We had a big win on the ponies one wild night last September, Gerry Gormley, Dave McKenna, The Mush and me. Straight from work and over to the track, drinking Green Monsters and The Mush on the powders as usual. Gerry had a tip from a guy who knew a guy and before you knew it, we'd talked each other into putting the best part of a weeks wages each on the 3 horse in the 7:45 - I'd tell you it's name but then you'd be as wise as me. The Mush and me we had a tipple going too, emboldened by Jamie's and the odd line of whatever it is The Mush snorts. Before we knew it we had a shit load of money in our hands and a party going with some washed out old whores who hang around the track on pay day. Gerry was up for getting a motel room and driving over with the girls by way of the liquor store, phoning out sick and party, party, party. Sounded good but I reckoned the wives might miss us and what would we tell the gaffer, we all got sick together? We'd invited the old fucker to the bar with us not two hours ago. Dave wondered how the fuck he was going to explain the bank roll to his Mrs. He'd sworn off the gambling at the same time me and him went to AA, 6 months ago. She'd leave him she said and we all believed her.
It never really sank in that I was a part owner. Sure nobody went to the track, at least not like in the old days and we'd parked in the owners spaces for years, we sat in the grandstand and drank in the owners bar too. Nothing changed until the bills started coming in. The old girl knew something was wrong when I started beating her to the mail everyday. Our nag had run the race of his life that night and looked like he'd never win again. Feed, stables, exercising, grooming, transportation, riders, sulkies they all cost money but the biggest bill of all was the fucking vet bill. Gerry had a few bucks from his old man who'd owned a couple of two family houses in Kearney so he didn't feel it too bad. Dave's wife wised up to what was going on and, true to her word, packed up her bags and left him for the bosom of her clan back in Connemara. The Mush didn't give two fucks. No one really knew what he did for money but he lived way beyond our union pay grade. Both him and wife, no kids thankfully, knew how to party and one or the other but never both usually went to the meetings.