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Part I. Playing in God's pleasure park.

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 31 August 2010 | Views [870]

A view I don't remember seeing on the day!

A view I don't remember seeing on the day!

This sunny afternoon I find myself writing from a bedroom that seems to have held some sort of sporting event; that possibly ended with some sort of riot. The demolished bed and soft tingles of the afterglow makes me blissfully aware that the bed may be needed again very soon. The evidence of yesterdays debauchery triggers off other memories that balance my struggle to come to terms with being vertical. It was Ladies Day at the Broome Horse Racing Club. 24 hours of fun times that endures as I scribe it for posterity now. 

Knocking off at 11am and settling comfortably into two schooners of Pearlers Pale Ale was the best start to a weekend that I have had in awhile. I came home to shower and put the funkiest version of myself on within the parameters of what a backpackers wardrobe will allow. Sophisticated hobo for the modern stoner. I walked down to a friends house to rondevue with my fellow horse fanatics, who have never seen an actual horse race before in their lives either.

As soon as I arrived, it became apparent that fellow Matso's supervisor Nuk was already trashed enough to spill 5 drinks in as many minutes. Barbara Streisand! A small joint only compounded his problems, but showed me that I wouldn't be having any that day. I was sliding into the mood smoother than a Russell Brand pick up line and feeling that good times were straight ahead.

A taxi bus took us to the races amidst frequent laughing fits. Upon arrival, Nuk's outwardly exuberant personality irritated the door man enough not to let his missus in on her New Zealand driving licence. Recently losing the Bledisloe cup for the umpteenth time in a row had probably not helped Deputy Denial's disposition. After a few crack pipe smoking accusations, they were on their way back home to get their passports instead.

Hamish and I headed upstairs with our 'sponsors' badges hoping they were our passports to free food and booze. We had borrowed them from work and they helped us avoid the $90 entrance fee, so we were already well up. I headed straight to the bar for my fourth cider, the cheapest and least painful option after coming prepared with freshly cleaned teeth. Pointing at my 'sponsors' badge didn't quite illicit the sort of grovelling respect I was expecting as my given badge-wearing right. “Seven bucks mate!” punctuated a friendly face that was clearly over having to deal with drunk snobs and fake money all day. I paid my $7 as Nuk staggered in to order 4 ciders for himself as he seemed to think that $7 was cheap. Ahhh, the blissful ignorance of drunken mathematics.

Hamish went off looking for the sort of badge he needed to get free booze, showing he had no faith in his ability to pick a winning horse. I showed how little skill I had by betting $10 on a win, $10 on a place and winning $14! My drunken mathematics happily overlooked that I had actually lost $6 as my horse, the favourite, managed to beat the odds and cross the line in third place. It was awesome fun putting a piece of paper through an electronic reader, so I felt it was money well spent. When Nuk's $10 bet resulted in him getting $10 change from a $50 note, he managed a precedent by pulling the lady up on her attempted sleight of hand. She wasn't giving up what she thought was her rightful tip for having to tolerate drunk snobs and fake money all day as well. Nuk was left $40 down and an error bid worth nothing because he hadn't filled the card in properly. Amatuers!

When the races were over, it was time for some serious gambling. Broome's isolation and general laid back tolerance allows 'two-up' to be played here, while the rest of Australia only has that privilege on ANZAC day. $100 of my hardly earned had gone on booze by this stage. I hadn't claimed my $14 losings yet. As the two coins flew through the air to the excited wailings of big and little spenders alike, I could see why the game was illegal. And why I was so desperate to get involved. Currency was being waved around like we were at a traffic controllers crack party.

My first two attempts cost me $40. In the true ANZAC spirit I soldiered on; but against common sense and better judgement. Even worse judgement deserted me and only blind luck saw me win 6 of the next 7 bets I placed. Disappointingly enough, I won most of it off friends, so we didn't all end the day on a high. I offered to compensate a few of them with some horizontal entertainment, including a friends sister. Perhaps my delivery was just too affected by alcohol and gambling lust to be legible.

Everything started to get hazy from there. A ride home from someone. A game of SMS fishing to see if anyone wanted to play. A nibble. Company. My flatmate dividing up the ounce of  weed we had just bought. Sampling a rather musical trumpet of it was the last thing I remember.

Tags: horse races, partying

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