truth is out there somewhere
have always enjoyed carpentry (and plastering, plumbing, and painting
for that matter) and last week was a good time to be renovating. I left
a message on the answering machine that said: "Sorry, Nick Possum
is on assignment for the next couple of weeks. Please leave a message
after the beep", and started building the staircase.
Tuesday morning I'd accumulated a small mountain of debris. I needed
a rubbish skip so I riffled through the Yellow Pages and rang AAA Clean
n' Gone: (Motto: 'We're Cleaning Up').
a problem, a bloke called Mick told me. A four cubic metre skip for
$235. "Mid-morning tomorrow".
Wednesday morning came and went and there was no sign of Clean 'n Gone.
I rang Mick.
be there in half an hour", he said.
happened for a couple of hours, so I rang back.
says he definitely delivered it."
I reckon your skip must be blocking a Wollongong Lane somewhere, 'cos
it isn't in Werrong Lane" I replied.
young Dave. I'll call him again. Ring you right back."
didn't. An hour later I rang him.
He got the street wrong like I thought. Dropped it in Wollongong Lane.
He'll be there in half an hour", he laughed and hung up.
Not the best possible plan, but a good plan carried out quickly, as
we used to say in the army. Two hours later I heard the beep, beep,
beep, of a truck backing into the lane and so I went down with the chequebook.
I'm late, mate" the young bloke said. "Locked myself in the
bathroom by accident, had to call the locksmith to get me out. Lucky
I had the mobile on me."
it a bugger. Happens to me all the time", I muttered.
wrote out a cheque and signed the delivery docket. The delivery address
read "WERRONG INVESTIGATIONS, WERRONG LANE. OFF SYDNEY ST"
in a bold and clear hand.
my amazement I filled the skip in a couple of hours and there was still
a big pile of rubble left. When Dave came back for the skip on Wednesday
morning I said I'd better get another. He rang Mick on his mobile. Mid-morning
Thursday, he said. No worries.
2:00 pm on Thursday it hadn't arrived, so I called Clean 'n Gone.
yeah, it's young Jason. Ah, he's just had to deliver one to a Meriton
job, in Sutherland. He'll be there in half an hour."
wouldn't want to let Mr Triguboff down, would we", I said. At nightfall
it hadn't arrived.
At 10:00 am on Friday it still hadn't arrived so I called back. This
time I got an answering service. The lady said he'd ring me right back.
Mick rang at 1.30.
been having a lot of personal problems lately. His mum's on chemotherapy
and his personal trauma counselor's partner just died of AIDS, so his
appointment was delayed. Fucking poofs, you know what they're like.
He'll be there in half an hour"
always", I said.
arrived at 4:30 with his bull terrier riding beside him. He was a couple
of metres high, wearing a blue singlet and grubby stubbies. He had "LOVE"
tattooed on the knuckes of his left hand and "HATE" on his
to the back of the truck were a couple of big framed posters he'd rescued
from somebody's skip: naked blond women with big tits posed on motorcycles.
I'm late, mate", he said, "They put me dog in detention at
obedience school. Had to drive out to Pendle Hill to pick him up and
then I blew a tyre on the M4." He glanced up at my shingle, hanging
above the lane. "How's the PI game going anyway?" he asked.
great", I muttered as I scrawled out a cheque. "Koffi Annan
just hired me for six figures to look into the John Howard-and-Paul
in Whispers from the mean streets
-- Best of 1999