Merry Christmas, dear hearts! I hope your day is splendid and is filled with the joy of the Season.

Sir is a tad jaded I would have to say. Not that we exchange gifts at Christmas, both of us finding that one birthday apiece is more than enough in the angst-department when it comes to choosing the perfect present for each other.

However, he did have a wish for Christmas which sadly I was unable to fulfill.

Let me take you on a brief historical trip.

Back in the í80s, Missouri decided it would be a positively spiffing idea to have horse racing in the State, and so went into full legislative mode in order to achieve this goal. Typical of legislative processes, it managed to get pretty much everything in order, including an Act which banned any form of gambling on the gee-gees unless it was done at the racecourse.

Well, meanwhile, Kansas obviously got wind of this and so without too much bother enacted not only horse but dog racing as well, and so The Woodlands came into being.

This left Missouri a tad red faced as they had everything in place, except for the race track, and so the plan was abandoned.

Enter Sir. Being blessed with the gift of the gab, he convinced the local radio station that he was just the man to have as their on-air representative and had a Saturday morning show devoted to Woodlands type happenings.

Enter the casinos. Upon their arrival, it became evident that The Woodlands management had too many dollar signs in its eyes, and the patrons, tired of being gouged for parking, racing sheets, food, air, the right to have a mole on the left arm, and wanting to keep their first born children, left en masse to spent their entertainment dollars at the boats. Exit Sir from the radio station.

Enter on-line horse betting. Sir was tickled pink. He was able to bet online, get a tip sheet, and watch the races on his computer. Enter the State of Missouri, which closed down all online betting in this state, owing to its far seeing legislation noted above. So, Sir couldnít bet online because it was only legal to bet at the non-existent race track.

Enter a long time horse racing friend who had an account in Colorado, and encouraged Sir to have a little flutter on her account. Enter AT&T UVerse TV with a racing channel, and Sir was back to being thrilled again.

You know whatís coming donít you? Thatís right, AT&T decided to drop the racing channel, so Sir is left back where he started.

Listen troops Ė can you stop putting coal in Sirís Christmas stocking? Heís feeling very hardly done by and is threatening to pout.

Annie Dear lives in Leeís Summit. Email her at