Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Queensland On My Mind

Alright, so as soon as I could make out that the grumpy guy who I hit with the Marmold bottle had taken off, I skedaddled from Sydney. Locked my hotel door, avoided Harold, and rented an Enzo to scoot me on up to Queensland. Bought some Dinkie Dots and Gatorade at a “petrol,” set my sights on Cunnamulla, and let ‘er rip.

Once I passed the border into Queensland I felt like stoppin’ for some proper steak and potatoes, but there wasn’t a lot goin’ on. I pulled into a pretty rural petrol station (the Enzo eats gas like you wouldn’t believe) and started at the pump. This younger dude in overalls and no shirt sat on the porch dippin’ what looked like a chicken thigh bone into a baggie that had somethin’ like soft aspic in it (aspic is that sort of clear chicken Jell-O that happens around a roast chicken carcass if you put it on a plate in the fridge overnight). He’d suck the aspic off the bone and dip it again, starin’ at me the whole time. Hell of uncomfortable, and I could swear I heard a didgeridoo playin’ “Dueling Banjos.” I pumped exactly twenty bucks, tucked that much cash into the handle, and zoomed off.

The next problem came when I got to Bodge Cranny Township, a little one-dog map dot maybe an hour outside ‘a Charleville. The guys runnin’ the outdated pump were gassed to the nines, sittin’ around in lawn chairs on the asphalt, and just givin’ me decades of sass. One guy even said it was likely that I was an idiot, based on my shoes and head, but on reflection he was definitely in his cups and meant nothing by it.

I finally topped off the Enzo, but I was outta cash, so I had to mix with them to pay. The main attendant, this dude with a sleeveless Chevron oxford under his overalls, spat and waved me into the office. To be cool, I bought a pack of smokes and a sixer of somethin’ called “XXXX.” I guess it’s dumb that they have beer with more X’s than Japanese porn, but maybe that makes them think that they’re having an incredible amount of fun. The dude let me off after just a couple more insults and I screeched away. I saw some of the smoke from my tires go into the nose of their dog, so I hope the dog got sick from that.

From here I’m headed to Barcaldine, which is a place on the map. I’ll check in with you soon, if I can. Things feel weird up here.