THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND
The first in a series of four monthly betting fables and cautionary tales penned by the Betting School’s own Agony Uncle, Gary Boswell aka The Boz. All stories are taken from observations of daily life as a betting school correspondent, service tipster and forum contributor and are underpinned with an emphasis on learning and betting good practice. If you are sitting comfortably,let us begin……
In the Country of the Blind, the one eyed man is king – (HG Wells)
It was the king who espoused the wisdom regarding gambling. A one eyed king who said “ You gotta know when it is that you are flogging a dead horse”.
Like the King with no clothes in another fable, the one eyed king initially got laughed at. He had done his bank following a tipster who was famed for regularly conjuring up big price winners. But then suddenly couldn’t find a winner to save his life! Familiar story?
One that gets repeated over and over in the gambling world. The king had done his conkers (alongside all his subjects) following blind the advice of the tipster who could do no wrong. The tipster the king himself had followed. And recommended to all his subjects as their path to wealth,prosperity and thus happiness. So it was that when the pockets and the banks of the country of the blind were all empty, the king took responsibility – as kings should – and urged his subjects to consider stop following the tipster. And said his wise words “ You gotta know when it is that you are flogging a dead horse “. His subjects laughed at him. “ We are the country of the blind. We have faith that our tipster will return to his former glories. We will continue to follow him even though we have no money left. We will borrow what we need.”
Thus they ignored the wisdom of their king.
Lucky for them,the tipster meanwhile got to hear of this. He was, after all, a citizen of the country of the blind and had for years understood that his talents as a tipster were being given heavy expectation value. He was unconditionally and solely responsible for the wealth,prosperity and consequent happiness of all his fellow countrymen and women. No pressure there then for him to keep on coming up with the goods!
The tipster didn’t know why his regular flow of winners had dried up. The whole thing had not been rooted in science although there were certainly several scientific aspects to his winner finding methods. Ultimately though, the winners came in when they wanted to and not when he wanted them to. He put plenty of possibles out there on the law of averages theory. “If I put enough tips up that have a scientific chance of winning, some of them are sure to do it.” And so they did. For many years.
And then he went through an extended period when this did not happen which had already started to get him questioning what was going on before the king came out with his flogging a dead horse advice. The tipster considered that advice unhelpful. He felt he needed to get to understand why he had been able to predict winners for so long and now suddenly couldn’t. He was sure he was not a dead horse. He didn’t feel like a dead horse!
He turned to the elders of the country of the blind for advice. The fact that they had been following his tips but didn’t seem to have lost their conkers troubled him.
“ How come your pockets aren’t empty?” asked the tipster.
“ The king is wise “ replied the elders “ but he doesn’t know much about gambling.And he has one eye. He is not truly blind. You must be truly blind in order to acquire the wisdom of living in the country of the blind. We are citizens of the country but we have lived here long and survived many kings. We learned many years ago what it was to be blind and how best to survive it.”
“ Do you also know why I have suddenly stopped picking winners ?” asked the tipster.
“ You have not stopped picking winners “ replied the elders. “ How else do you think we, who follow your tips, do not have empty pockets.”
The tipster waited for more but the elders stayed silent. The tipster thought about what they said. “ So not everybody has done their conkers. How come? “ he asked after a while. But the elders didn’t leap forth with an answer. They simply smiled and after a lengthy pause during which the tipster thought maybe nothing more was forthcoming, they added:
“ Perhaps you need to look at your own blindness and remember that not all is as it is seen. Learning to live with blindness is about seeing yourself as not blind. There are other ways, other senses that enable us to survive. You have been burdened with an unrealistic expectation of a people. An expectation bolstered by a one eyed king who acted in good faith but allowed his one eye to prejudice what he saw. If you look into and at yourself, you will find what he has missed and what you yourself do not yet understand. That there is more to life than seeing. “
The elders parted with a few final words.
“ we shall carry on following your tips the way we always have, fully confident that your talent still flourishes and that the more you understand it yourself, the greater that talent will become.”
The first thing the tipster realised after the elders had departed was that he hadn’t done his conkers himself. How was that possible when the tips had all been losing?
Except that the elders said the tips hadn’t all been losing.They were right about that too. It just seemed like they had. Too many losers for too long feels like you can’t pick a winner to save your life.
“ And yet I’m not dead and I haven’t done my conkers.” With that thought, so started the tipster’s path to recovery. Very soon he was back to regular winners and the blind faithful were hoisting him once more upon their shoulders.
“ How have you mended yourself? “ asked the blind faithful.
“ I stopped looking for how it was that I could pick winners. “ said the tipster “ accepted that I could and that it had never stopped. The elders showed me it was so.They followed me but had not lost their conkers. Nor had I.”
The blind faithful, who were now busy paying back interest on their borrowings from all the winnings they were once again amassing, looked aghast.
“What do you mean, you never lost your conkers? How come. Were you following different tips to us?”
“ No “ replied the tipster. “ I am a citizen of the country of the blind and the years are passing now more speedily than I can tell you. I am getting older. The tips I give you now will be no different to those of the past. But nor will they be the same. I am getting older.I thought I would be young forever but….. “
And with that the tipster turned and went back to doing every day what he did not understand. He did feel, however, not quite so blind as he once had.
© GARY BOSWELL 2019
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