These are the adventures of Sam, Jake and Dylan, three degenerate losers who live together on the 42nd floor of Hazy Towers, the worst apartment block in the known universe. At least their landlord, Mr Hayes, is such a spineless weasel of a man that they have never had to pay a single cent of rent. Still, government handouts only buy so much toast, and the boys are always on the lookout for a crazy way to make a buck.
In Episode One - Black Market Prawns - Jake strikes a deal with a dodgy mariner to acquire one tonne of illegal prawns. Sounds like a good way to earn some coin, but during the height of Summer, and without adequate refrigeration, the race is on to offload the goods before the funk really settles in.
Sam, Jake and Dylan Want Money is written by Australian comedian and fantasy author Sam Bowring, whose other books include the Broken Well trilogy ('the stuff of fantasy writer's fantasies' - AurealisXpress), and the Strange Threads duology ('utterly mesmerising - Courier Mail).
'Someone made a big mistake when they named it the "washing-up"', said Sam. 'They could have saved everyone a lot of trouble if they'd just called it the "throwing-away".'
His tone was imperious, as if his ratty old swivel chair was a high throne, his shaky old desk a great balcony on which he rested his arm, and his overflowing waste basket a treasure chest brimming with gold. He gazed at Dylan from his garbage kingdom as if from on high, somehow, despite being lower than Dylan's eye level over in the far corner of the living room. He swivelled away with a dismissive flourish, and quickly settled back into his fast-and-slow staccato style of typing, alternated with long periods of holding the delete key.
Behind the long counter that separated living room from kitchen, Dylan stood by the sink with his arms folded.
'That's not really an answer,' he said, 'to the question that I asked.'
Sam’s eyes narrowed. ‘Dylan,’ he said, ‘I don’t have time to help you with the washing-up, okay? I’m trying to meet my deadline. Now be silent and still.’
Dylan knew that Sam’s deadline was entirely self imposed, and wandered about in time like Dr Who on LSD.
‘I'm not sure,' he muttered, 'that a widely unread blog really requires a deadline.'
‘What?’ Sam spun about in his chair, knocking over his trash and scattering banana skins and screwed up tissues across the floor. ‘What did you say to me?’
‘Nothing.’ Dylan picked up a saucer from the mounded heap on the kitchen bench. 'Look at this saucer. Isn't it astounding? It's very presence suggests that we are a household concerned with the possibility of spills. The fact that it is dirty means it was even used to prevent one, some time in the past. Which one of us, I wonder, was bothered by the idea of a few measly drips of tea, when there is peanut butter on the walls and anthills in the carpet? Not to mention you've just rolled your chair over half a banana?'
Sam glanced down at the squashed banana, then angrily waved it away. 'It's the cyclical nature of things!' he said. 'But you're right. There wouldn't be so much mess if everyone stopped trying to prevent it in the first place. And I won't be part of the problem, thank you very much.'
He turned back to thwack furiously at the keyboard. Dylan suspected he wasn’t typing real words.
Sweat built along Dylan’s brow. The day was shaping up to be another scorcher. His shirt was already stuck to his back, and pretty soon his bum crack would know what his neck tasted like. This far up, on the forty-second floor of the Hazy Towers apartment building, there was nothing standing between them and the raging sun besides dirty windows without blinds and a concrete wall that was hot to the touch. Above Sam's desk, an air conditioning unit rumbled uselessly, occasionally belching a puff of dust through the webs of desiccated spiders. Along the kitchen counter, all the way up to where the sink used to visible, piles of washing-up baked in the light, ceramic grown sentimental for its time in the kiln.
‘If we knew someone with a ute,’ Dylan said, ‘we could stack these dishes in the back and take them to a car wash.’
'And if wishes were horses,' muttered Sam, then paused thoughtfully, 'then I guess we could use a horse and cart. I wonder if you can take a horse through a car wash? Have to put its blinkers on, I suppose.'
A blowfly surfed through the kitchen window on a dry breeze.