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Take Up Thy Samsonite & Walk - Part Two
By Meyer Lansky
"Do you come from a land down under?/women go and men chunder/can ye hear - can ye hear the thunder?/ ya better run ya better take cover........."
I couldn't get that song out of my head, even when I was getting questioned by 'Hitler' back in the airport and still it was churning over and over as I made my way to some hotel in the city.
"What does chunder mean mate?" I enquired to the Abbo driver.
He told me it meant spewing up and this was the end of our very brief conversation. I just put my head back and drifted off into some semi-comatose state and just stared out of the window with a blank expression on my face. Normal life and the telling of the time weren't on my agenda, I knew it was morning time with the orange glow on the horizon giving it away. It was dark when I'd got on the plane, and it was dark when I'd got off. I was transfixed in that Rock-star type world of jetting across time zones in luxury, then being herded into taxi's that take you to 5 star hotels, all with that sunglasses clad swagger & attitude. Just show me the way to the next whiskey bar and I was happy. The whiskey bar the cabbie took me to was in the Renaissance Hotel on the Rocks.
I checked in, then checked out my view from the 32nd floor. It was a splendiferous sight beckoning from below and I fantasied about having some bird bent over, taking her from behind, with her faced squashed up against the window, while she takes in my cock and the Sydney Bridge & Opera house. I have a shit , shower and shave and it is while I'm contemplating going with the all Armani/Gucci loafer look again or the Hugo Boss shorts/shirt, Prada sandals get up when I hear a thudding on the door. I answer just wearing a towel thinking it could be some feisty room service lady with my fried breakfast, but unfortunately it was a bloke.
Lining on stomach - check. Ciggies & lighter/ Wedge/passport/room key in black Gucci manbag - check. I was ready. I zoomed down stairs to check out Rapheals Wine bar, but I wasn't to impressed with the chrome and mirror decorations, uncomfortable bar stools and their selection of 'Bodega' wines. The grumpy barman who wasn't to keen on rustling up my bloody mary's wouldn't raise a smile, not even after some of my toilet humour. Give him his due, it was only midday and he'd probably just started a 12hr shift, so having an unfunny pommie in yer face is not the best way to start your day.
I bell Ron and arrange a meet in Planet Hollywood, I'm there an hour early so I sit off at the bar. Now I'm a normal bottled lager man myself (Becks if they have it) but in these Planet Hollywood/Hard Rock/TFI Friday joints I fall in love with their drinks menus and I'm a big sucker for the odd cocktail or five. Singapore Slings, Black Russians, Hawaiian Sunsets and Slippery Nipples, you name it I've slurped it. I choose a simple one to begin with, one that will cleanse the pallet, a good old Gin & Tonic. This sparkling liquid is cascading over my taste buds a little to quickly, leaving that bitter but pleasant after taste that keeps me going back for more. I'm on my fifth by the time Ron arrives. The moment he greets me at the bar we are swamped with four cute English waitresses all letting on to Ron and the barman has placed two goldfish sized bowls full of some orange liquid in front of us, all for gratis.
Ron starts telling me about the four delectable waitresses who all live with him, then I can't remember much as the night descends into some full on drunken debauchery. I wake up with a dry mouth, next to some hefty female in my hotel room.......what the fuck happened?
I hate it on mornings like this, when you haven't got the foggiest what went on the night before. It usually happens to me when I drink Vodka or Gin (or both in this case). I come around somewhere, with a mouth that feels like it's been gargling with sand from the Sahara and a head that throbs like a blind cobblers thumb. Why oh why can't I stop? Why am I the swigging swine who always goes the whole hog and ends up being the one getting carried home? Why can't I stop drinking when I'm still incoherent and still in control of my actions?
I go and meet Ron in Planet Hollywood again, a bit later on in the afternoon. I enter a little sheepishly and out of the corner of my eye, I spy a familiar face pointing over and laughing. It is one of the waitresses and on seeing this, it makes me go crimson and I start to have hot flushes. The spirits from the night before were pissing out of every pour in my body and damp patches start to gather all over my linen Nicole Farhi shirt. I take my embarrassed ass over to Ron at the bar, but he doesn't help matters as he slides off his stool in tears of mirth when he spots me.
"All right Ron calm down for fucks sake and give us the script" I inform him, then I go looking for a napkin to mop my brow. When Ron had calmed down and I'd swigged half a bottle of Becks to quench my thirst, he proceeded with the story.
"We left here and went to a sports bar, the girls finished work and followed on. By the time they arrived you were all ready on one (spitting drinks at people/falling over/being a proper 'string vest') You started ordering bottles of Champagne like a 'Charlie Big Spuds'. You then went missing for an hour and I find you talking to a female Mackem hulk in a replica top. There's a Sunderland game playing on the plasma and you and her were having a heated debate about Pete Reids primate like napper. I leave you to it and go back with the girls, after a few minutes you bounce up to us with spit hanging off yer chin and scream "IF IT'S A MACKEM - ATTACK 'EM" before leaving hand in hand with Jabber the Gut. The waitresses couldn't believe it,
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I had blown it with these horny girls, not one of them will want to get into my crisp white Calvin's now. I can see them all gathered over at the hot plate giggling and smirking as Ron finishes his story. They all come over individually to mock at my misfortune, Karen the scouser was first. She was a double for Jennifer Ellison, well if Jennifer never had false tits/San Tropez tan/hair extensions/false nails - a little tough nut from Walton who gave as good as she got. Ron told me at one stage I had her on me knee charming the La Perla's off her, that was until I headed for the sound of the Roker roar. Ron had been trying to crack this scouse nut for some time, but with no success. I got the feeling it would take more than just some MDMA and few half's a lager to charm the chastity belt off this one. She salters over and just quizzes me "What WERE you doing?" before turning on her heels and getting off.
I move hotels to a cheeky little 4 star number in Potts Point, right next to Rons apartment block. It had a lovely pool at the back over looking the Naval frigates down in the harbour. This was the first part of the plan to woo Karen into the devils lair. The second part of the plan was put in place when I over hear a conversation about Karen having the next day off work. So I waited for the girls to get in from work and then bounced round with a couple a bottles of chilled Chablis under my arm and a plan under my very expensive baseball hat. The girls are still amused by my antics from the previous night but I just laugh it off like the cad that I am. I had to get Karen to come out with me tomorrow but I couldn't come straight out and ask her. Like any good carp angler the ground bait has to be laid, then every so often you keep catapulting little nuggets of bait into the conversation, until your beeper goes off and you strike and end up with a 12lb mirrored carp/Jennifer Ellison on the end of your hook. I controlled the conversation from start to finish and at the end of it my keep-net was full, when she agreed to show me the sights of Sydney the next day.
I was up early and in the shower. I debated about my choice of clothing with myself for a good ten minutes, before finally agreeing on; Black Prada strap overs, black Scapa Sports combat shorts, black Lacoste polo and black Cashmere Ralph Lauren pullover. I was a man on a mission, in-fact dressed as I was, I was the Milk Tray man on a mission. So I based jumped off the balcony and landed in the street below, I then scaled Rons apartment block from the outside before getting in through the top window. I buzzed on the door and Karen let me in, she phaffed about for an hour (doing her nails & shit) before we finally got off to a local Deli for breakfast.
We walked up from Potts Point to Kings Cross, now I'd heard a few horror stories off friends who've visited Sydney before, most of them about Kings Cross. But what I found was a square kilometre of vibrant life (the most densely populated area of Australia). Yes it had its 'Girlie Bars' with the pimps, pushers and drug fiends lurking about but I never once felt threatened when I was going about my business at all hours of the day & night. It reminded me of Amsterdam and even more so the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. It had a couple of cafes to buy hydro from and brown was rife in the area. So much so that the Government had set up a clean injecting room for the fiends, so they could shoot up till their hearts content in a clean comfortable environment. With all its prostitution and crime, the place was still sprinkled with fancy restaurants and hotels and all though the grime was there for all to see, it still had a certain charm to it.
She made it clear from the start that this was purely a platonic relationship, when she stated "don't be trying to get into my knickers coz I'm not like that Sasquatch Geordie slut" I informed her Big Foot was a Mackem, but I got a stern look for my troubles. The convo went a bit quiet over the Salmon & Cream Cheese bagels, that was until Craig Johnson walked in off the street for a coffee. Karen was a pretend Evertonian (she couldn't name me one player), so she wasn't that arsed, but me, I was like an 8 year old as I bounded over with my napkin for him to sign. He was due at some TV studio's around the corner for some football show, so he declined the offer of hanging around with Karen while I shot off back to the hotel for my camera.
After Craig done one we discussed what we should do for the day. I wanted to go on the piss, but the World was Karen's oyster for the day so we ended up going to the Fox Studios/Amusement park. When we got close in the taxi it looked like the whole of New South Wales had the same idea. On closer inspection it transpired these lot were cricket fans and when the Sydney Cricket Ground came into view everything fell into place. The SCG was right next door to the Fox Studios and the Aussies were playing India in a one dayer. I spot a unit of scalpers working the throngs and I bounced over for a chat. I collected a few numbers for friends who would be over in a couple of months for the Olympics.
The main topic of our conversation for most of the day was Ron, for he was the catalyst for bringing the two of us together. She tells me Ron is a bit of a letch on the sly and has tried it on - with out success - with all of the girls in the flat (sex liar told me he'd done 3 of them). They were all introduced to Ron through friends of a friend, when he was looking for people to sub-let his fancy flat to when he'd become skint. I knew all about Ron and his money troubles so I steered the conflab around to Karen telling me about her life. She grew up with an alcoholic mother and a jail-bird father (who was forever in Walton) and a sister who had married some local rogue done good and now lives in a posh house in Woolton with her three kids. With many pitfalls in her school life she had managed to shy away from them, were as some of her school friends weren't as fortunate and she had done well after being brought up in such a tough environment.
Later on in the day we board a boat to Darling harbour and this is when I finally fall hook line and sinker for this surprising girl. I liked her charm & whit and I'm taken in by her thoughtfulness and imagination of which she gives me glimpses. I adored the way she answers her own questions with so much conviction.
"Just look at that water front isn't that sound.... der ya reckon people get the same wow factor, when taking a ferry across the Mersey?......to fuckin' right they do.....for all it's faults Liverpool's still got a water-front to match anywhere in the werld"
We fall into one another as I put my arms around her and we touch heads. I contemplate throwing the lips on her, but that could wait, we had made a connection and I was loving the chase. We sat in silence as the boat docked and it's while we are getting up to disembark when she grabs my hand and squeezes. Was this some message to tell me she had forgiven me for the Yeti episode? I take it as such when I give her a positive squeeze back, just to let her know I'd understood the 'Masons' handshake.
I made a terrible faux-pas when ordering dinner - There I was wining the game of 'Snakes & Ladders', with only a few squares to go, I land on the big fuck off Pythons head and squirm all the way back down to to square one - I enquired if they had any Dom Pérignon when the waiter asked us what we'd like to drink. This resulted in two things 1) it made me get angry and above my station when I was trying to explain to the Asian waiter what Dom Pérignon was and 2) It turned Karen into some ranting lunatic as she set off on a tirade of abuse hailed towards me. It was only some cheap Pasta & Pizza gaff so I settled on a bottle of Asti and then sat in silence as I got an all out verbal assault off Karen. She hates show offs and flashy people who flaunt their wealth, she doesn't like people who look down on other people with less money than them and she absolutely detests this bling culture that has taken over peoples lives today. I quickly pull my cashmere down to conceal my Rolex but it's to late, this fiery character has had me sussed from day one.
She goes on to tell me about her Ex fella and her reasons for coming to Australia. Her Ex was a mate of her sisters fella, another up-to-no-gooder, who treated her like a Princess (expensive watch/car/foreign holidays). She'd only just moved into his docklands apartment when she saw the flip-side to this lavish lifestyle. She was out with friends drinking in town after spending all day up at Aintree with it being Lady's Day (an annual pilgrimage for all scouse Molls). There they were, stood round dressed to the nines all tipsy on champers, a beacon for some unwanted attention from the male fraternity - a couple of young scallywags obliged. It was at this precise moment when her fella came into the bar and saw the two scally's chatting to Karen. Seconds later, he's got number one scal pinned to the floor, biting his nose off while scal number two gives it toes. He goes to work on scal 1 when he smashes a glass then jabs the remaining shards into his eye. Karen tells me (with tears in her eyes) that she will remember that poor kids screams for the rest of her life.
It was a few weeks after that episode, that she finally upped sticks and left that "fucking animal" for good. She had to make a clean break soon, as she didn't want to bring a child up in that type of environment. Not that she was pregnant or anything, just because she knew before long, children would be the next thing to crop up on the Molls agenda. She'd seen enough violence in her own up bringing and she wouldn't wish to inflict it on her own offspring. For months afterwards he stalked her everywhere; when ever she was out with friends he would turn up, he'd wait for her after work and follow her to the gym. She had to done one, he was stifling her. She dern't cop for a bloke for the fear of reprisals and the poor fellas safety, so instead she sold the watch & car and fucked off here to Australia were she could have some freedom back in her life.
I try to get back on side and attempt to get to the top of the board in my silly game of snakes & ladders, so I rolled out some double six excuse's for my own blatant bunging of the bunce around and my all round general flashy behaviour. I've had a couple of years hard slog and some good fortune when a turn on the FTSE came in, so I was able to take a year out and go on trips to parts of the World I'd never seen before, I tell her. I wanted to do it in style but above all I wanted to enjoy myself. Do I want nice wine with my dinner?...yes. Can i afford the nice wine?....yes. Then I shall drink the nice wine. No real logic behind it, I enjoyed spending money so why not. I want to tip the luggage porter $20 dollars for carrying my Mulberry wash bag to my room....why?.....because I can and it makes me feel good. I want to be able to toss $10 dollars into the large brandy glass on the piano in some cocktail bar, then tell the 'ivory tinkler' to "Play it again Sam" before getting off to the bar to order the most expensive Chivas Regal they have. Then sit back and put the biggest, fattest Cuban cigar in my mouth and watch the barmen duel with matches as they fight to light the hummungus thing for me. Do I want to sleep in some back street Pension? trying to get me head down on the flea ridden mattress as a screeching crack whore pierces the night air with her shrieks as two drunken sailors take it in turns to rape her up the arse in the alley below?...erm no thanks! I want fluffy white robes, with fluffy white slippers and a well stocked mini-bar. I want 24hr room service, movie channels and porters who polish your shoes. I want a desk in my room with internet connection, stationary with the hotels logo on and I want the Wall Street Journal pushed under my door of a morning. I most certainly don't want a small kettle, two shortbread biscuits and a Corby fucking trouser press.
She sort of got my 'work hard-play hard' ethic and I was back on track with only a few squares to go, it was then dessert arrived. I started quizzing her about what we should do with the rest of the evening, but she kept batting the ball back into my court, hoping I came up with a good suggestion. I started to get a little cross again and just hit her with "Just what is it that you want to do?" her answer stunned me at first then made me laugh.
" I wanna be free....I wanna be free to...to do what I wanna do....and I wanna get loaded....and I wanna have a good time.....and thats what we're gonna do.....we're gonnna have a good time.....we're gonnna have a party."
She finished her little 'primal scream' off with a devilish cackle then plunged her fork in the Tiramisu before feeding me the coffee flavoured cake as I go all weak at the knees. We ended up in some bar further up the harbour, with Ron on his way with his Charlie's Angels and some much needed 'ammo'. The 'ammo' kicked in not long after Ron turning up as we bounced around the place as some disc spinner over in the corner played some funk. I was keeping the troops in a hefty supply of Sambuca shots inbetween bouts of the Harlem Shuffle. The Harlem Shuffle became more of a 'Brass House Shuffle' when ever Karen danced on my radar, as I locked-on and followed her around displaying my sexy moves. From Sambucas we moved on to Peach Schnapps, then Vodka & Gin, then blotto.....
I wake up and sand paper the roof of my mouth, as my tongue goes on a search around this arid cavern of mine for moisture and the head feels like Peter Sutcliffe's had a go at it with his favourite ball pein hammer. What the fuck happened?.......RONNNNYY?
Do I bang another big-foot Northeast beast? Or does the sultry suave scouse sex-pot get her love tunnel lubricated by Lansky's love juice? Tune in next month to find out......
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