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When A Policeman Gambles...
by Amit Parmessur

It’s a fact. A betting house is one of the funniest places. For example, when someone is taking too much time at the counter, those queuing behind wouldn’t hesitate to say loudly that he’s seeking a fortunate fortune. ‘He’ll come back with a wheelbarrow or a lorry tomorrow as the jackpot will be his’ is not an uncommon comment.

Money is the wheels of life. Life is a gamble. By these two famous equations, gambling – being about money – is life. Why do people then condemn gambling? It’s bad if you are risking someone else’s money, not your own. If gambling addiction is leading to income addition then it is all too fair. Gambling is surely healthy ambling when you are winning.

But why people condemn gambling when teachers, actors, policemen, sportsmen and even gambling houses gamble? Why? Multiplying your money with a combination of good thinking and luck is certainly honest hard work. Except for a policeman in uniform at a local Steven Hills gambling house I guess.

With the giggles, bizarre looks and words around that poor policeman, the teams on the different screens that evening seemed to take on other ominous forms. Belgium’s Germinal looked like Terminal. Argentina’s Tigre appeared like a ravenous tiger. There was a plethora of teams, and the money was there for the taking. The most interesting part was that I was the policeman in uniform.

“It’s just a policeman losing our time. What if the chief inspector had come? We would’ve waited until night!” exclaimed one man when I was taking all my time at the counter. “What if the commissioner himself honours us!” another added dryly. “We might never bet.”

A grizzled man went on to defy me by lighting a cigarette. A few minors standing out got in, chewing their chewing gum la Ferguson. Suddenly, Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory from Australia reminded me of my own tragedy and defeat. Toulouse told me I was definitely going to lose. Blackpool told me that I was basking in the black pool of shame there in my uniform. Was it my fault though if I wanted to get out of a dilemma risking my own money?

I had a list of thirty teams split into 6. The girl at the counter being new didn’t help me. The queue grew as beads of sweat flew down my spine like Robin Van Persie’s left-footed cannons.

My uniform was protecting everyone, including myself. The gambling house was the epitome of human sin. How could I tell them that I’d finished work late and wouldn’t make it in time before six o’clock without my uniform? How could I tell them that I’d made a promise of marriage without revealing I had no money?

Money is the holiest honey. Out of the 6 combinations I played I won 4 spectacularly. I felt like a defiant tiger, roaring in the deep pool of glory. It was the last time I won in uniform. (I’m now happily married.)