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the punt

There was a day when you went to the newspaper shop to buy a newspaper, or if you were a surf dog the latest broadsheet Tracks magazine but only after a lengthy browse through Surfing Life, Surfing World, Stab, The Surfer   … after by-passing Playboy and all the rest of the stroke publications.

These days the newspaper shop business is all about selling lottery tickets, scratchies and all manner of gambling opportunities and this particular shop has on weekends a young bloke of about 20 plus handling the punters and their money.

Big money, about $45 for a full spread on Saturday night Lotto for instance, then almost the same for Monday’s chance, ditto Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

All he sees, this young bloke, is loser after loser fronting up to his counter and paying good bucks for the million to one chance that never comes their way. It must be debilitating for him seeing the older generations doing their dough like they had barrels of it stashed in their garages.

So, I said to him this day, ‘you must despair for the folks who come by here day after day doing their money cold on lottery tickets.’

‘Yes, I do,’ he replied, taking my $35.20 Quickpick for Tuesday night’s Oz lotto.

He handed me the ticket.

‘So, does the fact that I asked you the question hold me in any better light, in your opinion?’

He laughed. ‘Yes, it does.’

Then I left, knowing the transcendental portents of such a random conversation, and the ticket emitted an almost imperceptible vibration as it nestled comfortably between the last two five dollar notes in my wallet.

Because tomorrow   .. and I know it

I’ll be a …

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