The first impact was just like a sledgehammer had smashed into the passenger’s side of the ute, for it had slid side on into the deep shoulder of the built-up table drain. For a moment we just sat there, like stunned plovers, before Pete, who was driving, croaked out, “Are you both OK?”
We’d been drinking since early afternoon at the Pretty Pine Hotel, after spending the morning duck shooting at Balpool Station along the road to Moulamein, so I guess we were pretty sloshed at the time. “Duck”, (we all called John by his nickname, how he ever got stuck with that one I don’t know, but his brother Pete, said it came from their grandfather, who said, as a youngster, John just waddled like a duck), took the full blunt of the impact. He was complaining that he’d broken his shoulder, which on X-ray proved to be true. When we inspected the door the next day, there was a huge bend along the top of the window frame, where Duck’s shoulder had been impacted into it.
Pete sat there, mumbling, “I just didn’t see that corner”. I guess he wasn’t really to blame as it was a rather sharp” ninety degreer” in the dust and he’d only driven along that road on the way out this morning, for they both came from their farm on the Mornington Peninsula.
Luckily, the older blokes in the leading ute saw that our lights weren’t following, so decided to turn back, only to find us in this rather embarring situation. Fortunately, the vehicle was still drivable, so a chain was produced and in no time, we were dragged out. Was it a lesson? Who knows, for it didn’t stop Pete driving at reckless speeds!
I haven’t seen Pete for ages, but the subject matter for this month caused me to remember “Duck” and Pete again.