"The story's like this. this bloke, wot owns the truck called in one day, lost. Completely and utterly bushed, slewed and lost. 'Where's the bloody road, mate' he says, an' I tell him it ain't built yet, an' he sez, 'No wonder I couldn't find it then, Hey?' an' I sez, Hey".
Both Old Pete and the Operator took a long swig of the beer, and settled in for the rest of the yarn, which will unwind itself in due course.
Old Pete could see the connection with the blokes name and the situation in which Lucky finds himself, I mean, Lucky has no problems, is not over worked, has no cash flow problems, simply because he has no cash flow. It also appears that the electricity supplier can't find him to send him bills, nor find him to disconnect his power. (That can happen in stories like this). And he has already exceeded his past twenty years of trading in one afternoon. What more could a bloke ask, I ask?"
The rest of the yearn is unfolding:
"The truckie was in a hurry to go to the 'Gentlemen's Rest Room' which I said we ain't' installed as yet and there is a dunny out the back ifn' he wanted,"
"Yeah! Nuffin' wrong with a dunny ifn' ya need one." Old Pete interjected, butting in at the same time.
"Yeah! Nuffin', Anyrate, Off he goes, but to whence I no not where. I can only speculate, and have a bit of a guess, or chance a suspicion on the matter, but I reckon he thought the dunny was out the back, and as ya' can see, out the back is desert, and a bit more desert, So Ifn' he kept walkin' he is either very, very lost, very, very dead, or very close to the Indian Ocean. Bin' neigh on twenty years since he left, an' he a has racked up a pretty big parking bill, I can tell ya."
"Did ya' ever report him missin'?" Odl Pete asked.
"How could I be sure he was missin'? He might just be out walkin'." Lucky opined, adding, "An' how could I tell anyone, no one has been along this way for neigh on twenty years."
"How long ago did the government promise you the road?" Old Pete wanted to know.
"I reckon it would be neigh on twenty years, give or take a neigh or two."
"Well, I'll tell ya' what, " Old Pete revealed, "I need a bit of extra transport for me' camel camp, an' I was wondering ifn' ya' wanted to hire me the big Mac?"
"Aw! Dunno, all this cash flow is causing me a problem."
"Yep! Fair Dinkum, ya see me' till draw is stuck and I need it to put the money inta when I make a sale."
"This is not a sale, Lucky, old mate, this is a hire."
"Yeah! Right, your not just a pretty face are ya'.?"
"Some think I am, but not just a, but an as well as a"
"Yeah! Right", sed Lucky.
"Can we have a look in the pantechnicon (Us old Truckies call it a pantech. or just a Pan.) So Old Pete repeated, "Can we have a look in the pan, mate?"
Would you believe? Here we were at the start of the day with problems concerning a Rolex watch of which Old Pete now has three, and here we are at the back of the pan with its doors open, revealing a solid, almost new, twenty-two year old Volkswagen Combi, all done out with camper gear. Transport problem solved,
I am always amazed at the ways and means of the Australian Outback, when you are down and out, and life looks to pass you by, and you are stuck for a Rolex watch and a camper van, along it comes, just like that.
You have read the circumstances leading up to this bit of luck, so you know it was not of my invention as all unfolded from the mouth of Lucky the Operator, and I had very little to do with the way things turned out. But wait, there's more!
"That's what I need, I can use that better than I could use the Mac truck, I'll tell ya' wot, I'll give ya' two hundred dollars for the VW." Old Pete very kindly offered.
"I dunno mate, it's over neigh on twenty years old, how about a hundred, that'll do me, an' I'll toss in a tank of petrol as well."
"Ya' drive a hard bargin, Lucky."
"Well a blokes gotta make a livin' ya' know?"
So we now have Old Pete and the girls fixed up, not that they were broken or nuffin', it is just a t run of a phrase to suggest that if they had been broken they would now be fixed up. I know that blokes get fixed up with girls at times, and the bloke ends up broken, but this doesn't refer to that situation.
"It's me' camel handlers birthday tomorrow, do you want to come to t he party?" Old Pete offered Lucky.
"Aw! Dunno mate, dunno ifn' I can leave the truck stop like that, not now that business has picked up."
"Don't' ya' have some casual workers wot could do ya' shift for ya'?"
"Well, I have had some casuals down from Darwin, in the past, so I could give 'em a call and see ifn' someone is available.
It seems that the dole office in Darwin has a list of casuals for all types of casual work. They've got casual truckies, and wait persons that sit around waiting and who are really casual. They've got crocodile hunters, Rodeo clowns, bull shippers, and as a matter of fact, they have the largest contingent of casual Bull Shippers in the world, outside Texas and Canberra.
According to lucky, all he has to do is to get in touch, and they will put a bloke on a plane and have him at the truck stop in neigh on an hour. (Just having a break from however)
Yeah! I could do it, and I could deliver the VW for ya' while I am at it."
"Yep, that's all good," Old Pete reckoned.
Old Pete topped up the V8 with a goodly swig of water, and four stubbies as well, camels love beer, ya' know, but ifn' ya' didn't they love beer.
A little touch of the heels, and the camel with Old Pete still on board, landed about halfway down the track towards the oasis.
After dinner, that evening, with the last flicker of the candles in the candelabra where candles flicker in most of the after dinner scenes you will see in the movies, the three travellers all pitched in with the cleaning up and putting things away, with Old Pete taking on the most important job of all, supervising the work seated in his recliner rocker so as not to get in the way.
"I invited the truck stop Operator for your birthday bash, Heidi."
"Oh Goody", Sed the lovely blonde, who had actually dressed for dinner.
"He is bringing a couple of surprises with him."
"Oh! Goody." Sed Both the lovely girls.
So, it all looks wonderful for the birthday girl. I mean, you observers cannot see anything that would disrupt the celebrations set for tomorrow night, right?
Later, when Old Pete was helped out of his recliner rocker and led to bed by the blooming Reddie, not meant as in the Bloomin' Reddie, which could also indicate some term referring to the fact that being led by Reddie would be a bloomin' pain in the butt, but, of course it is not a reference to anything like t hat, and it is quite clear that the Bloomin' used to indicate the situation that has occurrence on this particular night, made Dr Roughen Reddie in fact bloom.
As Old Pete entered the inner sanctum of the master tent, he pushed aside the veil of fine gauze that separated the outer sanctum form t he said inner sanctum where the delicious Dr Reddie reclined amoungst, and I mean amongst, the sumptuous cushions of fine down, with a little up and some to the side feathers from the unclothed eider ducks of Pillowdom.
Old Pete was taken over by the scene before him, as it would any red blooded man of the Outback, a statement that has always worried me as I have never been game to determine the different blood colours of anyone, let alone a man of the Outback.
However, (Boy! I have missed the however) it was not the scene the Old Pete was seeing, but more the screen that screened the scene that he would have seen if he was looking in the right direction, ifn' ya' knwo wot I mean.
The Good Doctor was concerned with the ethical questions that had posed a question with her ethics on the return of Old Pete from his shopping spree.
"Old Pete," Reddie began, which is a strange way to begin in the current situation, simply because there was no one else present in either of the sanctums of the master tent other than herself, or the man she had just called 'Old Pete',. Never-the-less, in place of however, that is how the good doctor addressed the dressed, but soon to be undressed Old Pete.
"Yes, Dear," Old Pete used the usual usage that a man uses when he is in doubt of what is coming next from his female partner, which does not , in any way, indicate a feminine partner, ifn' ya' know wot I mean. There are many female partners that are anything but feminine, hey?
The last thing we need on this trip is any deep and meaningful discussions: however there appears to be one pending.
You see, Old Pete has not had a great education on the wily ways of women. He often suffers from foot in mouth disease, and at times he only takes a foot out just long enough to change feet. Having said that, I shall say this, so you can be prepared for a bit of this and that, and maybe a bit of other stuff as well.
Wot I am nattering on about is the matter of the Rolex for Heidi. I am sure that she would not really expect one, considering the distance that they were from Switzerland, hence, hre delight will be momentous for a moment amounting to massive amounts of squealing and laughing and hugging and stuff, Right?
Now, If Old Pete revealed that he bought one for Reddie and one for himself, (this is the deep and meaningful part) wouldn't that detract from Heidi's delight, and birthday? we think so, Old Pete and Reddie think so, so that's what we think.
"Reddie, I have something to say to you."
"That's nice, I love it when you talk to me."
"I bought Heidi a Rolex watch today, but I bought one for you too, and one for me as well."
Oh! Aren't you sweet, where's mine, I want it now, give." Reddie was a woman after all.
"Just wait," Old Pete commanded in his best 'I'm the boss type voice, which, naturally caused gales of laughter to gale forth from the lovely Reddie.
"Yes Dear," She answered between the storm, 'the gales', aren't you paying attention?
“I think we should just give Heidie her watch and watch her as she appreciates all th e rouble I went to to get it for her as she requested, not that I am looking for any accolades, I mean it is Heidie's birthday, and not a moment of my wonderful cleverness and great means of making people love me for the wonderful person that I really am, is it?”
“Old Pete, “ Sed Reddie, with that look o experation in her eyes, which, of course is cosidered natural, or normal, or even normally natural, as one would have some difficulty of having a look of exaperation in anything other than one's eyes, “Come to bed, you are straining your egualibrium again.”
“Hoppy Birthday, to meee.” The sweet strains of the very strained voice of Heidi raised all the bird life at the oasis, it also raised the animal life, excepting the camels who had become used to the strange behavious of their humans, and just continued to lay where they were standing, chewing their cud in complete nonchalance of anything other than the cud which they chewed.
The singing also raised Reddie and Old Pete, who had a bit of sleep depravation for some reason,; however, as times passes so do the reasons for the sleep depravation, don't it?
Old Pete threw back the flap on the master tent, which caused it to be flung that far back that tent, tie down ropes and pegs were threw to the edge of the waters of the oasis, leaving Reddie stark naked on the bed, which in the light of things was not out of place in this scene, as Heidi was prancing around starkd naked as well.
“Goodness gracious me.” Old Pete said, thinking of his graciousness more than his goodness, “What is happening hereabouts? Has everyone taken leave of their senses?”
You can just hear Old Pete talking like this, hey? Me neither.
'Tis my birthday, Old Pete, so I iss vearing my birthday suit, do you think it suits?”
“I suits me all right, and Reddie here in her's, maybe I should get into birthday mode as well, hey?”
“Wot do ya' reckon, Reddie?”
“Dear , Old Pete, do you think I am your Reddie-Reckoner? But no, Sweets, the birds and animals left, we don't want the camels running off in fright as well.”
“Aw! Gee, I never get any fun.” Old Pete Lamented, to his detriment wihich is very detrimental if you are determined to defer different things as fun, and such.
“So, that was not fun for you last night.” Sed Red still in bed, nodding her head.
“Oh! Oh! I tinken dat the man is in the trouble, Ya?