Tuesday, 25 April 2017

My scarf is IN

Back in 2010, the bookies discovered social media. They gave away so many free bets that, for a few months, I had a nice little side hustle in free gambling. By no means did I make a fortune, but I did take sufficient money from one company that they flagged me as The Wrong Kind of Customer and effectively barred me from placing any more bets.

This was especially disappointing as these guys ran loads more competitions than any of the other bookies, with the result that, on top of the free bets, I’d also won branded hoodies, poker chips, playing cards and a polo shirt. Without doubt, I was having a ball (literally - it was a rugby ball).

The merchandise was great, but there was icing on the cake too: I accumulated something like £200 of credit at a store specialising in soccer apparel, both modern and retro. This explains how I ended up with, among other things, an Atlanta Chiefs jersey that is every bit as flammable as its 1981 counterpart and an exquisite replica of Zaire’s 1974 World Cup strip that I’m no longer able to wear since becoming a biscuit shovelling snack beaver (yes, I do blame the children).

The credit came in the form of gift vouchers, so it was a case of use it or lose it. And being the sort of person who wouldn’t buy so much as a cheese straw without first checking in to Quidco, there was no way I was going to fill my basket with big stuff and then let the chump change slip through my fingers.

Goodness knows how long I spent trawling through the bin-ends, most likely with spreadsheet and calculator to hand, but eventually I found a scarf and a couple of keyrings to round out the order. I possibly had to write off as much as seven pence worth of prize money, but somehow I summoned the inner strength to stomach such egregious waste.

Keyrings, of course, are both subtle and useful, and they began to earn their keep almost as soon as my prize parcel arrived. Football scarves, by contrast, are bluntly ostentatious statements of tribal identity, and - when they deviate from the designated colour scheme - arguably iffy in one-horse towns.

That’s not to say that the fine citizens of Norwich would have given me a good pitchforking had I openly allied myself with Paraguay, but I was certainly unsure whether wearing said scarf would actually have been cricket. To this end, it sank to the bottom of the winter accessories box, where it lay, cruelly neglected, for the next few years.
You can, therefore, imagine my excitement when I read - in the Guardian, no less - that football scarves are presently a la mode. My scarf is now out of the box, around my neck, and officially holding my wardrobe together.

With hindsight, you might say that the scarf represents a watershed. Certainly, it was after this prize bundle that I started thinking that winning stuff was a highly agreeable experience, and that maybe I should look into making it a more regular event. If nothing else, I’m going to treat it with more respect from now on: it’s not just an accessory - it’s the symbol of the moment I decided to be more lucky!

What got you into comping? Did you win a prize and decide you wanted more, or did you just wake up one day and decide to be lucky? What prizes contributed most to making you the comper you are today? Do you still have your first prize? Let me know in the comments...

PS: I meant to post this the other week. I’ve a strong suspicion football scarves are OUT again.

No comments:

Post a Comment