“So, you think money is at the root of all evil …..”
In a far corner of the betting shop sits the man down on his luck and all but out of cash.
It’s time for the last race, and he feels in his pocket as much out of hope as anything and finds two, $2.00 coins hiding in the far corner.
It’s not much, but it’s his last hope.
It’s been a mournful day, his money so easily gambled away and now in his mind is what to say to his wife when he returns home penniless. She’s been on to him to give it away, says to him “money is the root of all evil’ and he knows now how true that is.
In the back of his mind, the words of his father echo: “It’s a hard game.”
He rolls the coins in his fingers as he studies the form guide. He desperately wants to salvage something from the day, after all, he told his wife he was going down to put on a few bets, and now it’s almost the end of his day. His mates whom he sits with have long gone, they too had the same luck as him and readily abandoned him once it was clear luck must have been at another betting shop, and there was no chance of any free drinks.
He decides number seven is a chance and if it gets up will pay enough to say he won something.
He parts with his last coins and sits back to watch the race. As he waits, he sees his family at home waiting for him, his wife cooking a meagre meal and the kids expectant in that their dad will come home and if he’s had luck he’ll bring them a surprise, usually a bag of chips and chocolate for their mother.
He looks up to see the race is coming to an end and number seven is nowhere to be seen. Another race where the ambulance beat the horse home. Gambling has its own series of flippant remarks to pass off the ignominy of losing.
There’s nothing left for him but to take his sorrowful self and head for home. He knows the silence and disapproval that awaits him, worse that he’ll have to suffer in front of his children.
“I’ve got to give it away,” he says to himself, “next week I’ll stay in, play with the kids, help the wife, be a husband and dad.”
As he trudges towards home, the pledge he makes himself fades as the lure of the next race meeting pushes such thoughts from his mind.