Monday, 18 May 2009

My first encounter with Hunter S Thompson and how he changed my holidays Part 6

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 6

*Prelude to Road Trip*

Our first Sunday was a quiet affair spent mainly trying to hide from the brain penetrating rays of the Queensland sun again.

After a very slow lunch and a breakfast that was closer to afternoon tea I thought the only one way to fix this was to start on the beer again,

Hey I was on holidays!

Rob and Martin agreed.
The girls thought we were silly, they thought Martin was spooky.

I started a conversation about my HST book and Rob started recalling his younger years when he used to camp on the beach or even the side of the road in what is now outer suburbs back in Melbourne, the early sixties were a great time with less rules and less expectations.
This reminded me of the video and we all piled inside to watch _Animal House._

We had a good old laugh watching the movie and Rob asked what we had planned for the week?
We knew we wanted to head down to Dreamworld one day and then spend some time down on the Gold Coast. We knew we couldn’t afford long term car hire especially with both of us being under 25.

Rob said he knew a local who did Hire-A-Bombs and we could do that for a day, since everything heading south was gettable via bus, we could go on a road trip up North.
"What a great idea" we both said and rewound the movie to watch it again.
We ended up watching it three times and stayed up drinking while the others went to bed, they had school and work to go to.

Ahh! the life of the idle.

We were woken up with a loud “You’ve got 15 minutes”
It was Rob dressed in shorts and boots.

“You’ve got 15 minutes till I leave ,I can drop you off at the hire car place on the way, I’ve already rung and they’re fine with it”

This was delivered louder than necessary whilst he walked around kicking our mattresses.

“Come on, don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten what we talked about last night?”

I woke up to such a shock my head forgot it was hung over; it didn’t take long for it to remember again.

Rob kept hovering and continuously repeating

“Come on, I don’t wanna be late for work because of you drunk slack arses”

14 minutes and 59 seconds later Martin and I were in Rob’s car pulling out of the driveway desperately trying to pull on jumpers and shoes.

“You know this could have waited until tomorrow Rob” I complained

“Not by the way you guys were talking last night” he replied.

I looked at Martin and he just shrugged neither of us could remember going to bed let alone anything after dinner.

In a drive which took exactly 90 seconds we stopped outside an ordinary looking house.

“Here we are” Said Rob

I made inquiries about the hire car place but Rob just told us to follow him.

“We could of walked here” Martin whined still struggling with his windcheater.

We followed Rob to the front door and an elderly lady eventually opened the door behind her were half a dozen kids - all preschool age.

“Howdy May” Said Rob as he greeted her. “These are the two lads from Melbourne who want the car”

“Looks like you come to Brissy just in time, looks like that Southern climate has worn you down” She said to us “Welcome, come in and don’t let the little ones out”

My brain wasn’t working that well at the moment but even I could tell things weren’t right here.

Rob who was chatting away with May as we entered soon explained everything.
“OK guys this is May. May is our local crèche, day care centre and car hire, she also caters for parties on weekends”

“Hi” Martin and I both mumbled.

“OK who’s got the card?” May asked

More confusion. Then it clicked.

Credit card.

I pulled out my trusty Bankcard.

Martin didn’t have one due to certain problems in his past that dictated that he should not be trusted with one.

Those of you not familiar with Bankcard, it was the Australian forerunner to all those other credit traps that we have now.

Only it was more honest, it had 666 printed on the card as its logo.

May pulled out here Bankcard slider machine and swiped my card

“That’s in case you try to drive back to Melbourne” said May and followed it with a quick grin. “You go out to the car and I’ll make sure the kiddies are safely locked away”
Rob led us out the back door onto the yard where waiting for us was a big shiny Ford LTD one of those early 70’s monster that had a lounge for a front seat.

“Cool” said Martin

“Keep drooling Red, My money my drive” I said stamping my authority on the proceedings.
Martin and I walked around the beast rubbing our hands on the panels and kicking the tyres proving that we knew absolutely nothing about cars. Rob went inside and came back with the keys for the car.

“May said to be back no later than 7 o'clock tonight , the tanks full of petrol and don’t stack it” he said.

He threw me the keys and Martin and I piled in. There was a Brisbane equivalent of a Melways street directory in the back seat so we wouldn’t get lost. It was time to hit the road.

The car started without a hitch and as I reversed it out of the backyard down the driveway I kept hearing little pops. As we progressed further along I could see that I had run over two bouncy balls and a wading pool.


But that paled into nothing when I took out the old letter box with the rear bumper swinging onto the road.

We were hung over, we hungry, we had a powerful car that we were unfamiliar with, in a place we knew where nothing was, and to top it all off one of us was borderline insane.

Road Trip

Next week: Part 7 Road Trip

No comments: