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So you love a little flutter?
‘I’ll do as I wish!’
However, the problem with being interested in gambling or desensitised if not normalised to it is that we are blinded by how we can be stigmatised by our peers, that old lady standing outside the bookmakers or making small talk in the confessional box at your local church.
You’ve become so habituated to it’s ‘evils’ (I say that with a smile) that we don’t realise that we may have tarnished ourselves. Just imagine, if you saw Rev Furlong, of St John’s Church, standing outside the local convenience stored with a scratch card, feverishly rubbing away the silver hopeful, if not daring to pray, for a win.
Perhaps you would never look at him in the same way again.
Each to their own. I guess. But life, actions and discourse aren’t value free and you may have wished you’d kept your gambling as a dirty little secret. Let someone else spread the gossip behind your back.
Yes, I paint a picture with words. Even more so if they were written in blood.
But why is gambling anti social?
Here are 5 examples I have noticed. I’m a gambler so I can only imagine how the normal, average person may think.
1) It’s You’re Favourite Subject
You know your subject matter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. You know lots of stuff other people don’t know. For example, how many seconds it takes a horse to run a furlong, how many metres are there in a furlong etc. You have facts and figures coming out of your ears. You find you want to share your ‘gems of wisdom’ with anyone you meet. It’s like a meet and greet without the person really being interested at all. The lady who works on the till at Sainsburys hasn’t even ever thought about a thoroughbred horse, let alone think about betting or making a bet. She’s going to look at you as if you’ve got two heads – one your bonce and the other a manic horse who can’t stop chatting. Be careful that the person you just love to tell enjoys the conversation or gets something from it. Your favourite subject may be theirs but you will understand if a tree hugger starts talking to you about how you grow an oak tree to encourage squirrels.
2) Let’s Play The Slots
I’ve found myself in this position before. My cousin loves to play the slots. In the UK we are more likely to call them one-armed bandits (if you have grey hair) or fruit machines if you have have some aspect of youthfulness about you. Whatever you call them, it can be a very anti social act when with company. If your slot-playing friend is playing the slots then don’t try to engage in small talk. In fact, don’t talk about anything even fruit machines. They won’t be interested in a single word you are saying, unlikely to reply and you’ll question whether they have gone deaf. To be fair, you are the problem rather than them because I know for a fact they wouldn’t invite you for a chat as that first coin or note goes down the throat of the beast. So it’s you inviting yourself to the party and then being given the cold shoulder. Sure it’s anti social but that’s the life of the gambler. Those flashing lights and sounds block the brain from social interaction.
3) Chatting In The Pub
Unless you live in a vacuum or enjoy chatting to yourself in a sound-proof room your conversation about gambling may well be in the public arena. Someone may be earwigging your conversation. If they wear a hearing aid they may have the luxury of switching it off. Not that will help them too much unless they can lip read. For example, you are going to the horse racing and sitting in the pub before the first race. To be fair you are in your environment. However, even if you are the font of all wisdom you will be viewed as a prat (who either knows too much or too little) because you can’t please everyone all the time. In fact, you are unlikely to please anyone even the person you are having the conversation with. Do yourself a favour, don’t say anything about your fancy in the next race or reasoning. Drink, chat about anything else, and be merry.
4) You Know Nothing
If you are successful at gambling, making a few quid, and have something to tell the world, I wouldn’t bother. You will be viewed as anti social if not contempt. Why? Because very few people, including punters, can get their head around the fact that you know enough to make your betting pay. They reason if they can’t do it why should you be able to. Perhaps they have the same understanding with anyone who makes money. Gambling breeds an audience of contempt. They know nothing but illogically they know more than you. They simply cannot understand how it is possible. Win and you got lucky. Lose and they are correct. Basically ‘you know nothing!’
5) Don’t Say A Word About Gambling
The best approach to not being anti social in your gambling is to skip to number (5) and just don’t experience the toils and tribulations which hit you on the head like one of those whack-a-mole games. All people will bring you is a sack load of problem, knock your spirits and you’ll feel abused by a bunch of idiots.