Monday, 13 April 2009

My first encounter with Hunter S Thompson and how he changed my holidays Part 2

This is the true story of how My friend Martin and I spent a holiday in Queensland under the influence of beer, weed, anonymity and Hunter S Thompson.
This should keep my blog full for a couple of months.

My first encounter with Hunter S Thompson and how he changed my holidays Part 2

Back in the early 1980’s it was still permissible to smoke on public and interstate transport, but changes were slowly canging things and smokers had recently been banished to the back of the bus near the toilets.

Our carry on luggage was what ever fitted into our jacket pockets and in our hands. Our seats were standard for that time in history: uncomfortable and hard.

We were all set to depart, the motor was running and the bus driver climbed up the stairs and stopped at the front of the bus to address the passengers.

“Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Ron, I will be your driver for the first part of your journey, We will collect another driver at Albury and we will interchange from then on until Brisbane”

Martin let out a bored but genuine yawn

All eyes left the driver and focused on me.

“There are some basic rules” All eyes snapped back to Ron. “ Please refrain from smoking when the bus is stationary”
The sound of a match lighting I turned to Martin blew it out and took the cigarette from his mouth “wait” I whispered through clenched teeth.

Ron continued

“We have the toilet amenity at the rear of the bus and I cannot stress this hard enough please sit down to do your business, due to safety laws the lock is disengaged on these types of long distance travel and a sudden brake or hard cornering will result on the door swinging open. My best advise is to wait for the scheduled stops on the way , now we’re in for a long drive so please respect your fellow passengers area and we’ll all have a good trip”

There were a few muffled “Thanks Ron “ from the older passengers and judging by my head count three quarters of the our co travellers were over sixty.

Ron took his seat and the bus left the terminal.

Martin was unconscious, his last words being
“I wish I had of gone to bed last night‘

I picked up my book and started to read the collective works on Dr Gonzo, about his early travels through South America and his observation skills and fluid style.

Everything was peaceful. Martin missed the first changeover and meal break as he was still sleeping. I had left a note folded on my seat if woke up and discovered the bus was empty it read

“We have been kidnapped . Call the police. They didn’t take you because like the rest of the world, they hate redheads”

He didn’t wake up but had starting dribbling quite fiercely, so I turned his head to the window and it made a pleasant thud, thud sound in time with the wheels as it bounced off the glass we moved on.

We left Melbourne at 10 AM and by 2.00PM I was tired of reading and getting a bit bored so I decided Martin had had enough sleep because I didn’t want him awake all through the night annoying the shit out of me.
I eventually managed to wake him, he looked a sight with a big dribble patch on his shirt and his bright red hair sticking up defying gravity on one side.
“I need to piss and eat” he managed to squeeze out after ten minutes.

“You can’t eat till we stop about 6” I told him “and be warned you have to sit down to piss or else the door could burst open”

“What?” he asked ”How does the door stay shut if I sit down to have a leak?”

“That way you’re facing the door and can hold the handle”

“Bullshit” and with that he got up and went to the toilet at the back of bus.

He came back a few minutes later, with a smug look on his face.

“They’re full of shit, you can do it easy” He said proudly

I got up and thought I’d give it ago and when I open the door there was urine everywhere, he proved a point but missed the bowl. I didn’t bother and decided to wait, the bus was very bumpy. I opened up the door to leave and one of the elderly women passengers was waiting to go next. I hurried back to my seat. She passed me minutes later and gave me the foulest look imaginable.

Martin was too hung over, tired , shell shocked to be too much of an annoyance and we both passed the time away either reading or watching the afternoon disappear and night time approach out the window.

About 6.30PM we arrived at our scheduled dinner break at some place that specialises in serving shit food at high prices to starving people.
Martin and I grabbed hamburgers and chips and sat off by ourselves, the old lady who followed me after the toilet episode sat with the drivers and all during the meal the way she was talking and staring over at us didn’t fill me with confidence.

Both drivers gave a look that warned “we’re watching you” I tried to give the old lady a look that translated to ”I hope you got a strong bladder sister” but I’m not too sure how successful I was.

We boarded the bus and were on our merry way, the plan to ride the boredom out till our next stop at about 11.00PM and have a joint and hope to kip through the night.
Things were OK until Martin pissed around with the little light above his head trying to get it “just right” that he managed to break the globe, so he spent most of the time leaning over me to get some decent light to read.

Around eleven o’clock we rolled into another one of those chuck stops, only this one didn’t have hot food, all the old ladies made a beeline for the dunnies.
We did what we said we would and hoped for a restful night.

The bus seats were impossibleto get comfortable let alone sleep in and I think the bus company worked on the premise that you get either so bored or tired Mother Nature would kick in eventually.
For me the added use of the weed helped.
I pretty much dozed off straight away.

I was woken by Martin trying to push pass me It was still very dark , I glanced at my watch and it was 3.30AM, I would’ve liked to sleep longer.

“I need a piss bad” whispered Martin as he lunged down the aisle, half asleep.

I had no idea where we were but the bus was leaning to and fro an awful lot, so I assumed we were travelling over some hills or mountain range or something.
My mind was then snapped to attention,
Martin wasn’t going to prove a point again was he?

It was inevitable it would happen: The bus lunged to the right, the toilet door swung open, Martin came flying out backwards flailing like some cartoon character trying to grab the side of a cliff he inadvertently ran off.
It seems he managed at least to finish his business but hadn’t put his tools away. He managed to grab hold of arm rests either side of him to break his fall and prevent him crashing full force onto his back in the aisle. But there was still the little problem of his dick hanging out of trousers.

The second driver had a small area next to the toilet at the back of the bus so that they could get a good rest for the 4 or 8 hour change-over required by law.

Martin’s little accident had woke him up and most of the rear seated passengers.

It was Ron

When he popped his head out of the curtain to see what was going on all he could see was Martin helplessly struggling to put his pecker away, Martin saw his confused look and pointed to the door. It was closed.
“Are you alright?” he asked.

Martin nodded

“Good, that’ll teach you to piss like everyone else next time” and he shut the curtain.

The actual driver controlling the bus, never slowed down but I’m positive he swerved unnecessarily when Martin was trying to get back in his seat.

The next morning about 7.00AM the bus rested at another roadside cafĂ©, by this time it was obvious we weren’t going to make conversation with any of our fellow passengers, there was even a gap of 3 people in the line between us.
I had been struggling in the bad light of the bus to continue reading my book and draw some inspiration from it.
But I was too tired and treated all the old people with the same contempt they were pouring on me.
Martin who was born without the glands that secrete embarrassment, didn’t notice or care.

The weather was noticeably warmer the more North we travelled and that was starting to have an effect on our overall morale. We could feel the holiday spirit engulfing us , making us happier, expectations were starting to build as we rode ever so closer to our sunshine paradise. We had about 8 hours of travel left and I didn’t anticipate any problems until Martin played Mr Unpredictable again.

In actual fact it was my fault, Martin drinks Coke like water and when he bought one for breakfast I shook it up when he went to the toilet, not realising he wouldn’t open it at the table like he always does to drink it with his breakfast.
Of course he pulled it out and opened it 10 minutes after the bus took off spraying the old couple in front of us and the ones in front of them again, strangely we didn’t get a drop on us. Once again nothing was said we just kept getting those looks that only pissed off old people can give.

Next week: Part 3 Welcome to Queensland

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