Gin jamboree eases the pain of Mickelson’s miss
Guinness interruptus as gin girl Ginny’s promotion relegates Vinny’s pints of plain
As the Boru Betting regulars, and a few irregulars too, munched on their complimentary bacon butties and spicy sausage sarnies, it struck Vinny Fitzpatrick that his better half was one of life’s great improvisers.
For a sleepy mid-June Sunday ahead of Royal Ascot, Angie had come up a whizz to encourage a few extra bodies to enter her betting den at the foot of Vernon Avenue.
It was Bloomsday and while the lads in Foley’s wouldn’t know their Blazes Boylan from their Buck Mulligan, they could sniff out a sizzling porker blind-folded.
As Vinny, complete with butcher’s pinafore, turned fat sausages on the barbecue under the awning outside Boru Betting, he noted the steady stream of traffic mooching into Angie’s lair.
Wearing a boater hat, monocle and a whip which she tapped against a shapely pin, Angie was pressing fliers into the hands of passers-by which read: ‘Step inside to Boru Betting for your free sausage sandwich on Bloomsday’.
The promotion ran from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, by which time Vinny was a perspiring, pink-faced porker, his pinny spattered with grease, brown sauce and mustard, and gasping for a reviver.
Inside Boru Betting, business was good as scattered dockets dotted the floor, while a fair few bodies were still loitering, pencils at the ready, slips to hand.
From behind her glass counter, Angie blew a kiss in the direction of her portly husband. “The Phil Mickelson birthday special in the US Open was a popular bet. If he wins at 5/2, it will cost us a few bob,” she reported.
“I’d say turnover is up more than a quarter on our regular Sunday trade. Well done, love, you deserve a drink. I’ll catch up in an hour or so and leave Alfred to finish up.”
After splashing his moist armpits with water and dabbing them dry as best he could with loo roll, he waddled into Foley’s.
His favourite watering hole was adorned with bunting and smartly dressed young women, whose age profile suggested they were blow-ins.
A bubbly blonde in a suit caught Vinny’s eye and beamed. “Are you here for the promotion, sir? You are very welcome. I’m Ginny, pleased to meet you. Take a seat and we’ll be with you shortly.”
Slightly bemused, Vinny made his way towards a frowning Dial-A-Smile at the bar. “What’s the story?” Vinny asked.
“It’s National Gin Day, whatever that means,” he said gloomily, before repairing to the Racing Post.
Vinny shrugged. “In that case, make mine a pint,” he said.
As he clocked the runners being loaded into the stalls at Salisbury for the four o’clock, a perfect pint of Uncle Arthur’s finest was placed in front of Vinny.