Jore the bookmaker

This stocky man made all his colleagues jealous, so much so that he received threatening letters, was insulted in public, etc. as, quite plainly, his runners were always winning. How was this possible? He seemed able to accurately predict the number of moves an athlete was likely to make in a lifetime, placing him as a result in the best position to win when the time came. Energy, rest, endurance, effort, Jore could read all these skills in an individual in one single (rather pricey) session.

As a result, and to exploit his technical advantage over his colleagues, he embarked on a far more lucrative endeavour than betting on runners. He betted on the end of their lives. He knew perfectly well how far a runner could go, and once this limit was passed, perhaps aided by some substance of his own devising, just after the finishing line, the athlete reeled, thrashing about furiously, twisting in the sand, tearing off his vest, let loose a final scream, and fell, doubled over, fingers twisted, head first.

Many would have gone bankrupt to see this unique moment; the athlete placed feet up, to boos from the audience. This was indeed a dangerous game for Jore, since he might be accused of murder, and the runners themselves were a touch apprehensive at the notion of joining his stable. But what are such old lady's precautions when glory itself is on offer, naked on a platter? Thanks to a few subtle, financially barely compromising failures, spread out here and there, Jore managed to eliminate the growing mistrust towards him. On the other hand, in his very exclusive club at 8, rue Volta, one could bet astronomical amounts, or one's grandmother, or anything that might strike Jore's fancy, on the fall of such and such a world class runner, female jumper, shouter, eater.

Audiences therefore came to witness this extraordinary exploit, not to watch an athlete win a race, a banal and incessantly repeated experience, but to see what happened right afterwards, would he fall? Turn blue? Freeze in mid-race? Empty himself out by all his orifices? The crowd then rejoiced and Jore the bookmaker was called, arriving to great cheering from the crowd, in his ineffable cream suit and wide-brimmed hat, raising the arm of the defeated winner, and discretely slipping the trophy into his large yawning pocket.


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