Tuesday, July 14, 2009
"Hey Yorky mate, are we playing anywhere on Thursday night?"
"Yeah Bob, I've got a Jazz gig at a bar on the North Shore, nine till twelve."
"Well good on ya, mate. That's on my side of Sydney. What time are you gonna pick me up?
"Probably about 8:15. The gigs not far from your place so there's not much use in getting there too early."
"Have you got any gigs for over Xmas yet?"
"No mate, I was thinking of having a few nights off."
"That would suit me fine. Mi mate, who plays in a three-piece, needs a piano player. The regular bloke is off to Tassie for the week with his old lady. She's been whinging about going down there for months."
"No worries Bob, I'm off up to Coffs Harbour for three or four days."
"Jesus mate, they grow some off the best Ganja this side off the black stump. How about bringing some of it back down to Sydney with ya?"
"I'm not a real connoisseur of Ganja Bob. I've only smoked it a few times, and I've never bought it before."
'It's real easy Yorky mate, you just hand over the bucks and they hand over the stuff, ya can't go wrong pal."
"How much does it sell for in Sydney?"
"Twice as much as you can get it up there for. You could make yourself a couple of easy bucks. It would pay for ya holiday."
"I don't know anyone down here who would buy it."
"Jesus mate, my mate Bernie will buy as much off it as you can get. He's stoned 24\7. He even smokes it in his sleep; besides it's in short supply down here, no one has any.Ya' can't go wrong sport."
"Well, you contact him and see what you can do. If it's as you say, I'll think about it."
"I'll give him a ring after the next break. How's that sound?"
"Sounds good to me Bob."
After the next set, Bob came back from the bar and handed me a beer and said,
"Here ya go, Yorky mate, get this into ya, I called mi mate and he said whatever the Ganja costs you he'll double ya money as long as it's good stuff."
"OK mate I'll see what I can do."
A week later I found myself heading out of Sydney in a Northeasterly direction towards Coffs Harbor. Once I got out of the northern suburbs, it was a very pleasant drive as the road, more or less, followed the coastline all the way up to Coffs. My old orange 78 Holden Station Wagon was purring along, and the sun was reflecting off of the ocean.
After about eight hours of driving, I hit the outskirts of Coffs. Coffs Harbor used to be a small coastal town. That was before the developers got their greedy claws into it. Now, from what I could see, they had ruined the place. I saw malls where small shops used to be, and big new houses where once stood good old Aussie Bush.
There's a familiar site, a large, colorful Windmill that some Old Dutch bloke had shipped out from Holland in pieces. The local people said he was homesick and that’s why he had it moved, thousands of miles, on a boat, to Coffs. Thinking about it, it might have been easier to go back to Holland for a bloody holiday. Once it was put back together, he turned the bottom section of it into a high-class restaurant, which looked quite unique.
I drove straight out of town, past, the Plantation Hotel and onwards to my mate Ken's place. On the right hand side of me was the beautiful Pacific Ocean and on the left was acres and acres of Banana Plantations. In Coffs, bananas grew all over the hillside. This scene was much more enjoyable to me than the over-developed township. After fifteen minutes more driving I was knocking on Kens' front door.
"Yorky Mate!" he said, as he opened the front door. "Good to see ya mate. Ya made it all right. How was the drive up?"
"Not bad mate." I said, as we shook hands. "I'm bloody glad to be out of Sydney for a while. Your old lady doesn't mind me hanging out with you for a few days does she?"
"No mate, she'll be glad to talk to another Pommy Bastard. She gets sick of talking to me every day, that’s when I'm not out wind-surfing, which is most of the time."
"Jesus Ken, you've got a great place here, right on the beach. You couldn’t get any closer if you tried mate."
"Only place for a life-long surfer to live Yorky. Mi daughter loves it too. She's like me. We can't keep her out of the water. Anyway, come in Yorky mate. It's too bloody warm standing on the doorstep."
A few hours later, after our socializing was done, Ken and I took off for a couple of cold middies at the local Hotel. Once we got situated in some comfortable chairs I introduced the subject of Ganja.
"Hey Ken, do you know anyone around hear who and sells Ganja?"
"Jesus mate there are more marijuana growers around here than there are Banana Plantations. I don't know any of my surfing mates who don't smoke."
"Do you still smoke mate?"
"Nah, Yorky mate, my old lady really cops the shits when I smoke these days. She thinks it’s a bad influence on mi daughter. Can you fucking believe that? It's her bastard pommy upbringing that does it."
"Don't you have a puff before you go Wind-Surfing?"
"Some times. The problem is; if I smoke too much, I stay out in the surf all fucking day. That really sends her over the top."
"She gets cranky eh?"
"You could say that. Put it this way, no pussy for a month lets me know she's not real fucking happy."
"Drink up Yorky mate, it's my shout. Anyway, what are you so interested in ganja for? I thought you didn't smoke."
"I don't, well not very much. Let me explain the deal to you."
Kenny listened while I went through the saga of the ganja. At the end, he said,
"Sounds like a good plan to me Yorky, I'm sure I can line you up with a score before you go back to the Big Smoke, I'll call this bloke I know when we get home. Him and his mate are big time dealers around here. They're sure to have as much as you need. "
Later that evening, at Kens place, the doorbell rang. Kens old lady answered it.
"Its for you Kenneth." she said, as she walked back in the room. I don't want that Yobbo in my house. Take him down stairs to the den. I heard on the grapevine that he's a big-time drug dealer!"
"Jesus love, he sells a bit of Ganja now and again. That’s not drug dealing, that’s a hobby."
"I don't care what you call it Ken. You know my views on drugs!"
"Ok sweetheart, I'll take him in the basement. We can have a game of pool. Let's go Yorky mate. This is mi mate Bruce, Yorky. Ya' got any weed for sale?"
"Does a Roo shit in the bush mate? In all the time you've known me have you ever not seen me without weed for sale?"
Bruce was a sleazy looking Bastard if I ever saw one. His shifty eyes were all over the place except where they should be, in his head.
"Yorky's looking to buy a bit of Ganja to take back down to Sydney with him."
"We'll mate, you're talking to the right bloke." He said, as his shifty eyes quickly scanned my way, averting my eyes in the process.
"How much are you looking for, a couple of Pounds?"
"No mate." I said. "More like a quarter."
"Ounces or Pounds?"
"Jesus Christ mate, I could smoke that in a fucking night on mi own."
"Yeah well, maybe you could Bruce, but I'm not a big time smoker."
"How much is it anyway?"
"For you mate, $200 an ounce and that’s cheap. You won't find it anywhere else cheaper than that. Me and my mate have the best prices on the East coast, and the best Ganja, I might add!"
"You got any with ya now?"
"Don't be silly mate. Ya think I drive around with it in mi Ute. The cops have been watching me for months now. They're only waiting for one little excuse to pick me up. I've been busted before. One more time and I'll be vacationing in Grafton for a few months."
"Well you won't have far to go Bruce." said Ken, laughing. "Grafton's only an hours drive from here. Your mate could visit you on the week-ends with a joint."
"Very fucking funny Kenny! You should be in the clubs mate. You're a laugh-a-fuckin' minute."
"I'm only joking with ya Bruce, for fucks sake. So when ya gonna bring us a bud around to try out?"
"Don’t you fucking trust me mate?"
"Sure I do Bruce but Yorky doesn't."
"Ya don't trust me mate?"
"Well, it's not that I don’t trust ya Bruce, but I would like a sample before I buy."
"Jesus Christ, what am I dealing with here, a bunch of fuckin' novices? Alright then, when ya going back down to Sydney?"
"I'll be back tomorrow with a small sample. I'm not a fucking charity ya know. People around here trust me. I've got my good name to consider!"
"Don't get the shits Bruce." said Kenny. "Yorky's right. He doesn't know you from a bar of soap. You could be a real gouging Bastard for all he knows."
"I've never gouged any bastard in mi life; 'Honest Bruce' is who I'm known as!"
"We're not accusing you of anything mate. Just like to be on the safe side, ya know." "Ok, I'll see see ya tomorrow evening, about the same time."
The next evening Bruce dropped off a reasonable-sized bud, which Ken and I tried. Ken was much more of a toker than I was and he reckoned that the Ganja was well worth $200 an ounce.
Driving back down to Sydney with the Ganja tucked under the front seat; I was smiling to myself, thinking about all the money I was going to make when I got home.
'I can sell it for $400 an ounce. That would be double mi money and still a fair price for Bobs mate to pay. This little caper is too easy; if every thing goes well, I may decide to do this more often!'
The first thing I did when I arrived back was to call Bob. He said he'd send his mate around to pick up the stuff.
"Tell him to bring the cash with him. I don't do credit."
That was the last thing I said to him as I put the phone down. An hour later Bobs' mate, Bernie, was ringing my doorbell.
"How are ya mate?" he said as I let him in.
"I'm Bernie, Bobs mate."
"Yea I know mate, Bob said you were on your way over."
"Ya got the weed?"
"Yea, sit down at the table Bernie I'll go get it. Here ya go mate." I said, as I handed him the bag,
"Ya got the money?"
"Yea. Ya don't mind if I check it out first do ya?"
"No mate, go ahead."
With that, he tipped the bag of Ganja out on the table and immediately pulled a weird face.
"What the fuck is this shit!" he said as he moved the Ganja around on the table.
"What d'ya mean? What's wrong with it?" I asked.
"This stuff is fuckin' shit man! Is this some sort of a fucking joke? I just drove all the way over the harbor bridge to see this crap!"
"I don't know what your talking about mate." I said, as his face changed radically before my eyes.
"Are you fuckin' kidding me sport, you had me drive all the way out here to look at a bunch of fucking shake?"
"What are you talking about mate? What the fuck is shake anyway?"
"You're fuckin' serious aren't you? You have no idea what I'm talking about do you?"
"Look mate." I said. as I looked him square in the eyes. "Bob asked me to bring some Ganja back from Coffs. He said Sydney was all dried up so while I was up there I met this bloke who I bought this from, that's all I know."
"Did you try it out before you bought it?
"Sure I did. Ya think I'm fucking stupid! He brought a bud around for me and mi mate to try, then dropped this stuff off just before I left to come back down here."
"Did you get ripped on it?"
"Course I did! Mind you I haven't smoked much, I've only tried it a couple of times. What the hell is shake anyway?"
"Jesus Christ mate, you really did come down in the last shower! Ya not shit'n me are ya.?"
"No mate, I'm not a bullshit artist. I did it as a favour for Bob and I thought I might make a few bucks in the process."
"Well mate, all I can tell you from 30 years of dealing is, you've been well and truly shafted!"
"So what your saying is the weed is no good."
"No good mate? That’s this years' understatement. This shit wouldn't make a good cup of tea!"
"Oh for fucks sake." I said. What do you suggest I do with it?"
"You can shove it up ya fuckin arse for all I care!" He said as he got up from the chair. "That was a waste of my valuable time."
"Look mate, don’t get cranky about it." I said. From what you're saying I've been ripped off. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stand here and let you fucking well make matters worse by insulting me!"
Now I really had the shits, the pulse in my navel was starting to beat strongly and I was entertaining the idea of smacking this rude bastard in the mouth.
"Ok, Ok mate." said Bernie. "Settle down. I didn't mean any harm. You got ripped off, and you've got a right to get cranky."
"Do you have any decent suggestions for me?" I asked.
"Yea, I do mate. Never buy drugs from some one you don't know, especially when you have no idea what you're looking at. How much did you pay for this crap?"
"Eight hundred bucks!"
"Jesus Christ! Well mate, chalk it up to experience and consider your self lucky. They could have gotten you for a lot more!"
After Bernie left, I sat at the table looking at four ounces of shake. Eight hundred dollars it cost me to learn a new word, SHAKE, a bunch of stalks and leaves. Let me tell you, I have been conned a few times in my life and not once has it ever felt good and this time was no exception. After ten minutes of thinkin' with a pipeful of St Bruno Flake I decided that action was required. I would simply call Ken, get Bruces' number and call him up and politely explain the situation to him, and a genuine misunderstanding will be put right."
"Bruce, how are ya mate, its Yorky."
"What do ya want mate?"
"It's about the Ganja."
"What about it?"
"I tried to sell it to a mate of mine and he said it was no good."
"What do ya mean no good?"
" Mi mate said it was a bunch of shake."
"So why are you calling me?"
"I would appreciate a refund as I can't sell it."
"Look mate you tried it before you bought it you had no complaints then."
"Yea, but this stuff you put in the bag is not the same as what I tried."
"Listen mate, I gave you a great deal, I put more than 4oz in the bag. You should think your self lucky mate."
"All the same Bruce I would like a refund please."
"What do you think I am mate, a fucking shop? You get no fucking refunds from me. You bought it and your stuck with it! Don't fucking call here again ya bastard!"
With that, he put the phone down as I heard a loud click in mi ear. I decided it was time to give Bruce one more opportunity to make it right. After dialing his number I waited quite calmly as I listened to the dial tone.
"G'day." said Bruces' voice on the other end of the line.
"Bruce, this is Yorky mate."
"What do you fucking want? I thought I told you not to fuckin' call here again."
"Yea, ya did Bruce, but I forgot to tell you something."
"Listen to me, you fucking scumbag, cock sucking, mongrel-bred, mother-fucking drug addict, if my $800 is not returned within the next twenty-four hours you know what I'm gonna do fuck-face? I'm going to take this bag of useless shit you gouged me on and I'm going to wrap it up like a Xmas present and I'm going to post it off to the Coffs Harbor Police Station to 'Care of the Desk Sergeant' with your full-fucking-name and address on it, arsehole. Do you fucking well understand me, anus- breath? You ripped off the wrong one this time, you mongrel bred cunt!"
Within ten minutes my phone started ringing. I picked it up and a voice on the other end said,
"Yorky, it's Bruce."
"What do you want? ya Bastard?"
"You're not going to do something you might regret are you.?"
"No mate, I'm gonna do something that you'll regret. You'll regret the fucking day you ripped old Yorky off mate. I've dealt with much bigger mongrel-bred Bastards than you Bruce. Don't fucking call here again mate!"
"Now hold on Yorky, hold on a minute. Let me talk to my partner about it and I'll call you back within the hour."
"I'll be here mate. I'm not going anywhere. I'm broke!"
An hour later the phone rang and Bruce very politely explained to me how a mistake had been made with the Baggies. He asked for my address and informed me that an over-night bank cheque would be sent to me as soon as he got off the phone. He then asked me quite politely if that would be a satisfactory arrangement and would that put the matter to rest.
"No worries Bruce." was my reply.
The next day a Special Delivery letter arrived with a bank cheque made out in my name to the tune of $800! There was only one more thing bothering me now; I had mi $800 back and some fine Coffs Harbor shake. I didn't want to rip off Bruce so I packed his shake in a small cardboard box and sent it back to him FIRST CLASS MAIL.
I didn't want it to get lost, seeing as the scales were now well balanced.