Item: CNN's Larry King, the former USA Today Beat poet and godfather of Twitter, has a new memoir dropping. Today's excerpt, in which a down-and-out Larry hits the racetrack, is as awesome as you'd expect.
From My Remarkable Journey:
Things got bleaker and bleaker. I became a recluse. By late May, I was down to forty-two dollars. My rent was paid only until the end of the month. I locked myself in my apartment wondering how bad things could possibly get. Pretty soon I wouldn't even be able to afford cigarettes. I remembered a night when I was a young man in New York, alone, cold, and without cigarettes or the money to buy them — I had smashed open a vending machine to get a pack.
A friend called up and told me to start living like a human being again. He invited me to the track. I had nothing better to do, and I figured it would be good therapy to get out and have lunch with a friend and watch the horses come down the stretch.
I'll never forget that day. I put on a Pierre Cardin jeans outfit that had no pockets and drove to Calder Race Course. I can still see the horses warming up before the third race. There was a horse called Lady Forli — a filly running against males.
Normally, female horses don't beat males. We're talking cheap horses. I scanned the board and saw that she was 70-1. But my eyes really opened when I looked at the racing form. Racetrack people talk to each other. So I turned to the guy next to me and said, "You know, this horse, three races back, won in more or less the same company. Why is she 70-1?"
My birthday is November 19. Lady Forli was number 11. So I bet 11 to win, 1 to place, and 9 to show.
They broke out of the gate. The 1 broke on top, the 9 ran second, and the 11 came out third. The 11 passed the 9, passed the 1, and they ran in a straight line all around the track. There was no question about it. The 11 won by five lengths. The 1 was three lengths ahead of the 9. I had every winning ticket. I had it to win. I had the exacta. I had the trifecta. I collected nearly eight thousand dollars. Eight thousand dollars!
I paid my child support for the next year. I paid my rent for a year. I bought twenty cartons of cigarettes and stacked them up in my apartment, and I filled the refrigerator.
He's basically Charles Bukowski, if Charles Bukowski looked like a gargoyle in suspenders.
Also, no joke: Larry King really does have a Twitter: "What ever happened to galoshes?"; "in baseball... why 4 balls and 3 strikes??"; "why do some baseball players leave the brims of their hats flat?" He's back!