In recent weeks Your Say people have reminisced about the golden era of bookmakers. For me that was the 1970s and ’80s.
Pittsburgh Phil recalled half a dozen bookmakers by name.
I have fond memories at being at Flemington racecourse to hear that booming voice bellow out, “Ebadie, ebadie (I might have misspelled this — not sure it’s even a word), fives the field, each way the runners.”
I became so enamoured with his idiosyncratic chant that after a while I started impersonating him, particularly after having wet my whistle. Got some laughs from fellow punters, but sadly not from Mr Lancaster.
I also seem to recall former VFL ruckman Peter “Crackers” Keenan fielding at headquarters, and I gave him some cheek also.
Crackers at one stage was a part of the ABC sports comedy program Live And Sweaty so I would have thought he might have seen some humour in my heckling, but he looked at me like a stunned mullet.
Perhaps Mr Lancaster and Mr Keenan quickly figured out that I’m an unfunny cretin. They are astute men.
I’d like to think that I’m not a Luddite but not everything that changes is for the better. The demise of the bookmakers is but one example. Without them on the racetracks, the atmosphere is funereal.