The sound which came out of the building to my right so unexpected I momentarily had to do a little mental check.
The first thing I did was spin around to see if Tracey was running to the aid of one of our kids, the usual source of this kind of outcry. You might think that’s a little unmanly of me but I’ve been with Tracey over twenty years now and I know if I’m standing next to them in the kitchen when they hurt themselves and my wife is asleep in bed she will be patting down a bandaid before I’ve formed an ‘Are you okay?’ face.
I reminded myself I wasn’t with my kids. I wasn’t even with Tracey.
It was the middle of the day and I was in the middle (for a city boy) of nowhere.
In fact, despite there being surrounded by more buildings now than for the last hour, I was the only person around because my fellow road-tripper, local Gympie icon Marlene Owen, had gone into the little building next to the Shire Hall of Amby a few moments earlier while I pretended to be interested in old hall paint.
“You alright?” I called over to the small toilet block.
By now I was thinking she may have been bitten by a snake, or at least scared by one. I hoped it hadn’t bitten her. Not out of fear for her life but because I might be called upon to suck out the poison and in this 40+ heat I was likely to swallow it from thirst.
It was so hot I’d already gone completely off coffee and was chugging down water like it was beer.
Marls immediately made me reassess swallowing the poison as being my main concern if she’d been bitten by shooting out the door rubbing her bum.
From there it was an easy leap to deciding that, depending on the brand of snake concerned, I was going to miss her company terribly for the remainder of the trip but there was nothing I could do.
“No, I’m not alright,” Marls growled angrily, pointing through the doorway.
I peeked in, expecting to see a dead reptile.
There was a toilet. Something not totally unexpected in a public loo.
I glanced back at Marls, who was now pointing up. I followed her jabbing finger. Skylights.
My face must have showed just how not getting the whole point of this I was because Marlene went on to explain the situation.
“Who,” she blurted out, “decides to put a stainless steel toilet seat in a loo with a skylight. Out here! I burnt me damn freckle!”
raising a family on little more than laughs