For those of you unfamiliar with Christchurch, The New Zealand Trotting Cup, held at Addington Raceway, is one of ‘the’ social occasions in the local calendar.
It’s fair to say Cup-Day is an institution, in these parts.
The same crew and I, go every year, and we always frequent the less-desirable area of Addington – the public bar under the main grandstand, because it saves us getting dressed-up, and the beer is cheaper.
Amongst the guys (females are banned!) there are a couple of horse-owners, shareholders in ‘a nag’.
One of these shareholders in our group, has an interesting partner in his syndicate, he’s a Catholic Priest.
This priest normally don’s his civilian attire and appears at our drunken table to say hello and chat about the races, he’s not a permanent fixture, but someone we catch up-with on the day.
Now this is hardly the environment, one would expect to encounter, deep and meaningful philosophical discussions.
This is ribald, drunken de-evoluted men at play (only clothing distinguishes us from chimps)
Last year one of the newer lads, upon finding-out the priests profession, said to him “I didn’t think you lot were allowed to gamble?”
His reply forms the basis of this blog.
“Priests are the biggest gamblers in the world”.
Now at the time, this one passed right over my head, due to inebriation.
On reflection, it was a very profound, philosophical answer, given it was off the cuff, and the circumstances were hardly the debating chamber at Oxford.
When you think about it, Priests and others in the service of God are the biggest gamblers in the world.
They are gambling with their life-spans as well as their sex lives (clearly this is important!) – that their reward will come in the next life.
They hold in their hands a betting slip that is ‘all on the nose of one horse’.
What happens if they backed the wrong horse?
A sort of Pascal’s Wager in reverse.