But I think it was nice to that someone you don't know takes the time to check out your blog and buy the book because the character was of interest. I knew Don Booker could speak to someone someday. The upcoming web series is going to be great to work on. Bringing the old renegade out into the world.
So thanks very much to Rita Smith in way off Ohio for marking a small milestone for this new writer.
Here's another cut chapter from the novel.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Leon was in a filling station back in 2005 waiting in line to pay for a sandwich he had just bought for his lunch. A burly man stood before him paying for his fuel. The man asked the attendant if she, or any other member of staff wanted to purchase a laptop computer. The girl politely declined.
Leon knew I was on the look out for a laptop at the time so he asked the man could he see what he had. The man said he didn't have them with him, but they were top quality and came with their own carry bag. It sounded good to Leon and he gave the man his phone number to organise a rendezvous.
Within an hour the man had called and a meeting was set up at the filling station for the following day.
Leon called over that night and told me the story. Without a second thought I gave him €400, happy with the offer.
Leon returned to the filling station the next day and noticed the burly man sitting in a car at it's side. He walked over to where the man was parked. They exchanged pleasantries. There was a second man in the passenger seat and a third in the back. The burly man took the laptop from its bag and gave a demo to Leon.
“Probably burn the fingers off me,” Leon laughed. There was no laughter back.
“Do ye wan de fuckin' thing r not?” the burly man with pace.
“Sure,” Leon said. The man in the back then produced a camcorder.
“I'll throw it in for a ton,” he said. Leon told him he didn't have another hundred Euro.
“Much have ye?” he asked.
“€30,” Leon responded.
“I'll give it ta ye,” the man in the back sighed. The burly man started to put the laptop and the camcorder into the bag.
“Count tha monay there fur mayy,” he said to Leon. Leon started to count.
“Kape it doun ye gobshite,” the burly man said. Leon did as instructed. Fifty. One hundred...one fifty....
He finished counting it. The burly man handed him the bag. Leon handed him the cash.
“Besh bit a bishness you or may ill do all dayy,” the burly man said before driving off. Leon didn't argue.
An hour later he was back and handed me the bag.
“Put my neck on the line for you today. There's a camcorder in there belonging to me. They wanted a hundred for it, got it for thirty. Fuckin' eegits!,” Leon beamed. I thanked him before opening up the bag to reveal a large warehouse catalogue and also some bubble wrap. A silence befell my room for what seemed like a day.
“Shafted,” Leon said eventually, looking on in disbelief.
Shafted wasn't my first thought. I was down four hundred big ones. Leon seemed more concerned about the thirty he was down. Various obscenities flowed from his mouth. I really wanted to ask him how could he have been so fucking stupid, but the time didn't seem right. He went over the events in his head again.
“They must have swapped the bags when I was counting the money”, he gasped.
“What are we going to do?” I asked.
“Oh, hold on there a minute until I ring the cops?” he said sarcastically, before storming out of the house leaving me there with one of Ireland’s most expensive laptop carrier bags. Leon returned a few days later having calmed down with the aid of gin.
“Can't believe a member of the travelling community got the better of me,” he said despondently.
I couldn't believe it either. It had taken me over ten weeks to save that money. Leon's promise to return the money to me as soon as he could never materialised, and never will, given his current abode.
I had to admit in the ensuing months that it was a pretty decent scam. I thought about writing a script surrounding this episode some time back. A short film.
But when I brought karma into the equation, I really couldn't wish that kind of ending on anyone.
I still have the bag. It's seen me through three laptops at this stage. Perhaps someday not only will I have one of Ireland’s most expensive bags, but perhaps the oldest one as well.
I wonder if I‘ll ever have anyone to pass it on to.
Read other cut chapters from Booker's World here.