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It’s the big property sell-off…

..but who will Uncle Joe and Barry hire to help pull the cash in?

Published on March 21st 2011.

It’s the big property sell-off…

BARRY Bodgeit wished he had one of his little paper bags that the doctor had given him to control his hyperventilation.

Unfortunately, he’d run out after bursting three during Uncle Joe’s voicemail that morning.

The sound of the secretary sucking on one of Uncle Joe’s plums wasn’t helping his nerves either. Finally he snapped.

“Do you mind? I bought them for Uncle Joe, not you!”

The secretary stared at Barry for a moment and the spat a stone onto the table. Barry pretended not to notice, but made a mental note: “Watch your back when the next lot of redundancies comes around,” he smiled.

The phone rang and Barry heard Uncle Joe’s voice “Send da bum in, Margaret.”

Margaret smiled back at him, her eyes glittering.

“Uncle Joe would like to see you now.”

When he entered Uncle Joe’s office he was surprised to find him on the floor wrestling with bubble wrap and some brown tape.

“How hard can it be to wrap up a god damn stapler?” mumbled Uncle Joe

“Is it a present?” enquired Barry.

“No it ain’t a god damn present! Who the hell buys someone a frickin’ stapler for a present you idiot?”

Barry winced, he’d heard Uncle Joe say those words before. That was a 50th birthday party he wouldn’t be forgetting for a long time.

“Sit your ass down, I’ll do this later,” said Uncle Joe as he tossed the stapler into a pile of office stationery items in the corner.

He pressed the intercom: “Margaret, take all these goddamn packages down to the post room. And make sure you sort out da Paypal account.”

Barry took a seat in one of Uncle Joe’s plush leather office chairs.

“Not there you idiot! Those nylon pants you got on will take the shine off. You trying to ruin my eBay feedback?”

Barry leapt to his feet, and nervously looked for somewhere to sit. “What happened to the wooden bench I usually to sit on?”

“I sold it,” replied Joe “I got us £15 for that, Buy It Now, which kept a Sure Start group open for another hour.

“But no sweat. We are getting it back next week. Kevin in the office sundries department. His brother in law bought it and he’s leasing it back to us, only £20 a day”

Barry thought it best not to ask where the carpet had gone as he squatted on the floor boards.

“Okay Barry, what’s the story with this property sell off you been organising for us?

“I got Mad Frankie down in London itching to get a hold of the advertising stuff you been doin. He’s got a buddy down there who’s lined up some fella who’s made money in oil waiting to buy up some of Liverpool.”

“Really? What’s his name?”

“God Daffy or something like that. But listen. Frankie tells me this guy has had his people in our embassy with crates of money looking to spend. So we gotta offload that Lister Drive Library and the rest and we gotta get a move on.

“Did you get that guy off the daytime telly to do the sales video for us?”

“I did,” said Barry proudly. “They’ve finished it already. They’ve named it after the programme he makes.”

“What’s it called?”

“Bargain Hunt… with David Dickinson.”

“No! Not him! I meant da property show that’s got Damon from Brookside. The one where he sells houses and bikes! You is an idiot! Da whole thing rested on dat.”

Barry would normally have panicked at this point, but he had an ace up his sleeve, so he calmly held up his hand to quieten Uncle Joe, whose face reddened.

“Uncle Joe! Uncle Joe, calm down, I’ve got a better salesman. I’ve got a guy who could sell sand to the Arabs.”

“Sand? Crosby is in Sefton. Though if we keep quiet we could maybe get £500 scrap dosh for dem statues...”

“No,” Barry continued: “I’ve lined up Broadcaster Billy from Radio Murkeyside to do one of his special ‘Trading Posts’. All we have to do is ring in, pretend to be 80, and then we describe the buildings we are trying to sell.”

“You asshole, Barry. It’s only pensioners who listen to dat. And they ain’t got the cash to buy the Littlewoods building. They all worked in it. We need people thinking they can make a fast buck or two.”

“Gillette and …”

“Don’t even say it.” Uncle Joe waved his finger across the table"

“How about Bill Kenwright?”


“It’s not all rubbish we are selling,” said Barry. “ The mansion house in Calderstones will go for a few bob.”

“Erm, Al in the estates department says dat’s already been arranged. He knows a guy who knows a guy who wants to open a wine bar there.”

Barry and Uncle Joe sat in silence for a moment.

“What we need is someone who knows all about selling, someone who can dress up Croxteth and Speke and make them look like dey is worth something.

“The way I see it we’s got one choice... Margaret, do we have the number for Gerald Ratner?”

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ScepticMarch 21st 2011.

Whatever happened to the three-and-a-half star hotel Peel Holdings promised they were building in the historic hydraulic tower in the Birkenhead docks five years ago?
The only thing Peel Holdings seems to deliver is fancy tabletop models of wildly optimistic schemes and huge amounts of excited column-inches in the local press.

Nothing else.

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