August 13th – It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few, I’ll be writing more in a week or two.

Cleaned myself: Toil and trouble.
Monkey see, monkey do: 1 large.
Tics: Reversion to mean.
Believe in God? Fuck off.
YTLH: still.

I acknowledge that other people’s gambling errors are of no interest to anyone else. But I know now that this is about something else, not gambling. To be brief: Atlantic Fire-hose, the coming team of Europe, play with a freedom that stumps the Leviathans, like Legerdemain Circle did in the Premiership a few years ago. Shrewdly backed by yours etc in February at 33s, it looked like the competition was to be cancelled, and another cool piece of analysis had gone begging, but it’s back on in truncated form, and The Atlantic, who hail from original Covid-epicentre, Bergamot, have landed on the soft side of the draw and are down to 10/1 one – their name is on the Cup, is it not? They must beat Pompadours de Paris, the mega-expensively accumulated team (the word is used loosely) of show-ponies, who possess the collective spine of a shrew,* for a clear route to the final. They dominate the match, scoring early, and still lead 1-0 as time is up. Then, inside injury time, The Pompadours score twice and we’re eliminated, and it turns out to be a cup** of Earl Grey. This event takes place within 10 days of the Lingard incident, which is discussed elsewhere in these pages.

Only little things are compromised in the pursuit of excellence.

In other news, I went to the local shop earlier today, and learned that Mrs Lindsay is actually a part-owner. I wonder about the mechanisms for wage/profit share and all the other related logistics of the partnership, which reminds me that if events had gone my way, I could have used a junior career in advertising as a platform to business in general. It seems to be the way I am vocated, and I am beginning to believe that I possess the essential qualities for such a station in life: ignorance, and a callous desire to achieve short-term gratification by any means possible. Mrs Lindsay was wearing her shop-tabard over her unseen shorts or a mini-skirt. It didn’t matter. I returned home to my shed and started thinking about her. Very vigorously.

I didn’t watch the match (the above facts being related to you by authorial omnipotence), and truthfully, I’d forgotten about it ‘til I received a text from Big Tooth which said, ‘what terrible hard luck you’ve just had.’ It ain’t bad luck, BT, I think. They see me and make me pay.

I found a nice gift in the shop. It’s a pack of greeting cards with a basic line drawing of a scene from classic children’s literature. Elsewhere in the shop I found one of those trays of watercolour paints with little rounds of different colours, that were once a ubiquitous birthday gift for under 10s.

I’ve just finished an appropriate looking scene from Alice in Wonderland, in which I will enclose a note to Antonio Percassi, apologising, and making it clear that forces beyond our respective controls determined the outcome of the match, and he should take comfort, that there was nothing that he or his staff could do about it. That’s not quite true of course, because the chain of causality can be chased back to me.

everybody’s talking about it.

* a good writer would resolve this accidental repetition of the same sound. A bad writer doesn’t notice until it’s too late, but does have the comfort of knowing that (s)he did not learn riting out of a buk. This article has been brought to you by Grammarly, forging connexions through ignorance.

* * not the same cup. It is the pay-off to a weak joke based on bergamot being a key constituent of Earl Grey tea.

thanks to Jannik Skorna for the pic