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There can be no doubt whatsoever that the average, hard-work avoiding sportsfan needs a bit of help, and a touch of good luck, if they want to keep the dream alive at a time when the banks are paying you 2 or 3 cents in the dollar for every buck that you deposit in their jug, so that they may use it to extend credit to sh*t poor, over-extended retail addicts, blokes shagging ladies of the night behind the missus back, cuckolded wives with an ice addiction, and desperate punters at a vig of 25% odd in the quid, compounding daily.

If the average punter tried to pull such a trick they’d be called bandits, or even worse gangsters, and they’s have Dyson Heydon and Jeremy Stoljar all over their arse in a flash. Not that the combination of that pair of dog-paddlers would cause them any sleepless nights, but Mum might read about it in the paper and have cause to want to duck her nightly visit to the RSL to avoid the bingo ladies gossip, and you wouldn’t want that because her whingeing would cut into your form guide reading time, and then how the hell are you supposed to have a snowflakes of backing a winner on the weekend?

It’s a goddamn bloody mess all round, particularly when the Optus bill’s just arrived, and even though it’s a hundred and fifteen dollars out, the 2 1/2 hours you’ve spent waiting on the dog and bone still haven’t resulted in a customer service officer from the Philipines answering to give you any, and Pru you now just don’t know what to do.

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Never fear sportsfans, because old slightly sexy Arch is here to save the day, and your bacon with it. Yes that’s right readers, the mad scientist has the answer to all your financial woes, and the first step is to get your hands off the ‘submit now’ Bpay button and say bugger those bastards from Optus, if they’re not answering, I’m not paying.

You’ll be amazed how liberating it is, and suddenly you’ll find that you have a long forgotten spring in your step, and to keep the feeling of ecstasy going you’ll be saying out loud ‘Archie, what do I do next?’

Well punters and princesses, the answer is so simple that even poor old Simon will understand it.

You grab the credit card that you were going to overdraw to pay the Optus bill, rush down to the ATM, push withdraw,’credit card’, and no receipt – depression is not part of this game – and max the plastic out for all you can. Don’t forget to have a second crack to see if you can get a bit more juice out of the lemon, ‘cos sometimes the bank’s computers are down or a bit slow and so in for a penny, in for a pound, what’s the difference between being in the hole 2 grand and over the odds a hundred, and being in for 2 grand and an extra couple of hunge?

Bugger all, that’s what, and anyway you’re only 60 odd hours from getting it back in spades and rolling in a whole lot more besides, because after the double dip at the ATM you’re off straight to the TAB, and marking a Saturday bet card ‘MELBOURNE RACE 7, NUMBER 1’ and plonking everything in your pocket on it, along with all that you’ve managed to beg, borrow and steal on your way down to TAB.

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And now your future rests in the hooves of the fastest horse in the country, who just so happens to be the best looking too, and you’ve got odds of $2.70 marked on your ticket for every saved, stolen or borrowed dollar you’ve scraped up so that you can follow Archie’s impeachable advice, and at about ten past four on Saturday arvo you’ll be lining up to collect a return on your investment that’s the equivalent of about 40 years average interest compounded, and the smile on your face will be wider than the Sydney Harbour.

Then when the Optus debt collectors ring before the alarm goes off on Monday morning, rather than huddle up under the pillows in dreaded fear and despar, you can instead ask ’em to push 7 if they wanna talk to astute punters with outstanding accounts, then bung on a Filipino version of an Aussie accent and tell them that due to large call volumes there will be a slight wait to talk to a debtor service officer, whack em on imaginary hold listening to Abba’s ‘Money, Money, Money’ on rotation on your Ipod that you’ve positioned right in front of the handset, and duck back under the covers laughing your guts out as you head back to the Land of Nod.

When you wake up a few hours later don’t forget to tell the Optus rep who’s been hanging on to the other end of line that you’ve reviewed their issue, but need to take further advice, and will call them back. Which of course you never will and never do, because what goes around comes around and one good deed deserves another.

The thought of which reminds you how Archie’s benevolence,  and his hot Chautauqua tip that got you out of the sh*t, should be rewarded. So you hop out of the sack, jump on the net and send me an email asking for my bank details, and Bob;s your uncle, and everyone’s a winner, and the whole world’s apples, and Optus are still hanging around waiting for your return call but in the interim you’ve switched suppliers, and life’s all of a sudden an absolute cracker, a Chautauqua in fact, and don’t you worry about that.

Be smart – take the tip and get on.

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