Spider crawls up Brennie’s back in Shingles
Rarely had Vinny Fitzpatrick felt more content. A few weeks earlier, he had been alone and miserable, now he was on top of the world
World number two Adam Scott is Vinny’s lay in the Australian Open.
For the last Monday in November, business was predictably quiet in Shingles pub, a sheebeen-like boozer off the Clontarf Road run by the Greenacre brothers. The lone telly was showing West Brom against Aston Villa, on silent, as a motley crew arrived in a side door a little after eight bells.
There were eight of them, all middle-aged, of diverse girths and assorted hairstyles – one of them, a burly chap in Dublin Bus garb, wore a Bobby Charlton comb-over that went out of fashion in the ’70s. What they shared, apart from scarcely concealed grins, was the most improbable currency of all: Lottery winners.
Between them, they had just scooped over a million euro, or €1,081,544 to be exact. By the calculations of Vinny Fitzpatrick, who was one of the winners, it worked out at €135,193 a head – a prime number to conjure with, he thought.
All week, Vinny had played it cool. He’d even managed to keep the news from Angie before blurting it out over a nightcap the previous Friday – it led to several other nightcaps.
By now, his bucket list would tempt the patience of Dear Liza and Henry. It included trips to Goodison Park, the Grand National at Aintree, St Andrews, New York, Las Vegas and a drive on Route 66 from Chicago to California with his baby Angie “beside me at the wheel”.
Rarely had the 55-year-old felt more content. A few weeks earlier, he had been alone and miserable, now he was on top of the world, just like Cody Jarrett. He was back in the bosom of his family; his kids had their health and he was among his mates, richer to the tune of some 135 grand. Life had never been this good.
As the pints arrived, Two-Mile Boris reached for an envelope inside his jacket pocket. He opened it, and pulled out a piece of paper. It was a cheque, complete with National Lottery logo, which he unfolded and placed carefully on the table. It read: “Please pay bearer one million, eighty one thousand, five hundred and forty four euro.”
“First, I asked you to Shingles this evening so we could conduct our Lottery business privately, away from Foley’s where it would have been impossible. I also wish to raise a matter which some of you may find sensitive, but it is only right that you be put in possession of the full facts.”
With that, a silence fell around the table. Vinny caught Macker’s eye and raised a quizzical eyebrow, which was met by a shrug.
Invited to continue
Two-Mile was invited to continue. “As you know, we have all being contributing €52 a year to our syndicate which I agreed to oversee. That allows us to invest €4 every Wednesday and Saturday, to include the Lotto Plus One and Two.
“Some people pay the full amount in advance in January; others pay before the first draw of the month, while one or two have had to be coaxed along the way.