Ever Been Had? – a UFC challenge

309 Ever Been Had? Sumax’s Challenge:

Ever been had?

Write me a story concerning a con-artist, or a hustler. … No word limitation.

I was finkin’, vis is gunna be ‘ard to write abaht, cos no one’s ever been able ter con or put one over me an’ I c’n spot an ‘ustler a mile orf. But ven I turned it rahnd in me ‘ead, an’ like, you know, an’ looked at v’uvver side – me, doin’ ve ‘ustlin’. So I’m gunna tell yer abaht ‘ustlin’ me bruvver’s boss.

See, once ev’ry year come summer, I’d drive my ute for me bruvver, loaded wiv ‘is mo’or bikes, spare gas cans, ‘is set-a levvers an’ all, up ter Tahpo* to stay a weekend wiv Frank ‘n’ Rosey. Frank always ahs’ed us to come up and bring bikes, so he an’ me bruvver could do a day’s trail ridin’ up over ve back ‘ills of pumice an’ scoria. Rough country, too rough for me.

Me bruvver was always dead keen ter go, ‘cos wiv winter rain, by summer all ve ‘ills an’ trails’d be diff’rent from las’ year. Like, rain used ter soak dahn inter v’ grahnd ‘n’ wash out underground channels vat would collapse in, and v’ top runorf ’d wash loose pumice an’ scoria dahn inter streams. Ve ‘ills get in a right mess, I tell ya.It was a sorta competition b’tween Frank an’ me bruvver, Frank ‘avin’ been me bruvvers boss. Nah, me bruvver owned v’ bike shop, and them two was allus testin’ each uvver.

We’d get to Frank’s on v’ Frid’y nigh’s, ‘ave drinks an’ kip over. Early on Sat’d’y mornin’ vey’d take orf b’fore v’ sun cracked, orf up inter ve ‘ills. Rosey allus let me sleep in, an’ bring me a cuppa mid mornin’. We’d laze arahnd, I’d  drive ‘er inter tahn fer winder shoppin’ an’ when she wuz ‘appy we’d get back ‘ome. I’d dig over ‘er garden, clear back some of v’ bush over v’ fence, generally tidy up arahnd v’ section till Rosey called me in fer lunch.

After lunch she’d go org for a nap, an’ send me dahn to v’ garage below stairs. I’d go dahn and into Frank’s pool room. Akshally it’s a full billiard table ‘e ‘ad, an’ a righ’ sweet one at vat.  Bu’ me, I can’t play snooker nor billiards, ter save meself. But I’d played a bit o’ pool at our dad’s sometimes.  So I’d spend ve ‘ole afternoon practisin’ shots from all sortsa angles, like. On me own, jus’ to get me eye back in, get the lay of v table an’ v’ feel for ‘is cues.

By v’ time v’ sun would be just at its last crack in v’ sky, v’ lads’d be back – all tired, ‘ot an’ sweaty, shaky from v’ bikes vibra’in’ under vem all day. We’d crack a col’ beer each, an’ Frank bein a gen’tlman would send me bruvver up for first dibs at v’ bahth an’ an ‘ot spa. ‘E’d stay chatt’n’ wiv me, ‘avin’ a smoke and a coupla whiskeys (I’d sit  vem aht and stick to beer).

An’ I don’ care ‘oo knows it nah, ‘cos, Gor love ‘em, Frank ‘n’ Rosey ‘as passed on nah, so no ‘arm done. But, back ven, I’d ‘ustle ‘im.

I’d rack up v’ balls, make a botched break, sulk ‘n’ sigh – an’ Frank’d fall fer it ev’ry time, v’ ol’ dahlin’. ‘E’d step up…

“’Ere, lad, I’ll show you which ones you could’ve still potted.” An’ ‘e’d sink a few. I’d frow ev’ry turn I’d get, an’ lose.

“One more rahnd, Frank? Fink I’m getting; v’ ‘ang of of it nahw,” I’d say, rack ‘em up an’ take ‘im on again. I’d let ‘im play anuvver winning rahnd, but careful like I’d start makin’ some “improvements” shall we say. An’ v’ ol’ dahlin’ would allus suggest a third rahnd.

“One more game, lad. You’re getting’ better ev’ry time,” ‘ed say.

“Nah,” I’d say, “I’ll only lose again, like.”

“I’ll pu’ a fiver on the table fer you winnin’ this nex’ game,” ‘ed say, and slap a fiver on the table sill.

An’ I’d go all shy an’ quiet, like, an’ act like i didn’ wanna play, but I’d always pu’ me own fiver dahn b’sides ‘is. An’ when we’d play, I’d always lose on purpose, so’s ‘ed lose ‘is bet an’ I’d win the ten.

“Really thought you’d take that round,” ‘e’d be sayin’.

“’Vis time, I’ll pu’ a tenner on v’ table for me to win, an’ you c’n win th’ play, aw’righ’?” I’d offer, all gen’rous like. An’ ‘e, bein’ a righ’ gen’leman, like I said, would not only take th’ bet, but let me make th’ break. Talk abaht givin’ it away!

I’d shoot a perfek break, droppin’ one, an’ go on ter drop all me shots an’ wipe v’ table clean in one turn. Twenty back in me pocket, easy like. An’ we’d still be playin’ for cash right frew till Rosey called ‘im from upstairs to growl.

“You can reheat your own dinner, but let that young lad get to bed. They’re driving off in the early morning!” Poor ol’ guy, as if ‘e could ‘elp bein’ competitive.

Bu’ I can’t skite abaht bein’ a good player, like. I mean, ‘e wuz old – real old, sixty-five or summat like, ya know – an’ ‘ed jus’ spent a day bein’ jolt’d an’ bumped, tryin’ to keep up wiv me bruvver over real rough grahnd, gettin’ shatter’d by vibrations an’ shocks an bumps in ‘ollows an’ over jumps. An’ e’d be on whiskey while we wuz playin’ till it was late an’ ‘e wuz tired.

‘E’d always ask for a rematch on v’ Sund’y, bu’ I’m no mug nah an’ I wusn’t ven. Fresh on a Sund’y, ‘e’da wiped v’ table wiv me. So I always went ‘ome a bit richer van I’d arrived, I tell you – poor ol’ Frank – always bein’ ‘ad.

© Lynne McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2011

* correct Māori spellling = Taupo

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