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“I’ll check it later,” scratching beneath his oil-stained baseball cap as her bottom lip dropped and looked up at him with pleading puppy-eyes. Shaking his head, he leant down to the rear tyre.  “Y’know mechanicin’ aint magic. It’s an eliminational process.”

“But -”

“You realize it’s a car, an’ not moving camouflaged-art?”

“But -”

“This is a two wheeled drive – not four wheeled drive.”

“But -”

“It’s not a billy goat or a reincarnated army tank.”

“But -”

“Not a born-again gecko gripping metallic-mud-wrestler.”

“But -”

“My truck’s tyre’s bigger than this teeny, tiny, car. Our cattle’s bigger than this vehicle. It’s a toy-car designed to never leave city limits.” He reached beneath the chassis. “Car’s perform better when they’re not luggin’ a forest’s worth of tree,” pulling out a branch from under the wheel arch. “What did this little car do to deserve this kind of treatment?”

She jumped into the front seat and started it up. “It’s survived everything we’ve put it through, so far.” Crunching the car into gear.

“Poor car. Especially with you drivin’ it. Where’dya get it?”

“Fell off this road-train, Uncle. No one claimed it.”

“Course no one’d want it, kid. This is four wheeled drive country. Surprised the bull-dust hasn’t swallowed it up yet.” He closed her door and the whole car shook from the simplistic motion. “How come you got it when you’re not old enough to get a license?”

“There’s a wager goin’ on what it’ll take for me to kill it. But, I’m not allowed to shoot it, or hit anythin’ to trigger-off the airbags. Hey, d’ya reckon this’ll float, and I’ll be able to hook the outboard motor onto it?” She drove off laughing before he could respond.

Wiping his grimy hands on a rag as red dust billowed out from behind the bubble blister of a car cutting through the open plains. Wallabies raised their heads from under the shady eucalyptus tree watching her drive past with a screeching aerial escort of white galahs. “That’s it, I’m buyin’ that kid a bloody TV, to get ‘er away from all this country….”


Due to the request of some of my overseas readers questioning Australian slang terms in some of my writing, here’s an abridged local consensus interpretation. (The local consensus- is the shed crew who solve problems of the world while consuming the odd pale-ale or five!)

Gecko- little lizards that like to hang from ceilings amongst the cobwebs. Here, in the tropics, they’re so common & everywhere that you don’t see them after awhile as they do their best in the natural warfare against flies & mozzies (mosquitoes).
Bull Dust- powdered dust that is a deceptive hazard on bush tracks that can sink cars in dust covered holes. Just imagine dry quick-sand without the slow-sinking drama, instead it’s an instant whip-lashing-hazard that can cause serious vehicle damage. Also used as a cleaner alternative for the word bullsh*t!
Galahs- big bully of a bird (cockatoo) that congregate in large noisy flocks. Known to live for 80+ years. They’re entertaining to watch because they act like feathered clowns who like to swear! ‘‘Ya’ bloody galah’is Aussie lingo for someone behaving like a foolish clown.
Larrikan- is Aussie slang for mischievous individual, like me, who is an apprentice to the local consensus who are the Masters of Mischief!

Photo is from down the track and it’s my personal sign for adventure (I, or the local consensus, did not shoot the sign)…Thanks for reading.

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