Sonja and I went to the standardbred races last night. The Hammer stayed home on her blanket listening to the warm rain bounce off the windows and the ambulance sirens howling like drunken punk rockers at Wimpy's tits.
I tucked the results of my previous night's studying of the horses' past performances into my jacket as we headed out the door. Sonja asked, "Nothing but winners, right Beer?"
I answered, "Right," just about as convincingly as George Bush's assessment of his bankrupt country's leadership of the Free World.
On the way to the racetrack we were for a short time stuck behind a dump truck. A sign on the back of the truck read, "If you see this vehicle being operated dangerously get the fuck out of its way and then phone (illegible number). Dump truck drivers, who as a group have killed more people around Dope City in the last few years than all but an elite handful of organized crime enforcers, think they are funny motherfuckers. I got the fuck out of his way as fast as I could as soon as I passed him.
Legs and his new girl Lisa were already hitting the booze with Bjorn and Lonnie when we sat down at the trackside table. Legs goes through women like I go through hangover cures. All his girls have one thing in common however: they have large tits, like heavy metal music and can drink and drive well enough to get serious promotional considerations at any police union party. She made goo-goo eyes at Legs and drooled into her rye and coke.
Stan, Sudsy and Jimi staggered in just behind us. They had been up in the track affiliated casino and smelled like burnt money. I told them so. Jimi said, "Fuck you Beer. We got lots more to burn." Jimi was not lying. In Dope City money does grow on trees - marijuana trees.
Sudsy, leaning this way and that as if in a storm, asked me, "Where's your list you gambling bastard?" I showed it to him and he shook his head before telling me, "You have got to be joking. You've gone back to pulling numbers out of a hat. Hey, don't you owe me a fucking beer?"
Stan said, "It's still twenty minutes until race time. Who wants to smoke a joint?"
The crowd was peppered with the made men of Dope City's underworld. They are regarded as business men of great importance as befits their hidden wealth. There were dozens of them knocking back the booze and betting with both hands but though they all knew one another they kept to their own tables and if they acknowledged one another, did so discretely.
I drank too much beer and bet heavily into an exactor and triactor pool that paid out less money than I had bet when I hit it. The track won again.