A blog of grumpiness, stilts and skin.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Warm welcome

An old-timer this afternoon told me about the bushfires that occurred about 120 miles south of here in 1961.

One Friday night that January he was at the movies when an old-style public service announcement flashed across the screen: 'THESE FIRES ARE GETTING HEAVY, MAN. IT WOULD BE BAD KARMA NOT TO, LIKE,VOLUNTEER NOW!!'

If an announcement like that ever interrupts my viewing of King Kong, my lame-arsed carcass will be shimmying onto the first available red-eye back east.

But, as teenagers did back in the day, the then young-timer and his two brothers drove straight home so they could get up early on Saturday to confront the flames.

At one stage during the ensuing fire fight his brothers got cornered, and had to climb down a well, where they waited for three hours while the flames passed overhead.

On the young-timer's third day with only cat-naps for rest, he fell asleep on his feet while building a firebreak. One of his fire-fighting comrades booted him in the ribs, and he didn't fall asleep again.

That is until the flames were finally under control and he was driving home and, nodding off at the wheel, he careered into a ditch. Somehow he managed to extract his jalopy from the roadside.

When he arrived home, he found that his house, town, and the timber mill he had worked in, had been obliterated.


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