The weather looked a tad threatening, which we attributed to Yandoit's evil influence. He, having ruined our previous outing to the devastation, was going to come with us this time, but wimped out at the last moment, so we figured he must know something.
We met at Robbo's Ruin, and the "we" included the following:
Robbo in the Plymouth Speedhump, Rex Walrus in the SS and teardrop, the Mauler and Nursie in the Dodge Flash, with Deaf John and The Night Thunderer (TNT) as ballast, and the Lupino and Her Musical Indoors (HMI) in the Ladies' Lounge accompanied by The Cast-iron Butterfly (beautiful, tough and brittle) and her girl-friend Moni, and, naturally, the Frazzle.
The Lupino was particularly chuffed at the moment, because, at great expense, he had converted the Ladies' lounge to 21" Buffalo wire wheels, replaced many spokes, and had succeeded in getting them to be round. This was to be the test though; loaded up with 4 people plus baggage, a trailer, and heading for dirt.
We headed along familiar roads; past Lillicur and the mega junk yard at Lamplough till we got to Avoca for lunch. At the first winery the weather turned nasty and it pissed down. We decided to head for Moonambel under the erratic navigation of the Butterfly and were pleasantly surprised to find we actually got there. An hour was spent in the pub which was under new management, the Smiling Assassin having finally chucked it in, to no-one's regret. Another hour was spent at the Moonambel Ridge Winery, where several bottles of Cab Sav were guzzled. The Mauler had at one time driven a less than sober Julie, the owner, home from the clutches of the Smiling Assassin, and despite this, they were still friends, and invited us all into their home, and even offered to put us up for the night. And they say the Age of Miracles is over!
We declined, and with it pissing down we headed over the ridge to Landsborough. The Mauler reported that the Flash had wonderfully light steering, almost like power steering. This was because the sheer bulk of Deaf John and TNT had lifted the front of the car to such an extent that not only was the steering alarmingly affected, but the rubber chook at the back, which had previously enjoyed two inches of clearance, was having its heels scrubbed on the dirt!
En route we saw hundreds of tents in the bush to our left, and, reaching a check-point, we discovered this was a "Duff Party", and that they were charging $150 to get in. Very weird, and yet there were hundreds of more cars on their way in.
We found the camping ground, across the road from the Landsborough Pub, where to our great delight, we found our brother club, the Central Unrestored National Treasure Society, (C.U.N.T.S) there in force. We knew Bull, in the 47 Chevy would be there, but were really blown away by the others.
The Chevy has been featured in past reports, so we'll skip it for now. Dave had a very nice 1924 Dodge Ute, which much pleased the Mauler. I commented that between the two of them they had 4 brake drums, but still no brakes, which they conceded was regrettably true.
Also there was GoodGuy's Fordson 10/10 Van, which should be renamed "The Black Knight Van" after the Python's flic. They were driving along when large amounts of smoke came out of the instrument panel. Nothing but a flesh wound! Smoke gone, they continued on till large quantities of blue smoke came from the exhaust. Piff! Further on, all water exited from the engine in the form of steam. What, worry about a little thing like that? Then the engine stopped, and when they were trying to crank it back to life, they realised that the very impressive compression might actually be hydraulics. The Black Knight died, but not before GG reckoned that the bloke who sold him the engine for $50 should wear some of the blame. We agreed, the shonky prick!
But pride of the pack was Smack's 1958 Morris Commercial "J" Van. This was its maiden voyage, but its association with Smack go back a bit further.
Young Smack, as a tearaway country sprogg, had known of the Van in the paddock where it came to rest. He, and his fellow sproggs, tried to get the thing going, but, having more energy than brains they failed, and so resorted to the next best thing; they broke the side windows in an act of rage. Come the C.U.N.T.S,
and Sprogg's after a car, and remembers the "J" Van. It's still there! He gets it for fuck-all, but has to replace the broken windows....karma! Got away with it lightly we reckon. It's a real pisser with it's 1500cc engine, and its un-reproducible mould and fungus. A Feral Tour de Force!
Having set up camp, and downed a few tinnies, we head for the pub. This was to be a night to be remembered, and not only by us.
The Ferals had booked for 16, but by attrition and the dark acts of Yandoit, this had shrunk to 10. 7 C.U.N.T.S were there, but had been told that the joint was booked out. Pure serendipity! They just added a chair, and we were all kosher. Then the fun began.
Into the meal, Dave, the apparent Prez of the C.U.N.T.S, felt the need to make a speech. We dinged the glass to shut up all the other bastards in the pub, and Dave stood up, speech in hand.
"I'd like to say a few words," he said.
Unfortunately he took a moment to clear his throat, and, before he could continue, everyone rose to their feet and applauded with:
"Bravo! Great speech" and "Great speech, pity it was so fucking long!" He sat down.
The formalities aside, we got into the piss. Things hummed along till about midnight, when a number of things sorta coincided: first, Bull (whose first two names are Peter Allen) was being endlessly serenaded by his fellow mates with "Rio", and this got everyone dancing, second, a serious drinking match was going on between Moni and the Mauler, and third, the publican's missus was trying to close down the bar and chuck us, and all the farm boys who'd sorta stayed, out.
By about one o'clock during a particularly frenetic rendition of "YMCA", I was trying to calm down the publican's missus, who was not having any influence on the bar staff, when a small Halfling called The Mauler, having obviously lost the drinking contest, got himself up onto a barrel that was against the wall, and with what I considered considerable dexterity and elegance,and in time with the music, mooned the entire pub!
"I can't believe what I've just seen!" said the publican's missus.
"Ah, don't worry, wait half an hour and he'll do it again."
At this point she gave up all hope, grabbed a handful of cash from the till, fed the juke-box, and joined in. Beautiful we thought!
It continued on from there. Robbo, a shy and retiring farmer, having consumed enough product to put the shine back into Bundaberg decided to assault the barrel. Robbo's not a small boy, and despite this he got up there and shimmied to great applause, and calls for:"get ya gear orf!"
During all of this The Cast-iron Butterfly, who tends to get friendlier when she gets liquored up, was fluttering from farm boy to farm boy on the dance floor. And mightely impressed were they. Many of them, by the end of the night, would have had a better understanding of Ulysses plight, in Homer's Odyssey, when Ulysses was attracted by the Sirens. There he was, poor lovey, attached to a groaning mast, with seamen all around him.
So near, and yet, unattainable!
We left at about 2.00am, and in the morning, some of us were poorly. Must have been something we ate.
After a visit to the Landsborough Tip (where several treasures were unearthed) we headed on to the wineries, though with less enthusiasm. There we listened with sullen demeanor while some greasy ageing plonk boiler "complimented madame on having such an exquisite palate" and consequently flattered her into buying the enormously overpriced turps. The price of domestic peace.
After that we buggered off home in the dark.