Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sortez Vos Nénés Pour Les Mecs ...

After berating the use of TV screens in cafés and bars (see below: Changing The Guard), I'm a fraud, a charlatan, a double-dealer, a fake, a phony and more importantly, a horse trader.

When I sat down and wrote my last, containing the racing channel Equida, I had no idea of what I was saying. I had, quite wrongly, assumed that the PMUs of this country were full of last-chancers, an exclusive club of sad individuals, betting their hard-earned state-funded unemployment benefit on nothing but 3-legged limping tins of cat food. For writing such utter tosh, I solemnly give an unmitigated apology to all concerned because, as of this morning, I know exactly why the Equida channel is quite so popular.

And it has naff all to do with horses ... evil creatures.

The sun has yet to stretch a primary ray, and as a moth to a lightbulb, a collection of weather-beaten and badly-dressed Gaullists flood into theses betting cafés, ready to pour over the day's racing cards and pour down an early morning tipple. A little before 8 this morning, I found myself among them, hot strong caffeine in hand and listening to their colourful banter. It was at this self-same time that I happened upon the TV screen in the top corner. My pulse quickened, my brain drained of blood as a sudden rush of emotion overtook me - a sensation of fakery and false accusation. I had mislead readers to this blog and, more importantly, insulted thousands who crave escapism in PMUs across the whole country.

The reason these PMUs are so full of a morning is for 1 (possibly 2) reasons: Amanda McLane.

McLane is one of the presenters of Equida's early morning shows. When she appears, PMUs country-wide, fall silent. Betting cards are discarded and all bets are off as keen eyes are focused on two hot favourites.

Born in Germany and raised in New York, Ms McLane has become one of the most popular presenters among France's sporting community. Along with her husband and two children, she has been resident here since the early 90's. She started out as a singer/dancer in the theatre and, apparently, her rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (oh and in that nightie-type thing please!) has to be seen to be believed. It wasn't until she arrived in France did her television career take off.

The dribbling assembly in the PMU gaze up at the screen with total adoration. No-one speaks. No-one breathes. No-one can. The last time a German stunned the French into paying such attention was on May 10th 1940.

Well, I've had a quiet word with a chap who works at the stables. He says that you'd have to be blinkered to miss out on such a broodmare. The going's firm and today's daily double is under wraps - a joint favourite, slightly putting up overweight.

I'll have a tenner each-way ... thank you Amanda. I now understand the racing term 'Morning Glory'.

Stu

Note: If anyone feels that this post is in any way sexist, tough.

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