Tag Archives: gambling

And now, for the latest forecast, we go over to The Croak Club …

Have you noticed that no-one famous has died recently?

Looks like they all got it out of their system earlier this year. It’s probably just a statistical quirk, of course, and no doubt some boffin will appear on the BBC News sooner or later to explain the sudden drop in celebrity clog-popping. Then again, maybe it’s the calm before the storm …

Typical of the media, of course, when noteworthy passings-away keep happening, they’re all over it, boring us to death (well, not literally, of course) with the latest superstar’s demise. And you do get the feeling the newscasters love all that drama; the chance to break away from Brexit or the migrants problem.

With older celebs, we all know that everything’s pre-recorded, all ready to put in the machine like a microwave meal. You can imagine the phone calls: “Hello Bryan – could you reach me down that tape on XXXX XXXXXXX – they’ve just copped it and I need it for the one o’clock. Thanks, mate”. Then out comes one of those annoying tape loops showing the newly-deceased walking out of theirfathertime home, being interviewed at a film festival, appearing on stage, walking out of their home, being interviewed at a film festival, appearing on stage again … ad infinitum.

But it’s becoming clear that to achieve real superstardom, when one shuffles off this mortal coil, is almost as dependent on the date on which you die as it is on the body of work you leave behind. Your departure really does need to hit the headlines amidst a scything-down of even more famous current goners. That way you can bathe in the reflected glory of their fame and have your memory positioned alongside those of notables who ranked somewhat higher up the pecking order of distinguished personalities.

Chances are that someone famous will die just before I post this onto my site. Obviously it’s all a bit unpredictable and, I must confess, these musings may be somewhat tasteless. And I will own up to the fact that I did feel betting on who would be the next celeb. to kick the bucket was not that gentlemanly a thing to do. The monthly meetings of The Croak Club, back in my days at ad. agencies in a rather unreputable pub in the West End, would see the distribution of winnings amongst punters who’d sometimes bet large amounts on long-odds outsiders; whilst well-known names who were apparently at death’s door would recover and within weeks be starring in some long-running TV show or embarking on a death-defying mountain climb for charity. Don’t ask me about The Queen Mother

I know what you’re thinking: what’s the betting he has a heart attack later today after writing this? Well go on then, I’ll give you 7/2 – any takers?



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All Night Cards

The strangled room,

     silently suffocated by smoke and

     quietly acquiescent in the tar-stained sunlight,

     receives no rest this morn.

The squint-eyed squad,

     quietly confident, who choke on

     silently soothing menthol and tip,

     deceive the rest till dawn.

Tea-cups litter hearth and chair,

Cornflakes capture eyes that stare

And wish for sleep, for slumber pray.

Fools, who know it now, are stone-

And poker-faced, and watch, and moan,

As ash engulfs a groaning tray.

And still they play …



Copyright: Richard Fox 1967
All rights reserved

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