I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but it’s too late now. Another thing that was wrong with the Corolla was that the petrol gauge was unreliable; it would say that I could make it to Sydney when I hardly had enough to leave the driveway. Since my memory was similarly on the blink and I detest filling up, I would run out of petrol quite regularly; but only on the days I’d dressed like a hobo. As it turned out, the collective breakdowns were worth it…
I’d broken down in a pair of holey pants, one of which, I noticed too late, was close to my crotch. I love these pants when I’m in the privacy of my own home because they’re super comfy and I figured that since I only had to grab a bottle of milk from Coles, I’d be right.
Wrong. NEVER leave the house in holey pants.
In a break-down situation, I don’t attempt to wave cars down. I just assume that me sitting on the bonnet wiping sweat from my brow and looking pathetic and hopeful in equal measure is sufficient indication of my plight. It didn’t seem to be working though, so I tried a series of other expressions, all of which failed to elicit sympathy from passersby.
Had my pants been holy perhaps the Priests would have stopped. They didn’t, and neither did the Levites. After ten minutes of painful facial contortions (the last of which probably resembled constipation) someone finally stopped: my Good Samaritan. By Good Samaritan I mean bikie, and by bikie I mean this dude had a chin plait that would have looked great on the back of an eight year old girl and so many badges I was surprised he didn’t have a flat tyre. I didn’t care, and what’s more, I couldn’t afford to. He had no desire to make small talk: “Get on” he said in a voice as gravelly as the roads he’d travelled down, and with no dignity left and zero alternatives I did exactly what he said.
Now I imagine he expected me to hold on to that bar at the back, but as we hooned off, I instinctively threw my arms around him. It was probably the first time he’d been hugged in 30 years and he looked round at me like I was a creep, but a creep that had given him a hug, and I knew that when we dismounted he would try to avoid eye contact and mumble something about getting sand in his eyes. I only managed to get my arms as far as his rib cage because he’d clearly had one too many Hell’s angel cakes, so in the end I kind of clung to the edges of his vest hoping that if we crashed he could cushion the blow.
Chivalry, it would seem, is not dead in this oft stigmatised sector of the community. When we made it to the petrol station, he took care of business while I waited on the bike. As previously mentioned, I’ve run out of petrol several times in the Corolla, and every time I go to ask for petrol and a can from the “point of sale officers,” (I am not kidding, this is what they’re called now,) I can see the thought clouds hovering above their heads. “You loser” they say as they swipe through your goods. “Who doesn’t check their fuel gauge” they say as they take your cash. Finally they smile, look disdainfully at your Uggies and (audibly) say “have a good day” like they hope you’ll get run over on the way back to your car. With my new friend though, I would have been invincible. I felt like coming in and standing behind him and yelling out stuff like “you give me any more lip and my dad’s gonna make you wish you were never born.”
I didn’t. I just sat on the Harley wishing he’d hurry up, because people were looking at me like I stole Lindy Chamberlain’s baby. He came back with the goods and we stole off with a screech, leaving what I hoped were skid marks in the shape of the Gulf of Mexico on the BP tarmac. Since we were old friends by now, I threw my arms around him quite comfortably and settled in for a pleasant ride. It was all very Roman Holiday and I was starting to wonder how much I would get on a trade in for the Corolla when we reached my car. Then passed my car. Then kept on going.
This is it, I thought. This is how I die, done in by a not-so-good Samaritan. In as cool voice as I could muster, I said, “Excuse me, but I think that was my car back there.” He didn’t answer, so I said “I THINK THAT WAS MY CAR BACK THERE,” right in his ear because at this point I was petrified, and my knight in leather armour said “ok, ok, I’m just trying to find a point to turn around.” I felt terrible.
Now I could have just put this in the anomaly basket if the same thing hadn’t happened the other day when I got rescued by a hot bogan. Spotting a hot bogan is about as rare as picking up the Hope Diamond at a school fete, but I couldn’t fight science. There he was, smoking literally and figuratively, and drinking from a bottle of VB still in the brown paper bag. I thought, this joker, though aesthetically sound, is not going to help me because he’s probably in a rush to get back to the lab, but he stopped and said (with faultless diction) “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
Long story short he worked on it for about 20 minutes while I sat there trying to follow his instructions and praying the car was in need of extensive repair. It wasn’t. “You should be all right now,” he said, took another swig of his beer and wandered off.
The moral of the story is: you cannot judge books by covers, bikies by beards or bogans by beer. Booya.