Happy New Year little beanie!
How lucky a punter are you little mate?
Your first Magic Millions in a fortnight, the Lightning and Newmarket and Australian Cup within 3 months, on to the TJ, the Slipper and the Derby a few weeks later, then the Easter Cup and the Sunshine Sprint and the Straddie and the Doomben Cup and when that song ends its straight into the Origin series and before Cam even lifts the shield it’ll be your birthday, and the plan is to have a beach party down at Eagle Farm where the course proper used to be, and a swim in the stables if it rains.
How bloody good is that my little sunshine and light?
“What’s that Beanie? Maggie! He just said his first words!”
The sound of a scream is heard from the scullery and then Maggie comes running into the room with a grin the size of the water truck on her dial ….
“What did he say Archie? Was it Mama? Poppa? Dog? Cat? Poo?”
“Nah, none of the above luv” I say, my own grin stretching to second largest little used TV screen in the Southern Hemisphere size.
“What he said was ‘It’s not really the Ten Thousand anymore since that bouffanted clown Nifty Nev dropped it back to 1200m, its more just another BRC Cup only with bigger prizemoney. And whats my carnival really worth if I can sit in the old wood stand at the Farm and watch the horses fly around the farm like Mr Kingsford-Smith Pop?”
“What was that stupid Bell boofhead thinking?”
Now that the lad had hit the seven month mark and was talking it was time to break some hard truths to him.
“Nifty Nev doesn’t think son. He’s a just mad Santa impersonator carrying a big sack full of other peoples toys and money that he intends to give away to the first cashed up company he can find that has an official policy of re-gifting a percentage of the presents and offer to build a silver statue of Sky Heights at no cost in the master bedroom of his new penthouse at headquarters featuring the Mirvac embossed gold threaded carpet and the Hannibal Lecter designed hand made strap-in Starling-skin recliner riveted in so the sitter has a perfect straight view of the big big big big screen playing a replay of the 1999 Cup on an around the clock constant loop”
“He should have just jacked it up for his missus to announce on Cup Eve that the race had been shortened to 2400 metres Pop, just like he snipped 3/4 of a furlong off the Ten Thousand to make it the Nine Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty so that the the sleigh carting reindeer sprinters that don’t stay the 1350m could have a chance to win too”.
He’s a real fast learner that lad.
The seed doesn’t fall far from the Butterfly tree Sportsfans, don’t you worry about that.
“Maggie! Beanie just said he wants his Grandma to come and change his nappy. He says he wants you to meet his jockey hero Edgar Britt”.
The old man and the child turn toward each other and in the same instant, as if their movements have been synchronised, the master and his apprentice simultaneously touch their noses with their right forefinger and wink. It is uncanny.
Hearing the sound of approaching footsteps the sharpest 28-week-old kid on the track springs up and out of his high chair and in a promising sign of future Olympic Glory he hop, skips and jumps straight into his grandfather’s arms, and lays his head against the luckless but beloved aging stallion’s shoulder and without a word or a whisper the happiest pair up the road from Hendra close their eyes and and feign sleep.
There is washing up to be done, and both the little and big man know it, but the baby’s bedtime is fast approaching and there are still four races worth of form in each state to be done, and these birds were borne to earth on a single feather.
The pitter patter of an awful pretty sweet girl the boy calls Mama’s footsteps stop, and Maggie quietly steps in the room to find the punter and his pint sized protege fake snoring softly in each others arms and pretending that they’ve just fallen to sleep.
Both know that they have forgotten to hide the Best Bets that is sitting in clear view propped up at 7-month-old eye height against Big Ted in the Bassinet, but the mutual realisation had come all too late for them to lean over and whisk the Bible under the blankets and so like gamblers the world over they take the odds to nothing and don’t move or talk or blink.
Maggie smiles and says lovingly aloud, as if to herself, the words ‘my beautiful boys.’ The much loved Matriarch bends down, kisses each of them tenderly on the brow, and whispers “Sleep tight my big and little men. Mama will do the washing up tonight”, then turns, exits the room and pads off softly down the hall.
As they hear the sound of her footsteps recede the thick as thieves pair of punters-in-crime turn, smile and say to each other in unison “We got her that time!”.
The sound of laughter drifts down the silent hall way and a familiar voice booms out of the darkness at the edge of the room and what it says is this:
“Nice try fools. Look down”.
They do, and there piled knee deep on the floor before them like magic rabbits pulled from a magician’s assistant’s palm are the unwashed cups, crockery and dishes from the Sunday evening roast and five vegetable meal.
“It’s bed time in 15 minutes my favourite big and little suckers! You’d better hurry your bums up and speed to the kitchen sink if you intend to get any form done under lights tonight”
Like a soprano and a bass in a well polished duet performance the males of the Geebung Butterfly genus sing back as one “I’ve got to go to the toilet first”, but mere seconds later the duos shared hope has turned to sheer despair, for the Best Bets they have at the same time lunged for is no longer there.
Loud peals of laughter are heard from the Xbox Ladies Lounge, accompanied by the plaintive self-defensive squeals issued by flying dragons who are looking down the barrel of Maggie’s controller-gun and know for sure that they are facing their doom.
The shadows of the condemned men flicker and the dirty washing up they carry in their arms flicker against the wall as the forelorn and now form-less duo trudge slowly by with sulken steps. Their eyes turn to the big screen as they pass, and as they do suddenly and without any forewarning Maggie vertically leaps seven feet in the air from a sitting position and spins 360% with her swords and scythes flailing, and in less than a second the unattached head of the last living but now stone dead flying dragons goes flying by, and the genial grandmother with the secret lust for gratuitous violence turns and stares straight into the eyes of the large/small pair bolted frozen to the floor in dumbstruck horror.
She smiles a smile so sweet that it would make angels cry and says in a soft voice “What are you hanging around for? Are you waiting to be next?” and seemingly without the woman having moved there is a razor sharp curved sword hanging perilously just centimetres above the older man’s head, and attached to the hilt of the weapon of Mama destruction are Maggie’s pair of pretty lethal hands.
The sadist flexes her wrist muscles and smiles.
One and a half men posing as a baby disappear to the soundtrack of earth’s core deep screams. Water can be heard running from a tap in the kitchen, or maybe two. The opening bars of Waltzing Matilda waft through the air, and peace settles over the land as the last breeze of a busy bonza year blows 2017 out the Polo Club door.
A bell chimes out in the distance and then the sound of laughter, fireworks and simple joy sing out all over the streets of Vegas, and a brand new year begins.
A tired little boy whispers “Will you come a Waltzing Matilda with me Pop?”
An old man’s heart floods with love so deep that for a moment he feels as if he’s drowning.
“Always mate, always’ the man whispers as he softly puts his hand to the fast-falling to sleep little him’s cheek. “Pop will forever Waltz his Matilda with you”.
Happy New Year Beanie.
Thanks for coming into the world little mate.
You’ve changed mine and Mama’s forever.