Thursday, July 21, 2005

I got the horse right here...

Given, as I noted in this post, that no matter how far in cheek tongue is placed, there's always the chance of being taken seriously, I thought I should clarify something...

I'm showing my age, but the personality Iggy projects on G&P always reminds me of a character from one of my favorite writers, Damon Runyon.

My father had a liking for the horses, and I spent more time than my mother liked at tracks in Maine, New York, and California. As I was too young to bet (except when I could talk my Dad into putting a couple of bucks down for me), I also spent a lot of time hanging with the bookies, touts, and other general lowlifes that congregate wherever the Sport of Kings is being played out.

I loved `em. I loved their stories, I loved their shilling of whatever crackpot betting system each was flogging to the unwary and to the optimistic. I even loved them when one took my life savings - which I think was all of five bucks at the time - in three-card monte... and then showed me how he had done it. But he never gave me back my money, so I'd remember. And I do.

Most of all, they were a bunch of likeable conmen who make me smile when I think about them now. They might take your money, but they'd often make you laugh even when you both knew they were doing it. And they might stake you when you were broke, and might even buy a kid an ice cream cone every now and then. And if you were one of their own, they'd take care of you without a thought if you needed help.

Dour character that I can sometimes be, few things make me smile regularly anymore. Peg does, of course. Most of the kids in my extended family can; my niece in all but blood, Lizzie, did yesterday. My cats, Bob Dylan, the hawk J.D.s who are back at 8 Reeds Ferry Way are a few of the things that still make me regularly smile... and so does Guinness & Poker. In the Fred Universe, "likeable con artist," is a compliment.

Just thought I should clarify that. I mean, Iggy's got enough problems being a dwarf housewife.

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