Chapter 4 – Winners and Losers

The following week Marcus started to finally feel better. Maybe it was his trip to the pub with Dave, or maybe the fact that Mary had been so happy about her imminent new employment. “Kids these days. No respect, I mean look at these school girls, short skirts, you can almost see their bottoms. When I went to school if the teacher saw just our ankle we would get a cut with the cane” Marcus could hear the old lady tormenting some poor soul sitting next to her on the bus. “And they never get up and offer me a seat, I am a frail old lady”. “That's not it” said the old man. “They probably think that if you sit down, you may never get up again”. Again the bus exploded with laughter, and the Choirboys song was on high rotation.

On Friday, Marcus bought the newspaper on his way to the bus stop. Over one million hey, he thought. 'Maybe I will just pick some horses and see if they win' he thought. All of the regulars were on the bus, and Marcus took out his pen and started to circle some horse names.

Dave leaned over to have a look “Here we go. I knew I would make a punter out of you”

“Nah mate, I'm just mucking around”

“Sure sure. You want that 18 million too don't you”

“No chance mate. I am not a gambling man”

“That's what they all say. Are you coming to the pub tomorrow?”

“Nope, we have a birthday party to attend. Mary's niece”

“How is Mary anyway? I haven't seen her for a while”

“She's fine. She had a job interview last week, she finds out today hopefully”

“Great. Hope it works out”

They arrived at their bus stop and started work. For the first time in years Marcus actually looked forward to the bus ride and the work day. Now all he needed was Mary to get that job, and maybe they could turn things around. Hell, maybe they could finally move up to Queensland.

When Marcus got home, he found Mary in the kitchen reading. He could tell she had been turned down. She looked dishevelled and murmured a hello as he walked in. He walked up and gave here a kiss on the cheek.”Don't worry, you gave it your best. You made the short list, that's something at least”

“I know, but we really needed that money”

“Never mind, something else will come up. I will see if I can get some more hours too, things look like they may be getting busier at the factory”

She just shook her head and went back to reading. She had taken it pretty hard and it may take a while to get over it. He just wished that there was something more he could do.

On Monday, Marcus got on the bus and was greeted by an excited Dave. “Mate, you should have come to the pub, I backed a stack of winners, I won like four hundred bucks”

“Wow, nice. So it's your shout next week is it”

“I wouldn't go that far”

“Did you have a go at the pick six?” asked Marcus.

“Yeah, spent ninety bucks, got knocked out in the second leg”

“Ohh ok. I got it”

“What do you mean you got it?”

“I picked the six winners. You know, the ones I was doing on the bus here on Friday”

“How many horses did you pick in each leg?”

“Just one”


“Yeah, just one”

Dave's eyes lit up. “So you are saying you got the pick 6 on Saturday. Only one horse in each leg, so for a cost of one dollar”

“Yeah, that's right”

“You know what it paid right?”

“Yep. Just a shade over eighty thousand”

Dave was almost jumping out of his seat. “You are asking me to shout. Mate, it's your shout. All year”

“Nah it isn't”

“Why the hell not? It's eighty thousand”

“It's not, because I didn't put it on”

Dave's face dropped. “You didn't put it on” he said slowly.

“That's right. I was just seeing how I would go. I can always get it again later”

“You know that's probably a once in a lifetime thing right? You are either the biggest idiot in the world, or the best bullshitter. I put my bet on the first one”

“Thanks mate, you are too nice” Marcus said with a wink.

As the bus trip continued, Dave went quiet. He occasionally shot over a glance towards Marcus and shook his head. Marcus kept smiling, even though he too had wished he put the bet on, he wasn't about to go down the path of gambling just yet. He had got extremely lucky, and he knew it. They got off the bus and started walking towards the factory. “I still think you are bullshitting” said Dave. “I thought I was an Idiot?”. “Yeah, that too”.

Dave soon got over his disappointment and when Marcus saw him on the Thursday he was back to his bright self. “Marcus, are you doing anything on Saturday?”

“Nah mate, are you going to the pub again?”

“Nope. Even Better”

“Let me guess. You finally realised you are a woman trapped in a man's body?”

“You wish mate. You couldn't afford me anyway. We are going to the races”

“We are? Where?”

“Flemington mate. My brother won some tickets on some radio station, he doesn't want them, so now I have them. We get to go in the members area and the grandstand too” Dave said with a broad smile.

“I don't know mate, how are we going to get there? Don't we have to dress up or something too?”

“We can jump on the train from Ballarat, the missus can drop us off there and then pick us up. Yeah we need to dress up just a little, but I'm sure we will be right. So are you in or what?”

“I guess so. I'll run it past Mary, but it should be ok I guess”


Page of Contents

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

QR Code
QR Code chapter_4_-_winners_and_losers (generated for current page)