Accumulator - A bet that requires several different selections all to win, often to provide a large payout.
Arbitrage -A bet that locks in a guaranteed profit, whatever the outcome.
Banker - A bet that is considered to be a near certainty.
Bismarck - A horse that someone strongly thinks will be beaten (sunk).
Blinkers - A device fitted to a horse's head which restricts its field of vision in order to help its concentration.
Chasing - Betting on things you normally wouldn't in order to recover losses.
Clerk of the Course - The person responsible for the overall management of a racecourse during raceday
Draw - the number of starting stall a horse will begin a race from.
Drifter – a horse on which the odds have lengthened by the end of the day.
Going - The condition of the ground at a racecourse. The going ranges from heavy to firm.
Green (v) Running excitedly and uneconomically, associated with inexperience.
Handicap - A race where horses carry different weights based on their official rating or greyhounds get a head start based on their ability.
Hedging - Backing another outcome in an event you have already bet on to decrease the risk involved.
Jolly - Another name given to the 'favourite'.
Maiden - A horse that is yet to win a race.
Overweight - An eventuality where the jockey weighs more than the weight one of his rides is supposed to carry.
Steamer - An outcome that has been very well backed all day.
Tic-Tac - A type of sign language used on a racecourse by bookmakers as a means of communication.
Walkover - A race where there is only one runner left after a number of non runners.
Life’s an Accumulator
There’s no such thing as arbitrage
In life, said the tic-tac man.
You can start as a banker but hedge your bets
For you might be a bismarck yet.
If your sire and dam are thoroughbred
And the draw is good, you could be a jolly
But the going’s hard when you start as a maiden.
In a handicap if you're overweight
It’s no good greening when the going’s soft
Even if they say you’re a steamer.
There are no walkovers – we’re all drifters
So don’t go chasing, blinded by blinkers;
And the Clerk of the Course will weigh you in
With the rest of the field at the finish line.
© Janice Windle 2014
On Sunday last, I went to Keats House Library in Hampstead to see the Keats House Forum poets and their guest that afternoon, Indigo Williams. Indigo is a wonderful writer and performer and it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. In the open mic I read a poem about life, in the language of a tic-tac man. As today is Grand National Day it seems a good time to post the poem and the video on here, though I wrote it a few days ago... I've provided a glossary of terms for non-tic-tac people...
The prompt today on NaProWriMo.net is to write a charm, a short rhyming poem intended to solve a problem or heal, in the tradition of mediaeval medicine and necromancy. At the moment the UK has a problem: Saharan sand is being blown from Africa across to the country by a south-west wind (an atypical direction), picking up toxic pollution from the European landmass, and hovering for the last few days over Britain in an area of high pressure. It's causing respiratory problems, eye and throat problems and severe asthma to many of us.
So I thought I'd write this charm poem to try to get rid of it:
Here is a poem based on the prompt for Day 2: a poem based on a myth from a culture other than Greek or Roman: I chose the story of the death of Baldr (or Baldur) the Beautiful, the Norse god of goodness, by Loki the god of mischief, using a sprig of magic mistletoe (since Frigg, Baldr's mother, had made everything else in nature swear never to harm her son.) Baldr's blind brother was involved in Baldr's murder and was punished for it, though he had not known what he was doing. Here's a link to a rather jokey account of the Norse myth and below, my equally jokey poem on the subject. The poem works best if read in rather a sing-song Norse voice.