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Run out of Town.

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Author Topic: Run out of Town.  (Read 179 times)
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« on: October 28, 2008, 11:01:05 am »

For a while there I was running between Sydney and Brisbane taking car batteries up and returning with what ever we could load.
 We preferred to drive all night even out to North Dalacca to hand load pine flooring piece by piece, taking all day  than to have to load cattle hides and such from the Brisbane Abettors .
 It would be about the worst loading anyone could wish to do. But sometimes that was all that was available to load south.
 It took nearly all day to load as they brought out on the forklift bundles and bundles of hides rolled up covered in salt. We had to man handle them one by one  row by row up to 25 ton and boy did they stink. They were wet and coated with salt.
 But there was worse. Sometimes to complete the load, sacks of offal also would be sent and these sacks were filled with ears hoofs and other unmentionables commonly called “bulls Pizzles”. They also were dripping wet . Now if you thought the hides were rank man you had to smell these sacks of offal’ They had been laying around for days and the urine and the flys were a wonderful combination. Most drivers on the first introduction to hell would do nothing but dry retch all day while trying to load.
 The contents of these sacks of offal  on arrival in Sydney were cooked and melted down to make gelatine.
 My favorite desert was Port Wine Jelly but after my first load to Sydney it was a long time before I could bring myself to eat any type of jelly. Remembering the putrid smell and the soggy feel of those sacks,. loading them all by hand. was enough to turn me off jelly for a long long time.
 Any way back to the story.
 As every thing was being loaded sack by sack naturally the slime and the liquid started to ease its way down through  the floor of the trailer and as the load became heavier and pressed on each other so the flow of liquid became greater. Before being half loaded the trailer was a mass of dripping smelly stinking liquid plopping all over the wheels and cascading onto the concrete under the truck from stalactites of gooey  offal.
By the time you loaded you were covered in this ‘nectar of the Gods’, hands shirt trousers shoes etc. A quick shower, a change of clothes, and a fervent prayer that you would have no tire trouble on the way home, then off. And ‘off’ we were. Drivers would tell us afterwards that they could smell us for miles and miles after we passed them, holding their nose and wondering what crime we had committed to have to be punished this way.
 If we stopped for a meal we would have to leave the truck parked well down the road  because the constant dripping onto the ground would leave its smell there for weeks and worse when it rained it gave it new strength to waft through the air. We certainly didn’t want to upset our regular meal stops, so a walk was in order.
 After a time one became somewhat conditioned to the smell, mind you ,always aware of it but to a degree where we could sort of try and ignore it.
One trip I remember very well, for some reason I decided to take the Lindesay Highway to Grafton and down the coast road to Sydney. Why I don’t know as the ferry operator over the Clarence River at Harwood always got his knickers in a knot when we came aboard. He reckoned it took him a week of continuous hosing of sea water to finally rid the ferry of the smell and stop the whinging of the passengers…’What’s that awful smell on the deck.’
 Anyway I did go that way and just over the N.S.W. Border I stopped for a sleep after loading all day. After having a rush trip up from Sydney I was very tired...I started out the next morning and realized I was hungry as well I hadn’t eaten all the day before.
Rolling into the next town, it was about 9.30 and being unfamiliar with this town, I saw a café open ..yipee’
There was a wide dirt area opposite the café, so without thinking I pulled in, kicked the tires hoping there was no flat ones  .there wasn’t.. and strolled across to the café and ordered a mixed grill with two eggs and one large coffee. At this stage I smelt fairly clean.
 My stomach was rumbling, I was starving and the largest plate I have ever seen was plonked down in front of me.. you beauty.
 I was the only one in the café and just about finished my meal when suddenly two grey dust coated officials swiftly entered saw me and made straight for the café proprietor. There was a whispered conversation with knowing looks back over their shoulder in my direction and pointed fingers over the road toward my truck. I was too busy to be interested, wolfing down bacon with a touch of egg, after spearing a choice piece of steak, relishing the food going down and realizing that it was probably my last meal before Sydney.
 All of a sudden I looked up and there were these two dust coated characters standing over me, glaring down at me from the opposite side of the table.
With knife and fork poised and chewing slowly, I looked blankly from one to the other.
Thinking ‘I wonder who “Heckle and Jeckle” are?
 I quickly found out.
Heckle spoke down to me “Are you the driver of that smelly truck across the road?”
I nodded ..still chewing slowly enjoying the food.
Jeckle piped up “ What do you think you are doing?”
“I’m eating my breakfast “ I said Whats it to you?”
Heckle’s turn “You have to move your truck immediately.”
“Bull[ word deleted ]” I said.. smiling to myself..  there is probably a lot of that on there as well as hides and ‘pizzles’.
Jeckle ‘ We are both health inspectors ‘ indicating with his arm his partner and himself.
“Good for you” I replied. “Good job?”
Jeckle continued “Don’t be smart,your truck is a health hazard to the town, I’m ordering you to move it  immediately.”
I could sense trouble here and I wasn’t about to ruin my lovely breakfast  for this pair, so looking down at my plate and very methodically I cut another piece of steak and deciding not that bit I’ll try that piece on the other end first, slowly lifted the second  piece of steak to my mouth and started chewing. Completely ignoring them.
Heckle this time “Did you hear what we said?”
I nodded still chewing. .pacing things so that no matter what happened I would be able to finish my breakfast.
“Well .. are you going to move it?”
‘In a couple of minutes. I’ll be finished my breakfast soon and then I’ll be off.’
Jeckle the meaner looking one called out to the café owner “Call the police station and ask them will they send someone down here immediately, we have a problem.”
I just kept eating. The plate was getting smaller and my stomach was filling up.. good. I thought, no matter what happens I’ve had breakfast.
The two inspectors went outside and waited on the footpath till a patrol car eased into the curb. A constable alighted and there was a conference on the footpath. Then all three marched into the café and up to my table.
I was industriously wiping some egg yolk with my last bit of toast from the plate and wondering  will I get a chance to drain the coffee pot.
“Are you the driver of the truck across the road” asked the policeman.
“Yep that’s right … why” I replied to him.
‘Well it seems we have a problem. The health inspectors here have had a complaint from the school that the smell has forced the Nuns to evacuate the pupils from the school and they say it’s a health hazard. to the town. Some of the children are throwing up and some are complaining of headaches.” said the constable.
“I was hoping for another pot of coffee but it looks like that’s out of the question doesn’t it ?” I asked.
“ Yes it stinks something dreadful but it is not a health hazard and is quite legal to be on the road.”
 Jeckle couldn’t help himself “ If you don’t get that abomination out of town this minute I will see that you are issued with a summons and we will see you in court.”
The cop piped up “ Look it seems you are not breaking any law and “ with his hand raised to stop Jeckle interfering again, went on  “I don’t want to come over and book you for something wrong on the truck so why don’t you be a good scout and get out of here just for the kid’s sake. How about it?”
“Yeah look I’m finished and I didn’t know there was a school behind the trees, tell the Nuns sorry and not to tell the kids that what I have on the truck is turned into Jelly that they love to eat with ice cream., that would be worse than when they find out  there is no Santa Claus.”
I pushed my chair back and stood up and again Jeckle couldn’t help himself “ Get out of out town and never come back this way again with such a revolting load, you hear?”
 That did it
‘Listen you little creep I have a half bald tire on the back trailer axle and by rights according to law I should immediately go over there and take it off and put the spare on before I move . Driving with it is definitely an offence. So you want me to do that ? It would take at least an hour perhaps more if I stop for a coffee and all the time I’m there changing the wheels that putrid mess on the truck will be constantly dripping down onto your dirt road. The longer it is there the longer the smell will linger so how about you shut your [ word deleted ]ing yap and let the constable and I make all the arrangements and everybody will be happy.”
I turned back to the copper with a wink and asked “ Should I change that tire before I leave or will you take my word for it that it will be changed down the road.”
“ No problem driver you have eight wheels on the back there and I see no danger to the public what so ever.”  He replied with a slight grin.
We all walked out after I paid the bill and the police patrol car took off and I walked across to the truck followed by Heckle and Jeckle.
 Climbing into the cabin I ‘kicked it into life ‘then jumped back out while it built up air pressure for the brakes and walked around the trailer kicking all the tires and back around to the cabin .
“Come on hurry up and get out of here “ said Jeckle.” And don’t ever come back.”
I climbed back up in the cabin and leant out the open window pointedly looking at Jeckle and said “How do you think I like having to put up with the smell all the way to Sydney ?
Its no fun I can tell you but just so you remember me you will have that smell here for weeks and  weeks, on top of that every time it rains the smell comes back twice as strong and lasts twice as long…. Maybe after six months it will be gone .. maybe   so long.
 And bye the way if you get a grader and take off all the top soil and lay new dirt down it will be ok. Best of luck    you pair of miserable [ word deleted ]s” then with a wave I revved her up and blew an enormous amount of black sooty smoke all over their lovely clean grey dust coats as they backed away with their arms over their faces. The motor’s injectors needed cleaning so the exhaust was full of soot.
As I changed up through  the gears it struck me I HAD BEEN RUN OUT OF TOWN but at least they hadn’t tarred and feathered me. Winding the windows up, I could imagine the Nuns and the town council and the engineers for the district going hammer and tongs after the first downfall of rain. Ha ha ha  up yours Heckle and Jeckle.
 I was always going to go back with another load and park outside the council chambers but it never happened.
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