Tuesday, January 29, 2013


He liked that, the ice bucket by the table. Magda was so thoughtful. He’d got to know her better, both of them on a first name basis too. He quickly set up. he’d an early start, a funeral in the morning, so much so he’d brought along his razor and toothbrush this time. He didn’t usually stay over, afraid of rumour and hearsay given his delicate position in society.
Pouring a deep JD, he lobbed in three or four lumps of ice, then drowned the mixture with coke, the real thing as they say. In his seat, TV remote to hand, he could work it now with one hand, notepad in the other, with details for viewing, topics as they call it, his being TV gambling, another phenomenon his  parish contact had warned him about. You wont believe he was told, he’d soon find out. When first informed about gambling on the TV, harry thought the parishioner was referring to those lotto shows that encouraged people to gamble, in aid of good causes of course. Harry was used to such good causes, he’d run a charity racing night, for gods sake of course, air conditioning unit for an old folks home being the beneficiary. TV gambling wasn’t about the purchase of lotto tickets he soon figured out once he checked the digital address he was given. Texas hold’em, or seven card stud with a few minor changes. Harry played poker with other priests and was well used to poker. On TV it was different. Every hand seemed to be a winning one. The pot sizes were in thousands, and the players were a bunch of washed out celebrities who didn’t have the right physical appearance to make it on main stream TV. Maybes and hopefuls probably, who’d enlisted for the chance to be seen on TV again. The game was quite good, his attention full on. Two sixes down against an ace and a king down, the four other contestants passing. The pair had to be a winning hand. Seemingly not announced the poker expert who was commentating on matters. Three cards were flipped over, low cards that were of no use to either player. Two pair held, ace king went all in, ace king player being a former snooker player with a well chronicled drug and alcohol problem, harry wasn’t surprised, but was excited, wondering who’d win, having forgotten that the chips they were playing with were monopoly money, as no one in their right mind would bet thirty seven thousand on an ace king with two cards to come. Two sixes hesitated. Two sixes was the chip leader announced the poker expert in a hushed voice. The camera focussed in on two sixes as he dallied over the decision. Head fucking comments, head fucking counts, and two sixes was head fucked and hand fucked, as he threw in his hand. Smart play announced the voice over poker expert, praising the snooker celeb. Three games later the session was over, harry had enough of that and wasn’t ready yet for the tutorial on how to play texas hold’em successfully, the tutorial free and sponsored by an online poker website. Drug using tutorials, gambling was a drug, occupied the mind while you did it, the buzz as it’s called. He sipped his beloved JD, tuned into another station, another on his list. TV quiz game, name the celebrity win a thousand. Harry recognised the picture, or part of it, the game being like a jigsaw. He couldn’t see the full picture, only the eyes of the person, his mouth shielded. It was jack Nicholson. He’d crazy eyes, he’d seen them in the shining, a scary shit movie made years earlier. Text me and win a thousand euros, I’m waiting for you boys, text me and win she urged, everyone likes to win money, how about a new holiday, text me and win she urged. Fraud he reckoned, as they all couldn’t win a thousand. Text them a thousand times and win a million mused harry working out the possibilities in his head. Maybe the station owner was philanthropic and related to gates.

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