THAT WIN­NING FEEL­ING

TO THE VIC­TOR BE­LONG THE SPOIL­ERS – INFORMER IS NOT LIKELY TO BE FIRST ACROSS THE FIN­ISH LINE, BUT HE’LL SAVOUR ANY WINS ALONG THE WAY

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND - WORDS: MICHAEL JA­COB­SON

To­mor­row Informer is tak­ing part in a 10km fun run, which is al­ready false ad­ver­tis­ing. It won’t be fun,

I’ll be walk­ing more than run­ning and it will be longer than 10km af­ter you add all the wob­bly de­tours I take as my body fails me like that marathon dude at the Comm Games.

I’m told par­tic­i­pa­tion alone is a kind of win­ning — Jes­sica Mauboy might de­bate that — which is in­ter­est­ing be­cause of late your rec­tan­gu­lar hero has been mus­ing upon the va­garies of vic­tory.

This was sparked by Mrs Informer who, de­jected af­ter yet an­other dud re­sult on our weekly lotto coupon, turned to me and asked: “Why don’t we ever win any­thing?”

“Money isn’t every­thing,” I coun­tered. “And re­mem­ber, you won me. You won the jack­pot of lu­u­u­ur­rrve.”

Af­ter she stopped be­ing sick, Mrs Informer ad­journed to her plot­ting nook in the back gar­den. As for me, I was left to pon­der how, at this stage of life and decades af­ter pu­berty, I’m still wait­ing for my balls to drop.

Not that Informer hasn’t en­joyed a few wins along the way. I once won a thou­sand cans of beer in a raf­fle. Good beer too, Boag’s from Tassie, none of your main­land swill.

The quandary was how best to re­con­fig­ure the fridge, a task made eas­ier once we’d chucked all the food out. Shame­fully, it took me and my two house­mates less than three weeks to drink the lot.

An­other time I won $1000, again in a raf­fle. The quandary then was what to spend it on. I bought beer be­cause, as pre­vi­ously noted, we’d recently drunk a thou­sand cans and didn’t have a drop left in the house.

There are purer forms of win­ning. These do not man­i­fest in prizes of a he­do­nis­tic bent, but in­stead pro­vide deeper re­wards. A vic­tory shared, for ex­am­ple, is in­cred­i­bly sweet. Like the Swans in 2005. What a win! My daugh­ter wrote the team song down the length of our drive­way in chalk. If win­ning had to have a feel­ing, I’d go with that feel­ing on that day.

Speak­ing of my daugh­ter, she and her brother were huge wins for the In­form­ers, although our cel­e­bra­tions came only af­ter all the panic, ter­ror and re­lief sur­round­ing their ar­rival. Both were born in the morn­ing so each time I got to eat Mrs Informer’s lav­ish pri­vate hos­pi­tal break­fast. Win­ner! Mind you, she might have kept the noise down.

It is said that once you get past a cer­tain age, ev­ery day is a vic­tory.

If you want to wit­ness the lie to that, come to the nurs­ing home and meet Informer’s mother. Some­times life is the gift that keeps on tak­ing.

So, if win­ning can be over­rated, it can also be over­stated.

And some­times win­ning is los­ing, es­pe­cially in song — Ev­ery­one’s a Win­ner ,by

Hot Choco­late; ABBA’s The Win­ner Takes it

All; Bette Mi­dler’s Win Be­neath May Wings, although I might have mis­heard that last one. No mat­ter, they all suck.

In clos­ing, the ques­tion re­mains: does win­ning re­ally mat­ter?

I’m still at a loss, so to speak, but maybe the an­swers will come in an epiphany dur­ing to­mor­row’s ath­letic ex­er­tions.

Whether win­ning, los­ing or just tak­ing part, most things work out in the long run.

“IT IS SAID THAT ONCE YOU GET PAST A CER­TAIN AGE, EV­ERY DAY IS A VIC­TORY.”

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