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Sunday, 16 May 2004

image for Shark-cleaning in Australia Rival shark cleaner, diver Brett Face

Wembley Downs’ couple Troy and Molly Lucksmith are not your typical enterprising self-employed partners-in-crime. Far from it in fact, for they have hit upon a novel money-spinner which is sure to make them a fortune, and keep the environment in tip-top shape.

Sharing a passion for money and aquatic wildlife is the key to success, say the Lucksmiths and being their own bosses suits them just fine. Fingers are crossed that the money will start pouring in soon for the debt-ridden duo that have been living without electricity or a phone connection for eight months. Since Troy was sacked from his job, pushing trolleys laden with mystery items through the high street, times have been hard for the two, and the bills have steadily built up.

Molly Lucksmith explains, “When Troy lost his job up town that really was the last camel, especially since I’d been spending all our savings on the pokies… I couldn’t get work because of my size, not being able to fit through doors and all, and we’d resorted to stealing the neighbours’ free newspapers to use as toilet roll.”

“Look, things had got out of hand,” adds Troy, “and I searched my head thinking of an idea when I saw a picture of a dirty shark on the telly. It was filthy! I couldn’t believe me eyes… I thought ‘right, that’s it’ and I went down the beach to look for some sharks to clean.”

Sure enough, Troy finally encountered a shark after floating on his surfboard all night 200 meters off Cottesloe beach.

“I had some buckets of blood I’d stolen from a butcher’s up the road and I made this incredible blood slick that went for miles… When I’d finished pouring the blood out I got me cleaning gear ready and waited, sitting there on the board all nervous like. About 3am I felt a knock on me leg which woke me up and I looks over to see a MASSIVE fin just cruising by. He must have been about 6 meters long or you’d call me a Sheila, and I suspected he’d be pretty dirty too. Anyway, I paddled on me board towards the big fella and leaned over to give him a rub with me broom which I’d stolen from a toilet in the pub I’d been in earlier. I managed to clean one side of him pretty well but then he just flipped out or something I dunno…”

While her husband was out at sea earning his crust Molly watched from the nearby Groyne, perched on a large rock eating crisps.

“When I saw the big shark go for Troy me heart almost stopped, seeing my brave little man out there working hard to give us a good life brought a tear to me eye… When the shark tipped him off his board I shouted out to Troy that the broom was floating away and pointed to where it was. I like to help out as much as I can.”

Troy is thankful for his wife and claims that without her support he would have lost the broom and the business would have folded just like that.

“She’s a good girl old Mol, that night when I almost lost the broom was a real heart-stopper alright… The bloody shark wouldn’t get out the way! I swam me hardest and grabbed the broom and alls this time the sharks munching me surfboard! He was a hungry fella alright but I guess that’s ‘cos he’d just been cleaned. I suspect he’d not had a clean like that for a while. I get the same after a bath, got to have a bite to eat or I get all woozy!”

After retrieving said broom Troy had to swim back to the beach minus his surfboard and congratulate himself on a good night of honest hard yakka. The couple exchanged hugs on the deserted beach and walked back to the car with new found hope and pride, with a feeling that everything will turn out right in the end. Since this episode the Lucksmiths have been structuring their business and have even considered floating it on the stock market.

“We need more capital to buy another surfboard, although Troy did steal one the other day, but I’d like to help too so I need a board!” said Molly gleefully while on the toilet at their modest home filled with rubbish.

Troy adds from the bath, “I hear there is plenty of interest from other people investing in our company, Shark Bright, as we call it and the hole in the shark-cleaning market means we can name any price!”

Molly smiles at Troy and says, “When we get a telephone line installed I guess it will be ringing non-stop but we have decided not to get one installed again, Troy has a metal plate in his head… any loud high pitched noises set off his fits. That’s how he lost his job up town; I had to collect him from the town centre... on the floor like an upturned tortoise he was with his legs kicking in the air… You can’t help it can you love?”

“Bloody buskers doing Bee Gees covers all over the place in town, I was having a fit every 10 minutes," said Troy, " it was… just hell… that’s why I’m best off in the sea, miles from civilization cleaning those dirty bloody sharks.”

“That’s right my love," purred Molly as she lent over to wipe her bum, " doing a hard day’s yakka…” Troy broke down after this and sank his head under the bathwater and farted. I left them to it and fought my way through the piles of waste until I found the exit and as I ran laughing to my car I turned back to look at that dirty house with flames beginning to billow through the kitchen window and wondered what the world was coming to.

If anyone has a dirty shark they need cleaning come round to Troy’s mums house and knock on the garage door anytime after 3pm and Troy will be glad to help you out in exchange for a wheelbarrow full of money or just your watch.

Interview by James Gilbertson

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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