I am not talking about anything as trivial as the estimated £50 million pounds that the winners stood to gain. I am talking mother and son life long relationship.
17 year old is football mad. Christ knows where he gets that from but anyway he had studied the form and was convinced that the three victorious sides in the play off finals would be:
1) Bristol Rovers.
3) West Brom.
SO convinced was he that he believed it was worth ten of his hard earned (peeling spuds down the chip shop) pounds. Saturday morning he wanted me to put a bet on for him for all three to win.
I was reluctant to do this for several hundred reasons. Obviously one should not as a responsible parent be encouraging an under age off spring to gamble. Wise words were directed at deaf ears on the subject of why it was a foolish thing to gamble. Other reasons for my reluctance included the fact that I have no idea HOW to put on a bet, and also that I am a lazy cow who couldn't be arsed to get in the car and drive for 5 miles to my nearest bookies. However, the nagging from a determined 17 year old can wear one down and some time later I found myself signing on to an on line gambling site.
I got registered no (well not many) problem(s). D and I then attempted to work out what to do next. It seemed that if he got all three results right he would win £134.00. Finally I had to put down my ten pounds payment. First attempt and it seemed I had given the wrong password. Second attempt and they didn't think my switch card existed. Third attempt and they thought I had just invented a new email address they had never heard of. Fourth attempt ...well, there was no fourth attempt. I lost patience. More heated words were exchanged with my son, but I said I had tried and I had failed, and none of the three sides would win anyway so he would end up thanking me. Hummmmm.
Saturday afternoon Play Off Final Number One. Bristol Rovers won. I would like to say that my son was mature enough not to make any reference to his ten pound bet that never was but much muttering ensued - and carried on and on.
Sunday I ran away to Reidski's to get away from the 'Fact' that I had cost him £134. Reidski and I watched Play Off Number Two. Blackpool won. As the final whistle blew I received a text. 'U WIL O ME £134'. It was beginning to look like I would never be able to go home again.
I discussed the final match with Reidski. He knows about these things. He told me what tremendous form West Brom are in. I wished I had never asked.
Monday at 3.00 finds a very nervous me perched on a bar stool in Reidski's local. West Brom start off looking by far the stronger side. Apart from the money he stood not to win because of me, I was worried he would think that any bet he wanted to make in future would be guaranteed to come off, and that I had contributed him to developing a life long gambling habit. As Good Parenting goes that scored approximately minus 1,549 points. As the match progressed Reidski had to keep telling me to calm down, although to get the full impact of just what being told to calm down during a football match by him you would really need to know what he is like watching a match that matters to him.
It never occured to me for a minute that Derby County would win..... but they did.
As the final whistle went I rang my son. "I saved you ten pounds" I announce in an annoying "I told you so" tone of voice. "Yeah, whatever" says he.
Thank god the football season is over.
The Hamilton Hacker - Nice wee bit of sly humour from the April 1937 issue of the *Socialist Standard*.
10 hours ago