Friday, January 11, 2013
2013: The Year of the...?
The bookies stood rubbing their hands together, certain that their bank balances would soon be boosted, with the odds in their favour. They stood around in small, shady groups, eavesdropping on the punters who were reassuring each other with confident phrases such as "It's a sure bet, my good lad!" and "Trust me, dear chap - you've never seen better odds than these!"
The gambling public happily plonked down their money, choosing not to see the pitying gaze of the bookie as he wrote out the betting slips for each sucker, then huddled around the intercom to await the announcement. Would Jorth declare 2013 to be the Year for World Peace (clocking in nicely at 10 to 1)? Or would it perhaps be the International Year of Telling Bad Jokes (a slim chance at 25-1, but imagine the riches on a $10,000 bet!) Most were betting that she would go for that old reliable favourite, the International Year for Children, Safe Water, Literacy and Driving On The Right Side of the Road. Hedging one's bets had driven this one right up to the top of the list, at odds of 2 to 1.
The intercom suddenly crackled into life. The crowd hushed, and more than one neck was craned towards the speaker, awaiting the announcement that would surely lead them to sudden riches. The bookies stood by, wearing their impassive faces, when the words filled the room: Jorth announced 2013 to be The Year of the...
A brief silence. What the heck was going on? Didn't the speaker have it written down, for land's sake? The suspense! Oh, the suspense!
The intercom came back to life. The speaker cleared his throat and began again: 2013 will be The Year of the Stash!
"Gah!" said the crowd collectively, tearing up their betting stubs in a fit of pique, before heading out the door to drown their sorrows at the local down the road. The bookies started to wipe their chalk odds off their slate boards, and began speculating amongst themselves which project Jorth would begin first. Being gambling men, they simple couldn't help themselves. Would it be knitting or sewing? 50/50 on that! Maybe she'll use that fabric she bought 3 summers ago - I'd say the odds on that would be 13 - 1. "What about that teal Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarn, purchased about 6 years ago, made up in that Drop Stitch Scarf from Vogue Knitting?" asked a young bookie who was still learning the ropes.
The older bookies guffawed at this. "Cashmerino? In the height of summer? Blimmin heck kid - I'll give you odds of 1 million to one on that bet!"
It's certainly a pity the young bookie didn't take his superior up on the bet, for he was a honest, decent lad who was obviously in the wrong profession. Honest, decent, and unfortunately for him and his scruples, now $1,000,000 less well off.
And Jorth's stash was currently depleted by 3 balls of teal Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. Hello, 2013!