertile ground for another attack. But the game came off without a hitch — right down to the celebratory confetti.

Much ado about lost American Lives was made during the pregame television programmes. Paul McCartney praised the US military for their fine work bombing Afghanistan — a conflict, coincidentally, whose commencement was announced on TV by the so-called President, some months earlier, during the half-time break of an NFL game.

At half-time in the 2002 Super Bowl names were scrolled across a giant screen of all the innocent American heroes who courageously gave their lives for Freedom at the World Trade Center & Pentagon on Sep 11 2001.

Stored at each end of the playing field in gigantic container drums, the confetti was red & blue — Patriot team colors. There were drum-loads filled with their opponent’s blue & orange moniker colors as well. But these were arranged for only to not tip off the confetti vendors to one blindingly plain Fact: the likelihood that the blue & orange team would win was roughly equal to the odds that something George W. Bush said was true.

The game went down to the wire. The score was even with seconds left to play. Then, a heartbeat before time ran out, the Patriots scored & broke the tie & won.

BOOM. Phwoof!

Confetti.

Hurled skyward.

The stadium’s lights reflected from the confetti snips to conjure the optical illusion of a third color, white, flashed amid gargantuan, resplendently spiraled red & blue plumes.

Like a Freedom Tornado. Ripped out from the top of a big ol’ can of Osama bin whoop ass.

The confetti settled. America caught its’ breath. And the profundity sunk in.

The Patriot’s long-odd victory provided proof positive that God is America’s staunchest proponent. A Patriot of Biblical proportions. God had the Patriots win that day so there’ll be no doubt that He wants America to win & Win Big. Bigger than big.

God wants America to win everything.

I watched the ‘02 Super Bowl with friends at Superstar Brown’s crib. We were swept in by the moment and got a little carried away.

“U-S-A!” The room erupted in chant.

“U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!

U–S-ayyy!!

Yeah — and we think America sucks. Shit I don’t even like Football — I think it the dumbest game in the whole wide world of sports. The only thing I like less than football itself are the New England Patriots.

They stand for all the wrong things in my book.

Still I cheered like a goon when they won. Because the ‘02 Super Bowl was a farce; the outcome rigged surely as the 2000 Presidential election’s. And we knew it. We called it for the Pats, at a beer party the night before, on the basis of conspirtorial hypothesis.

So we cheered for ourselves & had us a cheap thrill & some whoops.

What truly amazes, in retrospect, is that it worked. It was, and remains, America’s single greatest — indeed only Global War on Terror triumph.

Hail to the Pretenda Chief!

~e

This year I’m hootin it up for the New Orleans Saints. I hope they win it all and stomp lots of opponent’s faces along the way.

I don’t like football. Really. But I’m perpetually broke & a sucker for a good time. And when you pick a team you want to see win & they do it’s cheap thrills that don’t cost a dime.

Only thing is: the want must be genuine. There’s gotta be risk taken; to get a hoot when they win it’ll need to not matter precisely but bum you out a bit nonetheless if you lose. Cheap thrills don’t come free afterall.

Here’s why I’m for the Saints:

1. The time me & Superstar Brown dropped $150 on breakfast in the French Quarter. We couldn’t finish off the bottle of wine that accounted for a disproportional share of the tab. So the waiter brown-bagged it. We stepped out in the mid-morning New Orleans soup-heat. Promptly passed out on the sidewalk, bottle of wine gripped firmly in hand.

Awoke. Sipped. Whooped & strolled on. Thinkin to see if those girls from Memphis were still around…

2. I favor the underdog. I like it when someone who’s not supposed to win does — I like what that says about me. And — based both on their team’s Super Bowl win odds (5-1: the longest shot on the board) & by virtue of their city being submerged recently — the underdog qualification is well met by the town of New Orleans.

I say bet ’em smartly to win on the basis of their own raw want to. That’s my plan — soon as I get my first paycheck from Pluto.

the Most Roman

“Holy Shit,” I exclaimed. Shook my head & blinked & plumb befuddle stumbled as two armed goons shook me loose from their one on-each-elbow grip.

“It’s daytime!!’

I blinked again.

A freshly disembarked bus-load of Japanese tourists milled excitedly on the sidewalk in front of Circus Circus.

Very drunk. Can’t even blink straight.,.

I glanced sidelong at my two partners in crime. A sunbeam reflected like a jewel-flash from Seacrow’s freshly shaved head. Julius grinned wildly & rolled his tongue from his mouth as if to not just kiss but salaciously make out with the morning sky.

“I fucking LOVE this town!” I howled – which town? I had no clue — as six casino security personnel pressed us roughly from the premises for reasons I temporarily couldn’t recall.

That’s when it’s awesome.

It was awesome & splendidly then some; quite literally The Time of our young lives. I wanted badly to celebrate it and, in retrospect, my want was perfectly right.

“We’ll have three Wild Turkeys in to-go glasses.” I informed the closest goon, “With ice & Pronto.”

Duh-no we WON’T!!” Seacrow laughed & slurred & shook his finger like one would to correct a child’s silliness. “Turkey flew coop & go by-bye!!

I laughed uncontrollably. By why? I strained to remember… Quarters, dimes & a cool couple $1’s – seven cash dollars total – scraped up, the night before, from our laundry bags & car floor. Right. We cashed these into nickels. Dispatched a cocktail girl for our first round of Wild Turkey on ice & parked at the nickel slots — many, many hours & multiple bottles of liquor ago.

We won & lost some but on balance our luck held amazingly. When the nickels ran low we were ready: we had a Plan. Instead of pumping coins in one after another we fed the machines with the deliberate patience of ‘gamblers’ who won’t be denied their divine Right to complimentary whiskey.

When they ran critically short we scooped our remaining nickels out of the slot-machine loot bins and – with much celebratory high-5 fanfare & exaggerated cling-clang – threw the coins back in by hand.

Like: “Sweet be-jeezus we won AGAIN! Can ya believe it? More whiskey for the Low Rollers W’Hee!!”

And when the Circus Circus ran out of Wild Turkey we just smiled & waved to the ubiquitous security cameras & downgraded to Jim Beam without complaining.

The cameras glared back menacingly. But it was too late. The House was already beat.

“Hey — are you guys actually gambling,” A cocktail girl – our second, on account of the A.M. shift change – asked finally, “Or are you just here to drink free?”

“We’re gambling for free drinks,” Julius winked at her matter-of-factly, “And winning! May we have three more please?”

“Yes! Please!!” Seacrow pleaded politely. “Shit – we’ll tip you our next Jackpot if you bring us 2 drinks apiece!”

She glanced nervously over both shoulders. “They’re not gonna like this…”

Nevertheless the girl was back in a flash. We slurped this round speedily, though, astutely sensing through the booze-fog that Trouble would soon follow.

And in fact it did. There were the six aformentioned security goons.

And their Trouble was Julius.

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh described his band’s seismic early 90’s popularity surge as the ‘Mega Dead Era;’ a time when their once-secret travelling circus was colonized by new fans in thousands-fold droves.

“If you don’t know what to do,” the band famously advised their young legions, “Ask an older DeadHead!”

Julius was the Kid those older DeadHeads warned you about.

He put Mega in the Mega Dead Era; the Life, as it were, of the Biggest Party ever to hit Planet Earth — right when that party went Huge.

Like a Corvette convertible found parked on a country road after midnight, keys in the ignition, Julius begs from his friends the Question: Why buy the Ticket – why bother – when we can takes the Ride For Free?

“Add a six-pack of Reno’s best Hookers to that whiskey order!” Julius chimed, with Hell’s Bells certainty, into the early morning goon-ruckus on the Circus Circus front sidewalk. “Two each for my friends. YES. No. Make it seven – I get 3 cause I’m the Most Roman! Plus a round of low rent blow-jobs for the Goon Squad…my treat!”

Julius turned and tapped a Japanese tourist on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” he begged with supreme dignity, ‘Can you spare a thousand dollar?”

Whole thousand dollar?” The tourist asked, stunned but bested by curiosity. ‘Why you need thousand dollar??”

“The ladies the ladies!!”

“Ooh, for whole thousand?” The tourist gulped, “That sound like goood Yankey My Wankey!”

+$!

the Raw Want to Win

My buddy Alan over at Left At The Gate is part owner of this — by appearance — absolutely smashing racehorse. Her name is Just Zip It. Just Zip It is a 2-year-old filly. A filly is a young female equine. Just Zip It races for the first time in the 4th at Aqueduct today.

zip1.jpgzip2.jpg

Just Zip It’s career debut will be against fellow 2-year-old filly Maidens. This is interesting: Maiden races are restricted to horses who’ve never won. Or, as with Just Zip It, never run.

The business of betting on a Maiden race boils down purely to one, albeit vexing, question: which horse wants it the most?

Maiden races require a peculiar blend of raw hunch tempered by mathematical deduction. Whereas, with older horses, it’s often the other way around — mathematics tempered by instinct.

I love to bet the Maidens. Here’s why: when I bet on a horse — the Long Shot — who’s not ‘supposed’ to win it feels like I’ve bet smartly on me.

😉

And Maidens win at long odds more frequently than contenders in any other type of race.

The best is when, on a hunch, you select & bet on a first-timer — like Just Zip It — and win. A horse who plumb wants it enough to prevail in her very first race…she makes me hearts leap! It’s inspiring.

And a powerful lesson for People: Why bet on a horse who has never proved their worth in a race? Why? Raw want — that’s the key. When I bet for what I want most I feel good even when I lose. And that, dear readers, is the Ticket to a good day of Gambling.

I ask: does Just Zip It look like she wants to win?

I’ve thought so for months. Alas I can’t bet on her. She races in just over an hour — 2PM — and I have no dough.

So goes.

But — that being the case — I deeply suspect she’ll win.

I’m rooting cosmically for her. For good reasons: 1. I have a good feeling about her and good feelings are right. Dig? I want to feel good and right today! Shit I’ll be broke either way…

2 . I got mad Props for my buddy Alan. He keeps the best racehorse blog in Town. I read his stuff — for love of the races — every day for a year. The first thing that struck me about the dudes blog — & Blogs in general — was that he owed his success to the Oldest Trick in the Literary Book:

He writes about what he loves. And every once in awhile insults some jerk like Dick Cheney. Follow that formula impeccably and even crappy joints like Open Container speedWay can go Huge.

And if all else fails you can always toss in some stuff about chicks & drugs & booze.

The horses have reached the Starting Gate…all in line & they’re OFF!

Click shortly after 2Pm if you want to watch the free replay. [4th race Nov. 24]

Sign in: e6524.7@gmail.com

Password: 673720

Night On the Hustle

I quit selling partyWhatevers some years ago; shortly after I learned I had PTSD. I realized that there was Just No Way. The stress would kill me. Or else I’d be caught & screwed for it in imaginable ways.

Quitting that racket has been a noble if thus far tragically nonviable undertaking. While far from stable, the shroom business provided me with the occasional 2 to $3000 stack. And they help out considerable.

Since then I’ve been so broke that I wonder if it’s Wrong to sell a kidney. I can see one circumstance where it could work…maybe. But I won’t spell it out because that’d make it sound like we had unlawfulness on Open Container speedWay.

Less complicated is the question of whether it’s moral to sell marijuana to a grown adult.

Can I get a Hell YES from the People!!

It is not only Moral but judicious. Especially if someone wants to buy it. If no one does then it’s inadvisable — since you’ll likely get stuck trying to pawn it off while you don’t smoke it (yeah right) for half the next week.

I can’t sell pot anymore either. Because that shit happens incessant.

Consider the scenario: You get ‘cuffed (loaned) an ounce of pot by a friend who made no bones about their certainty that they would regret it. It’s not that you’d ever rip them off coldly — an incontestable truth which ultimately sways your friend over his, and your own, better judgement — but still.

For ten thousand reasons the last thousand fronted ounce deals have rarely concluded happily.

This time it was almost different. You owe $300 for zip. To repay you need sell six of the ounce’s eight eighths for $50 each. That leaves you ideally with one to smoke and one to sell. But you haven’t eaten for two days. You need a pack of American Spirit menthol to smoke & a few pills to stay awake. Plus you owed someone $20 from party Whatevers last week…the same Someone who happens to score the first satchel.

So a fiddy spot poofs before you’ve started. You still need to sell six eighths for $50 to break even and gain just one bag for profit.

Since you sell your next bag to a Friend you can only get $45. Because it is unconscionably difficult to charge a friend $50. Then you remember: I never sell pot to strangers!

At this rate you’ll be $15 ahead if you sell every sack at $45. And that of course presumes you dispatch the entire ounce in one night. Makes you a touch nervous, that bitchy $15 thing. Jumpy. Better go pack a bowl & smoke it to calm down.

Plan to sell that bag for $45 firm — tell ’em it was a fiddy minus five for the very small bowl you packed (a couple tokie-tokes down the line it manages to fetch a half-respectable $30).

The margin is tight but the night goes well. Even managed to swing off a couple for full price to students from LandMine college…You go to sleep in the morning — finally — with $249 cash and one eighth left to sell. Get $50 for it and you’ll be just one dollar short!

All told, an exemplary night on the Hustle.

Except when you wake up in the morning and reach into your pocket to count your dough you discover, with violent dismay, that you slept on & miserably squished the last of the stash.

Now. You can — and will — traverse great lengths to convince potential flat-sack Custies that the buds are provably none worse for the wear.

‘Provably?’ One asks opportunistically. ‘Then smoke some with me right now. To prove it.’

Of course you have no choice — what good is a man’s Word if he don’t back it up? Plus the dude promises to pay full price for the sack — should he deem it ‘untarnished’ — even though the two of you just smoked from it.

A gamble for sure — but if it pays off you sell the sack and get stoned.

Desperate gambles rarely pay off.

The best you can recoup from the eighth of Flatties is $25 plus a loose speed pill or two. You pop these and do a little hypovent-O-freak out, quietly, by yourself, on a bench at the train station. You chose the train station partly because you like trains. And sitting there when everything sucks makes you feel like you’re off for something better.

It is also one place your debtor is sure to not inadvertently find you.

The train station in Brattleboro is a few hundred feet away from the bridge across the Connecticut River. Just past that is the local Wal Mart — built when Vermont wouldn’t allow them. The river forms the border with New Hampshire.

3-odd miles or so past the Wal Mart is the Hinsdale Off Track Betting & Poker Parlor. You may want to try there if you’re short on cash after a typical night on the hustle. In fact you may just want to skip the Hustle altogether and make straight for the OTB. I occasionally have won respectable sums from paltry investments. In other words I have triumphed mathematically at the races. It happens.

Not so with one single damn ounce of weed on the Cuff. Can’t recall breaking even — and for certain I’ve never done better.

Well then. Thanks for reading…I got to go now & scoop up a few bucks I’m owed for washing dishes (hired & fired in a day. Sad story) last weekend.

Then I’m off: to the Races.