How The Grinch Stole Racing

Every Bettor down in Bet-Ville liked the racetrack a lot; but the Grinch, just North of Bet-ville, oh no, he DID NOT!

He stood there with a grimace and a snarl on his face; he looked at the Bettors and called them 'a disgrace'.

“I must force them all to just leave me to be, so I can finally shut the doors and throw away the key!

“I’ll watch the pretty horses and train them to pace; but those Bettors, oh those Bettors, get away from my race!

“With their figuring and biggering and messy program scrunching, with their deciding and devising and their tickets always punching.

“And the noise, oh the noise, I can’t deal with the noise! They’re the lewdest and the crudest, like loud little boys.

“I'll teach them a lesson and kick them out the door; I'll let them play poker and spend their pennies offshore.”

So over to the stands the Grinch made his move, for tonight of all nights he had something to prove.

He slithered and slunk as he roamed through the track, while he gathered up items in his brown paper sack.

“Fewer TVs!” He grinned and he hissed. “No program sellers. They won’t be missed!

“Send home the staff at quarter to nine; tell the bar servers to cork up the wine!

“If they want pencils, charge them a fee; find the best horses, retire them at three!

“No fun between races! No contests! No games! No customer service! No smiles, and no names!

“And the takeout! The takeout! Jack it to the moon! And don’t open betting 'til well after noon!”

Then he slunk to the dining room, where he took the night’s feast. He took the white-pudding! He took the roast beast!

He cleaned out that grandstand as quick as a flash; he shut down the tote before they could cash!

Then he grabbed all the slot money, into his pockets with glee. “NOW, NOW!” Grinned the Grinch, “parking and admission are still free! And the Grinch took the uncashed tickets, and he started to flee.

“Oh, the joy I will get when I hear them all go. The thrill it will be to get rid of this show!

So the Grinch hid in a spot at the back of the track, to wait for the groans and see the last player’s back.

“They’re finding out now that no rebates are coming! They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do. Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, then all the Bettors in Bet-ville will cry out BOO-HOO!

“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “that I simply must hear!” So he paused, and the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising up from the crowd. And it was really quite loud. It was really QUITE LOUD!

But what the Grinch saw next in Bet-ville was not what he thought; none of them were leaving -- they were barely distraught!

Every Bettor down in Bet-ville, the tall and the small, were betting! Without any courtesy at all!

He HADN’T stopped Bettors from coming! THEY CAME! Somehow or other, they came just the same!

They came without free coffee! They came without stars! They came without discounts, services or bars!

They used broken escalators and stepped over the dirt! They came despite a lifetime of losing their shirt!

So he puzzled three hours, ‘til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

“Maybe Bettors,” he thought, “really want to support. Maybe racing... perhaps... is a little more than a sport!”

And what happened then? Well, in Bet-ville they say, that the Grinch learned something called 'fun' on that very day!

And he lowered the takeout, and programs were free; he gave out the pencils and bought a big screen TV.

He called back the tellers. And rebuilt the show! And then he... HE HIMSELF...! Bet two dollars to show!

Darryl Kaplan
[email protected]

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