I had booked a few days off for Cheltenham last week but really didn’t envisage the drinking marathon that ensued. Neither did a bloke who agreed to fit me four new tyres. I handed him my car keys on Tuesday morning for a job that he reckoned would take “a few hours”. I went back for my car rather sheepishly the following Monday. Ridiculously the bloke tried to get a bit lairy with me, possibly because he was wearing a pair of blue overalls made famous by Phil Mitchell in EastEnders. But this f*cking idiot was no East End hard man. More the type of geezer who couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight. And cheek off him was the last thing I needed when feeling so fragile.
Anyway, back to the boozing. My session was fortified by ante-post bets on Thistlecrack, Limini and Vautor. But as Thomas Becon once mused ‘When the wine is in, the wit is out’ and my decision not to surface for over 60 hours meant I was given a straight red card by the missus when I eventually resurfaced on Thursday. I was full of anxiety and beer fear on Friday, to the point things got so bad I went to see my GP. He listened to my story and basically advised me to stop drinking there and then. It’s going to be a huge change for me; I’ve been with that doctor for over 20 years.
The monster Cheltenham session took that much out of me emotionally I was still too fragile to have a bet on Saturday (if you can imagine such a thing) and spent the entire day drinking semi-frozen Capri Suns while listening to Bruce Springsteen classics on YouTube.
Thankfully I was back to my (ab)normal best on Sunday and had a £40 double consisting of Juventus to beat Torino (5/6) and Manchester United to beat Man City (3/1). In Italy The Old Lady cruised to a 4-1 win away from home so it was all resting on the Manchester derby. Step forward Marcus Rashford. The young Mancunian upstart absolutely owned Martin Demichelis. When I was Rashford’s age all I usually had in my pocket was a jar of poppers and condoms that never saw the light of day – not Argentine internationals who used to play for Bayern Munich.
Tuesday was the proverbial day of two halves. Everyone and anyone was getting on my t*ts in the morning and this reached a crescendo when a geezer behind me in Tesco refused point blank to put any of his items on the conveyor belt without a divider. Not sure what the big stiff f*cking idiot was worried about as absolute worst-case scenario would be that I end up paying for his shopping. I mean, who are these people?
However just when I was losing faith with the entire human race I got a WhatsApp message from a pal of mine who calmly but forcefully advised me to put every penny I had in the world on Hammarby Under-21s to beat AIK Fotboll AB Under-21s by more than a goal at 13/8. Like the punting sheep that I am I followed his instructions to the letter and was soon basking in the glow of a 5-1 away win. It’s amazing what a 13/8 winner can do to restore your faith in humanity and the civilised world.
Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: France to beat Holland at 11/10 (Paddy Power)