It was 8 in the morning and Walter Westidex was excatly on time as usual to open up. It was the smallest bookies in town but it was his life. He had invested all his Insurance Claims money into it and it would allow him to be his own boss and earn him enough to feed, clothe and shelter his wife and kids.
The only thing was that he was still single and at 48 and stuck in his ways, things were unlikely to change. The only sexual experience he got these days was a fleeting glimpse of the lapdancers as the arrived at the strip club next door. For most men that was not enough, but Walter was not like most men.
The nearest he had to a family was the dreamers, drinkers, lost souls, unemployed and immigrants that frequented his place of business. His odds were notoriosly mean, even more so for foreign nationals. Many a time a darker skinned gambler placed a bet at 10/1 only to see 5/6 on written on the betting slip, but many did not even bother to check.
Strangely the place was always crowded because Westie did not care too much if people just came in to watch a match or race. Perhaps his soul was not as filled with darkness and hate as his parents had thought. A gregarious loner he seemed to like the hubbub of chat around the place even if he didnt really want to get involved himself.
Of course no one would ever know of his secret life before he joined the compensation culture.
He had been a superb chef, capable of turning the most banal of foods into a delifghtful treat. Through a series of successes he ended up being the chef to the Canadian Olympic team at Seoul 1988. But one incident blighted his life. While boiling an egg for the sprinter Ben Johnson he took one of his 'happy pills' but unbeknownst to him a couple slipped from the container into the saucepan and the already cracked egg was tainted with the dissolved pills.
Ben enjoyed his egg, thanked Walter and said his goodbyes before he left for the 100m final..........