Should I be feeling a bit un-Australian? Not only do I not have a clue which horses are running in this year’s Melbourne Cup, the only bet I’m having is whether it’s going to rain out of this next change. Sacrilege! I know, I know, piker, wet blanket, spoil sport…..guilty as charged. I’m not a wowser, or a do-gooder, just Nigel no-friends (today) and a farmer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lost quite a few dollars to bookies, pokies, scratchies, floods, lotteries, droughts, raffles and even the odd Melbourne Cup sweep. Do they still have those? One of my early memories is of collecting £6 in 1965, just before decimal currency was introduced and possibly the last time I won anything! Probably because I only bet on the weather now!! I’m also starting to sound like my great aunt…..”I remember when…..” OMG, note to self…. gotta get out more!
How on earth did I get there…oh yes, gambling and our propensity to bet on anything that moves, or doesn’t. Like everything now the choice is limitless and Australians have traditionally seen the larrikinism of a wager, even when times were/are tough. Are we wagering more in dollar terms though, or are our bets just going up by the CPI as well? I’m not talking about addictions and the issues surrounding problem gambling, but the amount spent by the ordinary punter (or mug punter as I have read somewhere) in a week.
An occasional ticket in the $2 lottery or the kid’s soccer raffle probably won’t break the bank for most, but how much do we spend trying to crack the big one then grumble that the budget won’t balance and wonder where our money went this week. Has the term ‘disposable income’ sub-consciously made us think we have to rid ourselves of it quickly or it will make our wallet smell?
Is it still just a bit of fun, the thrill of the win and adrenalin rush or is there some innate thing that makes us want to gamble for the possibility of a quick bonus to buy that new DVD player, rather than take the snail’s route and save for it? I guess as humans we wouldn’t be where we are now if we didn’t always strive for something better or more efficient.
Maybe our impatience for material things is reflected in our increasing impatience with each other.
Maybe our world has overtaken our ability to cope with it!
Maybe I should stop thinking and start punting….