There are allegedly horses at the races. This may or may not be true. I certainly was always under the impression that there were horses at the races (except, obviously, the greyhound races…) but if that's the case how is it I saw no horses? Perhaps there were no horses. Perhaps it has all been a huge lie. Perhaps there is a deep and insidious plan at work.
If there is a deep and insidious plan at work, I suspect it is not very deep. I say this because the level of distraction required to ensure no one noticed there were no horses was simply the provision of alcohol, and girls. Girls in frocks, girls in police uniforms, girls with hats and fake tans and ankle-breaking heels.
Not too much alcohol, however, or there will be Stern Words:
Apparently, there comes a point in your life where you don't get asked for ID when entering a bar. I had always heard this. I have reached and passed that point. Interesting.
Pubs are still full of brash young men. Some of them — the peacocks, as it were — will even sing Italian opera for you, if you… well, actually, I don't think he was given any invitation or incentive so much as he found an unexpected lull in the conversation.
The singing peacocks are still preferable, however, to the sodden older drunks who leer down your top in a misguided attempt to strike up conversation over your necklace. Particularly when the necklace in question contains the compassionate mantra and said sodden older drunk, on hearing the english transliteration, starts waxing lyrical about how he's always wanted to find his inner sexuality.
People shouldn't give me such openings. Ridicule will most assuredly follow. I cannot be held responsible for any emotional scarring which might result.