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His name was Spurt Bacharach. Took him almost four years to work out where that came from. Who said ex-porno studs weren't thick? You're asking who's Spurt? If you're of a certain age you've most likely seen his stuff. Most famous now for 'Donna Does Doncaster', a low budget Seventies ripoff that became a surprise cult hit. Shocking at the time but tame now. Way things are going in a few more years you'll catch it on children's TV. Retired out of the adult movie business now and into something more respectable. Property redevelopment. Sure, you've watched all the programmes clogging up the daytime TV schedules. Or you have when you get to my age and your liver and lungs are shot and you can't get out the same. You know the trick. Buy something run-down, spend a wad doing it up and then sell it on for a tidy profit. Way these programmes make it seem, even a moron could make a fortune. So it was the perfect game for Spurt to get his capped teeth into.
Mind you that was after falling flat on his arse in a couple of other ventures first. Tried his hand at directing but these days every muppet with a mobi is uploading amateur films of the missus with her legs spread onto Youporn or Pornotube or whatever. Dog rough some of them are. Wouldn't touch 'em with yours. But who's gonna pay for filth when you can get a right arm work-out for free? So that career went down the tubes. Then he took a licence on a failing dive in town. Spent good money on a refurb. Stuck rainbow flags in the windows. Called it Saturn's - one before Uranus, geddit? But the queer crowd is fickle and after a few months they moved onto the next bar to open. So Saturn's tanked. Poor Spurt was sitting at home staring at the wide screen with only a four pack for company feeling sorry for himself. Then he had his brainwave. Property. Even in a recession put your trust in bricks and mortar. Can't go wrong. This time, Spurt did his homework. Read some magazines as well as watching TV. Then had a word with Danny the accountant. Well, he used to be an accountant before he got a four stretch for embezzlement and was struck off. Thrashed out the numbers together, had a look at selling on or renting; whether the figures all stacked up. Then Danny helped Spurt with his loan form, coached him in what to say to the bank and with the help of a bit of creative accounting sent Spurt on his way. Few weeks later found Spurt in a big hotel bidding for a terrace in a part of town where the pitbulls don't go out after dark. Paid the deposit, put his autograph on the paperwork and a few weeks later the man was standing at what would become the foundations of his property empire. He hoped. 'Course the dump needed work. You watch the TV you know what I'm on about. New kitchen, new bathroom, new plumbing and 'lectrics. Neutral decor throughout. Which basically means job lots of magnolia paint on every wall. Gotta hand it to Spurt. Man wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty. Got stuck in - just like he did in some of his porno flicks. Even took himself on a plastering course which saved him loadsamoney. And half an hour in the bookies found him Lee and Dane, two tattooed lads off the estate, as labourers. Strictly cash in hand. And when the house was finished he rented it out to a family of asylum seekers. They claimed there were only five in the house but there was probably at least fifteen, you with me? But they paid the rent on time and kept it clean so what more do you want? At least the neighbours didn't complain. "Piece of piss," said Spurt looking at his work-roughened hands. So back over to Danny's. Got himself a moody valuation like his terrace was in a much better part of town. Then another mortgage and back into the auctions. Bought another terrace funnily enough only a few doors down from the first. Renovated it and learned from his mistakes so even nicer than the first. Rented it out to more asylum seekers. Probably from the country the first lot were at war with.
Things were going well for Spurt. Like I say, the way the telly tells it any moron can make money hand over fist with property. 'Cept Spurt got bored with terraces. "More money to be made upmarket," he told me over a few scoops in what used to be Saturn's. "Better tenants; more money." I nodded like I cared. So it was another visit to Danny who was made up with his fees and back to the auction rooms. Couldn't believe how much Spurt paid for that bungalow. How much? Ridiculous, even though it was in a good part of town where the young men don't all have pitbulls on chains. Went with him to the auction for company and it came down to him and some other fella in a camel-hair coat like a Seventies football manager. Each one raising the other like they were in some macho bullshit contest where neither could give way without admitting the other had the bigger balls. But Spurt's porno balls were melons and it was the other guy who pushed his way through the row of chairs and out the hotel. When the keys were handed over I took a cab over to his new bungalow. Wanted to see for myself what was so special about the place. On the surface, nothing. Overgrown lawns and peeling pebble dash but not too bad structurally. I rang the bell and Spurt opened up with the biggest grin ever on his face. "Whaddya think? Like it, huh?" Spurt asked showing me round like it was Buckingham Palace or something. Maybe Buckingham Palace is full of Sixties G-plan furniture and Seventies wallpaper with a musty smell in the air. In that case his bungalow is like the Queen's gaff. Looked to me like an old lady had died and her rellies just wanted shut of this pile. But also it reminded me of somewhere, I couldn't put my finger on it. Like it was my mum's old place or somewhere I knew well from long ago. Maybe Spurt should've stuck to what he knew. Terraces and dodgy immigrants. This time, what could go wrong did. Pulled away a skirting board except it wasn't wood. Just dry rot in the shape of wood. Woodworm treating the rafters as a banquet. A hole in the roof that'd been ignored for too long. But the man got stuck in. Eight days a week he was grafting. Like he knew somethin' we didn't. Or was just deep in hock to the bank. Or both. Almost finished and then disaster. Some toe-rags smashed their way in and ripped out the boiler and copper piping. Me, I reckon it was Lee and Dane as they spent all weekend down the pub or bookies flashing twenties around like they were going out of fashion. Stood me a few scoops so who's complainin'. Either way, they had to refit all the plumbing so those two lads were on another nice little earner. And then it was finished. Spurt asked me over to see it. My jaw hit the floor. Modern fitted kitchen with butcher-block work surfaces, hotel-style bathroom with Italian tiles, crisp neutral decor throughout? No. It was a homage to the Seventies. He'd even left in the aubergine bathroom suite and covered the lounges with brown and gold wallpaper.
I turned to him. "Spurt? What the...?" Spurt grinned. Hugely. "You remember the auction; the other bidder?" I nodded, still gob smacked. "Well, this is the very house they filmed 'Donna Does Doncaster'. They're shooting a remake and wanted to use this very same house as a homage. I'll be quids in. They've even offered me a small part." He looked down at himself. Flashed his white teeth. "Not that small." So now Spurt is driving round town in a red Maserati with a red-hot porno-babe younger than his daughter in the passenger seat. Who said ex-porno studs were thick? THE END.
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