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The camel-coated brigade
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Old Dogs and New Tricks

There I was, lying in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering about some of the things that puzzle me from time to time. You know the kind of thing I mean, why is the fluff in your navel always blue, why does the loony on a bus always sit next to me, and why do I tell myself that I'm set in my ways when the exact opposite is the case?

The old saying that you 'can't teach an old dog new tricks' is about as far away from the truth as it's possible to be when we consider the explosion in online sports betting.

How many of us have had to learn what amounts to a completely new language just so that we can understand the terminology used on the internet?

How many of us have come to know the tongue-twisting names of sporting competitors from far-off exotic places just as if we'd grown up with them?

And on the home front, how many of us have had to alter the daily pattern of our lives so that we can follow the fortunes of a contest from the other side of the world and the resulting time-difference from our native clock?

Without really realising it, each of us has had to come to terms with a technology and way of doing things that simply wasn't possible a decade ago. We have learned new words and sayings and introduced them into our daily lives without so much as a backwards glance, and yet some of us are supposed to be so ancient we haven't got the ability never mind the desire to do this.

Over the past few years, us old codgers who for years were stuck with a football coupon that allowed a minimum of a fivefold when a home team was included, have had our eyes opened to the fantastic opportunities presented by being able to bet singles.

We no longer have to suffer the 'take it or leave it' attitude from our local bookie thanks to the huge variety of choice offered by the online bookies. In fact, how many of us now call them Camels as a shortening of that marvelous phrase 'the camel-coated brigade'?

We no longer "lift a few pounds" from them, but "plunder mercilessly" and then offer thanks to the Grand PooBah of Punters when we triumph in the face of adversity, and collect our winnings by wheelbarrow.

We've all had to come to understand the way the banking system works to place our bets and withdraw our winnings, although in effect nothing much has changed there. The rotten swines still hold on to our cash "in transit" for longer than is necessary, but we've all come to know those Camels who seem to manage to cough up quicker than others.

 
 

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Each and every one of us has built a list of favourite websites to visit, and we've all built a list of favourite online gaming websites to visit, and have come to rely on them for information and results as we await the outcome of a bet.

Each of us has come to know as friends many of the fellow puntmeisters we encounter, and we have come to respect and trust the judgement of many.

We communicate with people on the other side of the world with ease, and we share snippets of our lives with them as easily as flipping the TV remote control over.

We have all had our eyes opened to a new way of approaching sports betting by applying a discipline that most of us had never considered before, and we've all marveled at the manner in which complete strangers are willing to offer help and guidance.

I have absolutely no idea why I have mentioned all of this other than the fact that I was thinking about it. It could be that I myself have come to realise that by sounding off a few thoughts other people will offer theirs, and a few more nuggets are added to the common knowledge pool.

Meanwhile, I'm off to London next week, and what's the betting that the loony on the train sits next to me?

JJ 

 
 
 

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