Rather than ‘I agree with Nick’, I blame Nick.
Not because of his misspeaking yesterday at Prime Minister’s Questions, but because he is costing me money. It’s not a lot, but I’m now betting small amounts on things because of Nick Clegg.
It all started when I noticed that Clegg was given stupidly long odds to be the winner (in the public’s opinion) of the first Prime Ministerial debate. For some reason, people thought that the telegenic and eloquent candidate that no-one knew about and had nothing to lose wouldn’t outperform the two dour candidates who had everything to lose and were therefore stepping on eggshells. It was a total no-brainer, and I won.
So betting became something, through that one occasion, that I always won. I had a 100% victory rate, and I made money for doing nothing else other than using common sense. The problem is that I sometimes lost when my football nouse abandoned me, or I stupidly thought that I could win horse racing bets by picking an inspiring name rather than spending ages looking at form (or whatever you’re meant to do with horses).
Formula 1 I’m good at. It’s quite easy: all you need to do is find out who had the fastest lap in qualifying, then bet on them to have the fastest lap in the race. That way you don’t run the risk of mechanical failure ruining you.
I’m not very good at betting – which is why I don’t bet lots of money – so I only just realised that you can still make money when the first number is smaller than the number after the slash. This is joyful. Now I can bet on Manchester United to beat no-name teams in pre-season friendlies, and win small amounts of money for pointing out the bleeding obvious.
I won’t say I’m addicted to betting: the fact that I’ve invested so little money (less than £25 total) in it, plus the fact that I’m being very careful to at least break even, means that I’m not one of those saddos with a flat cap, horsehair jacket and a whippet that hangs around on Ladbrokes’ stools. I’ve never actually been in a betting shop (the joys of internet betting!) but I’d wager – with good odds too – that they’re depressing places, like the seventh circle of Hell or a Cash Converters without the cheap DVDs, CDs and Playstation games that promise you happiness once you’ve clawed your way out of the miasma that lingers within the shop. But I do now bet in an attempt to be able to buy chocolate from the shop across the road from work.
And for that, I blame Nick.