|Publisher:||John Blake Publishing, Limited|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||628 KB|
Read an Excerpt
By Marc Wilder
John Blake Publishing LtdCopyright © 2010 Mark Wilder
All rights reserved.
THE CRAZY GANG
'Chicken nuggets? You've got to be kidding!' shouts Tom. It's clear that Tom is a little upset by the request.
'Sorry, mate, the Captain has just told me,' I say, trying to calm him down.
He's upset because it's nearly the end of his shift and he now has to transfer a box of chicken nuggets by boat to the owner's multi-million-dollar mega-yacht lying in Monaco.
'I don't fucking believe these twats. They hire a state-of the-art mega-yacht for $250,000 a week and what do they eat ... shit!' Tom throws his hands in the air. 'What a pair of dickheads!'
'I'm pretty sure it's for their kid, mate,' I say, still trying my best to calm things down. 'Foie gras and lobster must upset his stomach, I guess.'
'I'll upset the little fucker when I bury my size ten boot up his arse. And I'll tell you another thing, boss – his bloody dad upset me watching him play football last weekend; fucking stupid haircut as well. How many millions is he supposed to be worth? What a fucking joke!'
Tom was always straight to the point, and his sentences usually contained enough expletives to make a sailor blush. He was a great guy and everyone always knew where they stood with him. He'd been travelling around the world, usually by himself, living life to the full for years. He'd spent quite a lot of time recently backpacking in Bolivia. He'd been living an alternative lifestyle and being a reprobate. He got into working on millionaires' mega-yachts because his ferret business took a nosedive when his prize ferret apparently turned gay and wouldn't screw the females any more. He still curses the critter for letting him down, and he once explained that he lost patience with it one day and decided to take it out of its cage and put a shotgun to its head. 'Are you telling me that you shot your prize ferret because you thought it had turned fruit?'
'Nah, mate, that would have been too cruel,' he said in a softer voice.
'Oh, that's all right then,' I said, feeling a little better.
'So I drowned it!' Tom added before taking a big drag of his cigarette.
This was one of many conversations I had with Tom during his time aboard the yacht. He'd have me laughing my arse off on an hourly basis. I liked him a lot because he wasn't your average guy. He had never become affected by the bullshit and one-up-manship that surrounds the yachting world, and he never tried to be someone he wasn't. I was his boss and fairly frequently I had to give him a bollocking for one thing or another but I found it really difficult to get upset with him for long. Solid as a rock was Tom, and I respected him for that.
Another character aboard the yacht was a strapping Scotsman called Jock. He was born and bred in the poorer part of Glasgow. He had a heart of gold but he had very few social graces – especially after a few beers. The term 'social hand grenade' suited Jock completely and he was a bit of local colour. Jock had grown up on a tough housing estate, where even the rats don't walk down the streets after sunset. He was from a broken family and his dad used to come back pissed and either beat his mum or Jock if he got in the way. He did what he could in those days to survive, including stealing cars and selling rave tickets to gullible students.
He used to print off thousands of tickets for an organised outdoor rave. He'd then borrow his mate's banged-up Escort van and drive around the country selling them. We are talking thousands of tickets here for around £10 a ticket (this was the 1990s). He used to blag his way into a student bar and sell them to naïve, spotty students at half price – provided they bought a minimum of 20 or so. He'd pocket the cash and tell the buyer to wait outside a particular phone box at a certain time to be arranged. The buyer could then expect a call telling the pumped-up partygoers where the rave was. The only thing was, the phone call never used to come, and by the time the kids knew what had happened, Jock would be flying down the motorway to scam another city – thousands of pounds richer!
He got away with this and other ingenious scams for a long while until he underestimated a particular shady character in a northern city. For God's sake, he should've known when he got the go-ahead to meet the guy in his local where he did business. Jock turned up with 3,000 tickets and was greeted by a man the size of a pie shop with a face that looks like it'd had regular panel beating. There were three vicious- looking pit bulls terriers and three equally hard-looking sidekicks. They were all wearing dark jackets, even darker shades and pug expressions. Jock should have realised that when he walked in to this scenario he should listen to the little voice in his head that's screaming 'Don't fuck with these guys!' In situations like this you disregard what it's saying at your peril.
Typically, Jock decided that he wasn't going to listen. He did the deal and high-tailed it like all the times before. All went well until the night of the supposed phone call. He was at a nightclub before heading off to scam another city when he met a girl of dubious morals. He figured out that if he hung around and put the verbal spadework in, he wouldn't be sleeping on his own that night and he'd leave the city in the morning on a high note. Ten o'clock passed and he hadn't made the call, for obvious reasons. Eleven o'clock passed and still no call. By this time Mr Scary had realised that he'd been shafted. He'd a lot of explaining to do to the other gangsters he'd sold tickets to, as well as a couple of thousand party-hungry clubbers. He'd lost face and a shitload of cash, and he was obviously pissed off, to say the least. Loss of face + loss of cash = disaster area for our Jock!
Meanwhile everything seemed to be going well with Jock and Miss Slack-knickers and at around one in the morning, after sucking face with her, he decided to get a taxi back to her pad for some fun between the sheets. Jock likes to call it 'slimy pump-pump action'. As he was leaving the club, Mr Nasty arrived with his entourage. Jock was immediately spotted and greeted with 'I'm gonna rip your fucking face off!' by one of the henchmen. Jock immediately ejected the 38G blonde from the taxi and pleaded with the driver to put his foot on the pedal. Mr Nasty jumped in to another taxi in hot pursuit. Jock threw a handful of cash at the driver and told him to head down a country lane and slow down enough so he could jump out and leg it across a field. The driver grudgingly agreed, Jock threw himself out and the taxi carried on. The only problem was, Mr Nasty and the gang had seen him. They stopped their taxi and chased after Jock on foot, fuelled by adrenaline and anger.
Jock ran and jumped like a gazelle over rocks, fences, hedges and other various obstacles, not to mention fields of bulls. He was being pursued by a psychotic mob and an enraged Aberdeen Angus. Running as hard as he could, he managed to create a gap between them of a hundred yards or so. Jumping in to a ditch, he took refuge in a pipe that took water under the road, and decided to crawl along it on his hands and knees until he was safely out of the area. He stayed there all night until he climbed out of a manhole at around ten the following morning in the middle of a busy high street, still dressed in his clubbing gear. He opened the manhole cover, climbed out, calmly stretched and yawned, and told an astonished passing pedestrian that he lived down there to save money on poll tax. Then he walked across the road and into a McDonald's for brunch. Priceless, and typical Jock antics.
Then there's Robbie. Robbie was the quiet one of the yacht's crew, but you know what they say about watching the quiet ones. He'd pretty much keep himself to himself but he'd absorb everything around him. He wasn't sensible by any means but he just wasn't as loud as Jock. Then again, who was? He was a man of very few words but when he did come out with something it was usually really funny or really philosophical and you'd be thinking about it all day. He was just an ordinary guy, but he was too intelligent for his own good and that would sometimes get him into trouble. He had quit school early because lessons bored him, probably because intellectually he was way ahead of the others. He was probably ahead of the teachers, come to think of it. He didn't stay at school long enough to take any exams and left with no formal qualifications.
He had a problem with substance abuse back then, probably for escapism. Nothing really heavy, just pills, weed and drink. He once worked in an old folks' home to make ends meet and he noticed at Christmas dinner that none of the inmates were talking. Most of them looked like they wanted to die. In a moment of madness the silly sod took pity on the poor old folk and wondered what he could do to give them a bit of party atmosphere. Sometimes he just lets emotions rule his head without really thinking about the consequences of his actions, and he laced the old folks' chocolate cake with a little speed.
Half an hour later, one granddad was bouncing around like a kiddie on a pogo stick, laughing his wrinkly old face off. Everyone else was chatting away like crazy people and he couldn't get a word in edgeways. The two resident spaniels, which had also had some of the cake, were going ballistic, running round like lunatics chasing their tails and barking the walls down. The place was in complete fucking mayhem. Robbie felt genuinely great that the atmosphere had picked up and everyone was enjoying themselves. He was feeling happy that he he'd brought a few moments of pleasure into otherwise dreary and dishevelled lives.
He decided to sit down with a few of the old boys, put some music on and share a joint with them. Everyone was having a blinding time until the manager walked in and discovered Albert buzzing his arse off and the normally orderly dining room had turned into a place that smelled like a Moroccan hashish den. That was the end of Robbie's career caring for the elderly. He swears blind that whilst shopping in town one day he bumped into one of the old boys who tried to score some hash off him.
'By crikey, it was cracking stuff that, son. Took all my aches and pains away! You wouldn't have any more, would you?'
It was a bloody silly thing to do, although everybody was fine. However, it does make you ponder the subject of narcotic substances. Robbie and I come from the same basic background as far as work and travel are concerned. We've both travelled extensively and worked in most of the countries around the globe. Robbie once gave me his thoughts on the use of party prescriptions over a few pints in the pub one night and it made remarkable sense to me. Robbie believed that the use of certain things in small quantities in a safe environment can help free your mind, drop your guard and make you very creative. One thing he noticed whilst travelling was that most countries and cultures have one thing in common, amongst other things: they all have some method of getting high!
Somebody famous once said that the only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Somebody else said they believed in a prolonged displacement of the senses to attain the unknown. Robbie believes a quote from William Blake: 'When the doors of perception are cleansed, things will appear as they truly are – infinity!'
* * *
The yacht was a beautiful, state of the art, top-of-therange beauty. She weighed several hundred tonnes and was about half the length of a football field. She had teak decks, stainless steel, and very tasteful and expensive furnishings. There was space for twelve guests, and she carried twelve to thirteen crew who looked after their every whim in utmost luxury. The upper deck, or sun deck, had a large Jacuzzi, a barbeque and a bar. She also carried two rigid inflatable speed boats capable of carrying six to eight people. These were used for taking the guests waterskiing, fishing and wakeboarding. She had a stern garage, otherwise known as the lazarette, where the crew kept all the 'toys'. These included two immensely powerful 1300cc jet skis, scuba gear, a sailing dinghy and inflatable water toys.
Walking into the crew room on board the yacht, I find the crew sat around the table. 'You'd better keep out of the way of the Captain today, everyone,' I warn them. 'He's definitely not in the best of moods.'
Robbie sighs. 'Tell me something new. That man was born an arsehole and just grew bigger.'
'What's the matter with Thrush today, then?' Jock joins in. 'Thrush' is Jock's nickname for the Captain, because just like thrush he's an irritating cunt. The first time Jock told me that, I was in the middle of drinking tea. I laughed so much I burnt myself.
The Captain was a cold, skinny, sour-faced man in his late fifties, with no sense of warmth and no idea about man management or how to treat people. He'd just joined this yacht because the owner of his last yacht died. That yacht was notorious because it was common knowledge that the owner liked to spread his seed into anyone or anything that moved. It was said that he would 'fuck the crack of dawn if he could get up early enough ... he'll shag anything with two legs or sometimes four.' It was also alleged that he'd try it on with the crew – especially the officers.
Tom used to tell a great story, imagining Thrush working on his previous yacht. 'I bet his arsehole looked like it had gone through a bloody mincing machine by the time he'd left! I bet the owner used to make him turn up at his cabin every day, trousers folded neatly over the forearm and then tell him to assume the position.'
Thrush had no enthusiasm or passion for anything other than putting people down or being a general arsehole. He was just a cold-hearted businessman. A captain can earn a fortune on mega-yachts. Obviously, the bigger the yacht the more money they get, but most command salaries of £5,000 to £15,000 a month, tax free, and most of their expenses paid. There are lots of fringe benefits, including tips from the guests – if it's a charter yacht – which can be anything from five to twenty per cent of the total bill for the charter, usually around $200,000 a week. The food bill and the fuel bill and other costs are added to that. The crew are usually salaried but also get tips – also tax free.
A good captain will share out the tips equally amongst the crew, but some captains take a larger cut for themselves. Often they are the only ones who see the final bill, so nobody really knows how much tip is received – every way you look at it, the captains are on fortunes.
Captains also deal with most of the accounting, so only they really know what comes in and what goes out. Depending on the yacht, the captain will buy the ship's food, fuel and stores from their own supplier. If they do this they get kickbacks of say five to ten per cent on what they spend. Again, all this extra cash adds up. I asked to be kept abreast of expenses but was basically told to fuck off, for obvious reasons. The Captain was on the make big time and he wasn't sharing the wealth.
The crew hated the Captain and this sometimes made my job difficult. He was shacked up with a Polish stewardess called Olga, and everyone hated her, too. When he wasn't around she was his eyes and ears. If you were chatting amongst yourselves and she walked in and overheard what you were saying, you could pretty much guarantee it would get back to the Captain. The crew thought that he'd met her on an 'East European brides' website. She'd pamper his every whim when he was around and call him 'Puppy', much to the crew's amusement.CHAPTER 2
WHITE SUITS AND BLACK MONEY
One of the things you can guarantee about anyone hiring a mega- yacht for a charter is they are stinking rich. We are not just talking people with a couple of million in the bank, we are talking people with a couple of hundred million or even a few billion in the bank. You often find that many of them are crooks in some way, shape or form. Sure, there are the legitimate businessmen and showbiz personalities, but sometimes they come from dubious backgrounds.
Excerpted from Superyacht X-Rated by Marc Wilder. Copyright © 2010 Mark Wilder. Excerpted by permission of John Blake Publishing Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – The Crazy Gang,
Chapter 2 – White Suits and Black Money,
Chapter 3 – Bleary Eyed and Battered,
Chapter 4 – All that Glitters is not Gold,
Chapter 5 – Muddy Geysers,
Chapter 6 – Gold Diggers,
Chapter 7 – Hedonistic Tendencies,
Chapter 8 – Kindred Spirit,
Chapter 9 – May the Force be with You,
Chapter 10 – The Bigger They Are the Harder They Fall,
Chapter 11 – The Panda-Eyed Goon,
Chapter 12 – Priapism,
Chapter 13 – Escort the Escorts,
Chapter 14 – Initiation by Fire,
Chapter 15 – He Speaks the Language like a Native,
Chapter 16 – All You Need is a Good Ashtray,
Chapter 17 – Don't You Just Love the Smell of Puppies?,
Chapter 18 – Cruel to be Kind ... or so He Thinks!,
Chapter 19 – Swine Rodeo,
Chapter 20 – Live Fast, Die Young, and Leave a Good-Looking Corpse,
Chapter 21 – Inspiration Comes in Many Forms,
Chapter 22 – We Are Us,
Chapter 23 – Nature Has the Answer,
Chapter 24 – What Goes Around Comes Around,