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Cowboys Without Conscience

Page 3

Neil Blick

Trev’s favourite scam was classic-grey ezi-squeez mortar paint with a good sprinkle of dirt. It was his sneaky trick that Tai had said ‘got a wonky wall to look sorta straight.’ The remark gave Trev a lift. The Crew finished off with strategically placed cutesy family photos scavenged from op-shops, pot plants that ‘the old folks left behind for a pretend granddaughter Charlotte to collect’. If it helped seal the deal then ‘everyone’s happy’, that’s what Dan and Jai would say as they screeched away in their black ute.

Left-over offcuts and other shit was dumped in the next door building site skip-bins. Usually a late night job for the newest crew member. The measure of a well-done job was that it looked good, was done quickly and smelt fresh. All to be achieved in record time whilst ‘the boys’ banged their tools listening to dark techno pumping from a free Makita promo Bluetooth speaker. The blare would blot out any chance of bickering with any ‘know-all tradies’ or prying neighbours hanging around.

The boys’ work was paid in cash or ‘Ca-Sheees’. Thats what Trev would bellow to the boys as the green notes were handed out at the back of their bosses’ Nissan Navara or Toyota Hilux. Just who was the boss or ‘head dog’ was usually hard to say, because there was a different bloke at almost every job. But there was always a bloke with cash and always a big ute parked at an odd angle, down the away road from the worksite. There was always a wry grin as the cash was slyly dispensed and a signatory inverted twisted hand shake that was hard for Trev to do, let alone master. 

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