BULLGOOSE: Wes had just one job to do but got caught with his pants down

Alice Piddens was caught out.

That didn’t happen often, because she was as canny as a Dundee bagpipe dodger.

But this time when vicious rains flood-flashed her, she found herself on the town side of crucial creeks when she wanted to be on the home side with her books up and a good foot (it had been a long day in town).

There was nothing for it but to call upon the kindness of strangers (actually her strange relatives in town) and sit it out.

Wes would have to fend for himself.

Wes was good at that.

He thrilled to his own cooking and would contentedly cobble together his own singular cuisine, based as it was upon four ingredients: cayenne pepper, meat, vegetables and ‘whatever’.

She got on the phone.

“I’m stranded, Wes.’

“Hell of a thing, still…”

“I’ll head back to town and stay with Yvonne.”

“Hell of a thing, but still…”

“Listen, there’s stuff in the freezer, meat, vegies and whatever…”

“Whatever? My favourite!”

“Listen. Just shut up and listen. Cook up your bloody stir-fry debacle, but wipe down the walls afterwards.

And do one thing for me. Please.

One thing.

Wash everything in the laundry basket. I don’t want to come home after a week of rain and find all my clothes covered in mould and fungus and trench foot because you’ve left them in there festering.

“Right. Consider it done. Take that to the bank.”

“Just take it to the washing machine. And hang it out on the veranda.

I don’t want to come home after a week and find it sitting in the washing machine, festering and…”

“OK, bye.”

And that’s what he did. Mostly. He abided in cayenne heaven for a week while the rain came down and the creeks came up.

Eventually the creek dropped enough for Wes to get across in a tractor, so he set off to knock in some fence posts while the ground was soft.

Often the first hint that you’ve staked a tractor tyre is an impressive jet of water, the tyres having been half filled with water as ballast.

“Setback”, announced Wes as the rear tyre sprayed and sank to complete flatness.

He was half a k from home across a flooded creek with no jack and no tools.

“This will get tedious, for sure.”

Doggedly, he trudged to the creek.

“Pants off!”

Wisely, he removed his pants and carried them aloft.

Gamely, he waded into the water.

Skilfully, he was swept off his feet and wetly, he swam to the other side.

“Still…”, he commented enigmatically and set off to gather wheelbrace, jack and whatever.

He chucked them in the Bedford and drove it as close as possible to the creek bank before repeating his brave, lacklustre crossing, jack and wheelbrace aloft.

He legged it back to the tractor, jacked it and removed the wheel.

A tractor wheel and tyre make a heavy thinga.

“Oh well.”

Wes started rolling.

Fortunately, the paddock was pretty flat, except for the uphill bits and the downhill bit where the wheel/tyre combo tried to get away like the Colt from Old Regret.

Finally, after several days, or maybe hours, Wes dropped his burden on the creek bank.

“Should have been born a platypus,” he observed before crossing the creek, again.

He then connected every chain, snatch strap and cable he owned and hauled them to the water’s edge.

He tied a rope to the end and a stick to the rope.

With a  hearty “Twenty-three, skidoo, banana oil, your faddah’s moustache, hoy, hoy, hoy!” Wes flung the stick and rope across the creek before crossing the creek for the eleventeenth time.

“My toes have gone all pruney,” he announced to the world before pulling the chain combo across, attaching it to the wheel and crossing the creek for the twelveteenth blessed time. 

Now it was a simple matter of snigging the thing across the creek with the Bedford, getting a long plank and muscling the 250 kilos of steel and rubber up onto the truck and heading back to the house to make a cup of tea and put his pants on.

“Phew! Something different. That certainly helped to pass the time,” Wes observed fatiguedly in his jocks while sipping tea on the veranda.

“Maybe I’ll put on some dry pants.”

Mention of pants triggered something in his mind.








“What’s that noise?

“A motor.

“A Land Rover approaching motor.

“A surprise.

“An Alice Comes Home Unexpectedly Early surprise!

“It’s death.

“The laundry.

“The horror!

“It’s death to Wes!”

A lesson to us all.


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