Our guest columnist – Con Constantine – will present readers with a cleverly written send-up and an ironic imitation of the building industry.

Con hopes that by enjoying his articles – you will learn about the building industry and not fall into carefully concealed traps that can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.

Con strongly supports the concept of ‘buyer beware’ but at UltraCon Constructions – its more about what he doesn’t say!

Hello and welcome back –

Thank you to those of you who have written to Mrs. Constantine congratulating her on her overwhelming success at the Rio LBGTI Festival.

The majority of the emails Mrs. Constantine has received are not congratulating her on her unparalleled success marketing UltraCon Constructions aboard the blinged-up UltraCon Dream Home Float but more about becoming an overnight sensation as a Show Girl.

Mrs. Constantine has received offers of fame and fortune from Rio which include a season performing in the Rio Casino alongside the likes of Lady Gaga, Gia Carangi and Georgina Rodriguez.

The famous Rio fashion chronicle – W Magazine – has offered Mrs. Constantine a photo shoot for the front cover of the up and coming Spring edition. The Editor in Chief is incredulous that Mrs. Constantine is in such fabulous shape (for her age) given her passion for Fruit Flans. Mrs. Constantine’s stock standard response to rhetorical questions such as this is – ‘not telling’!!  It is a laid-down-mid-air in my opinion but we won’t go into that now.

Laid-down-mid-air is such a fabulous and useful expression. When Mrs. Constantine was overseas – I took myself to the Casino for a glass of sparkling Porphyry Pearl Sweet Blanc ($4.99 per bottle so a glass works out at about 45 cents) and a tinker on the Pokies. I took $10.00 with me so minus 45 cents for my drink – I had $9.55 for a flutter. Blow me down – I put my coins into a machine and the machine lit up and behaved like an unbalanced washing machine about to leap across the bathroom floor – gold coins cascading from the bottom of the machine by the dozen!!  I had hit the jackpot big time.

I called my cousin Vinnie the winning Melbourne Cup jockey and said if he would come with lots of buckets to take the coins home – he could have half if he guessed how many coins were in each bucket. Cousin Vinnie came to help me but of course couldn’t guess the number of coins in any given bucket but we shared a glass of Porphyry Pearl Sweet Blanc – had a laugh and went home with me feeling on top of the world.

Whilst at the Casino – I kept hearing gamblers saying ‘laid-down-mid-air’ repeatedly and I thought it sounded authoritative so hence my intermittent use of the phase.

We hear a great deal about intelligence in the media – not that of the journalists but more about the gathering of important, secret information.

An UltraCon Constructions subsidiary I haven’t yet mentioned is our Intelligence Agency.  It is so secret that I can’t even tell you the name of the subsidiary.

I have been approached by government agencies to gather intelligence on international issues but that is really not using my skills in this area in the best possible way.

I have my eye on the Building Industry and in particular – Inspector Mike Heathcote and his Termite Detecting four-legged companion – Ace.

Current Intelligence has led me to believe Ace is so smart that he is just about ready to have a game of chess with Inspector Mike’s clients while they are waiting for their de-brief in the back of the Building Masters high tech and comfortable mobile office!!

My Intelligence gathering also tells me that Inspector Mike meets with a great deal of resistance when dealing with Real Estate Agents opening properties so Inspector Mike and Ace can get to work.

The Agents are taught during the ‘Blind Eye’ course to duck and weave – weave and duck and duck and weave. Make life hell for Inspector Mike so hopefully he will tell his client the house is as glorious as they have been told by the Real Estate Agent – and go away.

It is very difficult to dissuade Inspector Mike when his mission in life is to be the world’s best Building Defect Crusader.

At UltraCon – we don’t have this problem. We do not need Real Estate Agents opening properties for Building Inspections because we do not lock our Dream Homes – we are so proud of our work we like to leave them open for people to view at their convenience and leisure. As you all know by now – we don’t believe in building defects and therefore don’t have any of the related issues that Inspector Mike has to face every hour of his working day.

There have been occasions when I have visited one of our Dream Homes waiting for the proud owners to move in – to find that people have been living there for months unbeknown to me! It doesn’t bother me in the least – these people can be our best advertisers talking about how truly glorious our UltraCon homes are.

When I introduce myself to these people as Con Constantine (the CEO/CFO/COE – Chief of Everything) of UltraCon Constructions – their faces light up because they realise they are in the presence of a real-life corporate magnet. They respond by introducing themselves as the Squatters.

It is quite remarkable because a number of people who have made themselves at home in one of UltraCon’s unlocked Dream Homes have also been Squatters – obviously all related to each other.

I thought Smith and Jones were common surnames but now I can safely assume that Squatter is fast joining the ranks of Smith and Jones.

My Intelligence Agency has been keeping a watchful eye on Inspector Mike of late because he seems to be obsessed with slab heave.

The only slab heave I know of is the game we play at our annual Christmas party.

We place over 100 slabs of beer down one end of our office and the person who can heave as many slabs at a time from one end of the office to the other – wins the lot. At UltraCon Constructions – we love and look forward to slab heave – bring it on!!!

Slab heave is a whole different story to Inspector Mike who attests that it is caused by clay soils expanding when they absorb water from rain, broken sewer pipes, ground water etc. and affects concrete slabs which have been inadequatley designed.

The amount of water in the ground is uneven so the subsequent movement of the house and its footings and concrete slab is uneven.

Inspector Mike – with his huge magnifying glass – will look for tell tale signs of slab heave which include gaps under walls, damage to cornices, uneven floors, cracks in brickworks and plumbing and pipe problems and then tell his clients that it is due to unsatisfactory building practice where industry standards have not been followed.

Inspector Mike would never rub salt into his client’s wound by saying –‘should’ve gone to UltraCon Constructions’.  Instead he settles back into his luxurious mobile office – tells Ace to go find some rabbits – and taps furiously on his computer preparing (I can hardly utter the words) – a Building Defect Report.

In last month’s column – I did mention I had a teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini reconciliation with my estranged brother George – CEO/CFO and COE of Shark Infested Water Inc.

This is true and I don’t want to appear evasive but the matter remains under the scrutiny of the strong arm of the law, so I can’t reveal any further details other than to say it is a Building Industry related matter.

Keep learning and laughing at my expense!