Driving along the Pacific Highway, dreadful road, one lane each way, when I saw a man in the middle of the road waving his arms, trying to get the cars to stop. He was tall, had long fair hair and beard and bare feet. Just substitute the shirt and shorts for possum skins and he could have been William Buckley after 32 years living with the Aborigines.
I wasn't in a position to take a photo of him so here's a picture of William Buckley instead so you'll have a good idea.
|William Buckley in 1835|
The cars ahead of me were skirting around him and driving on. I thought perhaps he needed help so I wound down the window and stopped.
“What’s the matter?” I called out to him as he came up to me.
“There’s a major accident on the road up ahead. Lots of cars involved. If you turn off at this road to the left you can skirt round it and get back on the highway,” he told me.
“Thanks for your help,” I said as he continued on trying to stop the approaching cars.
The road he had pointed to had cars coming in and out of it so it wasn’t isolated. I took him at his word and turned down it. As I drove around the back of a small town, I could see across the paddick, dozens of cars, flashing lights and smoke pouring out of the chaos. I would have been there for hours ‘cause there is no way I could have turned the Tardis round once I had got into the line of cars. I guess the motorists who had dodged the wild white man were wishing they had stopped and listened. I said a silent thank you to him and made a mental note about judging book covers and books. The road brought me back on to the highway just on the other side of the accident and I was able to continue on my way.
About 20 km further on I joined a line of cars behind a ute towing a caravan. One by one cars managed to pass it when the occasional passing lane came up. When we would get to a passing lane the blighter would speed up so it wasn’t easy. Finally, I was the one right behind the van; we reached a passing lane and the driver sped up again. I had had enough of it by then so I planted my foot and sailed past. As I did, I took a quick look to see what sort of an idiot drove like that. It was a young man busily keying in a text message on his mobile phone. I was glad to have him behind me.