As the temperature headed north past 40 degrees I sat on the front patio looking out to the horizon with a cup of black coffee in my hand. The recently serviced Beast was sitting to my right and I was sipping the steaming drink.
I know what you’re thinking, why was I drinking hot steaming coffee on such a stinking hot day instead of something like cold water. Well a smart person once told me that on a hot day we are better to drink a hot drink than we are to drink a cold drink, something to do with internal temperatures and external temperatures matching up better. There is a reason I called that person smart, because it actually works! And the hotter the day the better it works. So there you go another piece of great advice from Dean, you can thank me any time.
Sometimes all the planets align, the gods look down, or something like that because there I was I’d spent the morning servicing the Beast, playing with a snake and drinking coffee and it wasn’t until my last mouth full of coffee was slowly making it’s way down my throat that my phone rang. I picked it up and looked at the caller ID, it was Nick.
“Hey Columbo,” For some reason I wasn’t entirely sure of I always answered my phone with that greeting when I saw Nick’s number come up.
“Oh sorry I thought I was ringing a bloke.” his standard response to my silly greeting.
“What can I do for you Nick?”
“Pete wants to know if you’ve got the invoice ready for him to take back to the big smoke. I told him you wouldn’t have even thought about it but he insisted I ring in case you’d done it.”
“Oh shit,” I wasn’t really as shocked as I sounded because I left the pub the night before with no intention of having it done before Pete left. “Can’t you do it for me?” I asked hopefully.
“No Dean, you are a big girl now, you can do these things yourself!”
“You’re a meanie, next time you get stuck somewhere call someone else to rescue you!”
“That’s fair it’s a man’s job anyway!”
I laughed, “Not bad Nick, you’re getting better each day, one day I’ll have you fully trained. Is there anything else I can do for you?
“Nope, I’ll tell Pete you’ve been busy and you’ll get it to me tomorrow, he’ll be gone later today so it wont matter.”
“I have been busy!”
I told Nick what I’d been up to during the morning, I wasn’t sure he wanted or needed to hear about it but he didn’t hang up the phone so I guess he didn’t mind. He made several silly comments about me making friends with a snake but that was the extent of his contribution to the conversation. Ten minutes later the the conversation was over and I decided to do Nick a favour by sitting down to do the paperwork he needed over lunch so that I could drop it off next time I was driving past.
The paperwork wasn’t over difficult I just had to itemise my expenses, list down things like the distances travelled, the fuel used, any other out of pocket expenses and any damage that myself or my vehicle incurred in the course of helping the Western Australian Police Department arrest Thomas the Fugitive. In fact the paperwork was so easy I did it while eating the lettuce, cheese and tomato sandwich I prepared myself for lunch before I started.
By the time I had finished my lunch time coffee, remember the internal and external temperature thing, I heard my phone ringing again, it was out on the table on the patio where I had left it. I got up from the desk in my make shift office and headed for the patio half hoping that the call would ring out and leave me in peace and half wanting to reach the phone to see who it was.
Picking up the phone the caller ID old me it was Nick again. “Twice in one day Columbo, people are going to start talking about us.”
“They already are sugar plum, those who know us think we swing from the rafters every night, those that don’t think I’m dating a bloke.”
“I hope you set them straight by reminding them I’m too much woman for you!”
“I do my best.” there was a brief pause allowing Nick to change the subject, “Can I get down to the reason I called now?”
“Yeah sure, if you want to be a part pooper!”
“I’ve got a job for you.”
“What sort of job.” I asked.
“Water rescue. It’s not really a police matter but when they eventually got through to Emergency Services instead of putting them through to you they put them through to me. By the time I got all their details their Satt phone was dying. I only just had time to tell them I’d send you out before the phone died and I haven’t been able to contact them again since.”
“I’ve guessing they are acted prudently.”
“Yeah, they’ve got a camp set up, which is just as well because I doubt you’ll reach them tonight anyway. And their vehicle is also secure, just a bit wet. How about you come in and I’ll brief you on everything?”
“Yeah no worries, give me thirty minutes.”
“Good stuff, catch you soon.”
“Cya,” then before he hung up he added an after thought, “Oh and Dean, pack for two days at least.”
“Thanks Dean, I love it when you give me good news!”
I hung up the phone, took it inside, dropped it on the charger and packed an overnight bag.
I wasn’t far off my estimation because when I pulled into the police station car park it was 32 minutes after I hung up from Nick.
The second I walked in the door Peter spotted me and came over. He held out his hand for me to shake. “You made it Dean. So happy to see you. Nick told me you wouldn’t get the paperwork to me. I told him everyone wants to get paid and that you’d get it here. You just won me twenty bucks.”
“I’m not here for the paperwork Pete, Nick’s got a job for me.” I could see his jaw drop and Nick laughed, he obviously saw the large envelope in my hand and knew I didn’t carry them around for fun.
“Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have bet with Nick on his home turf!” Pete said as turned and headed towards Nick taking his wallet out of his back pocket.
Nick waited until the twenty dollar note was out and Pete was handing it over to him before he said anything. “Put it away Pete.”
”A bet’s a bet, even with home ground advantage.” Pete replied.
“Yeah but I can’t take it.”
”Why not?” Pete asked innocently. Nick pointed at me and when Pete turned back I was holding the large envelope out toward him and he could see his name written on it in large black letters written by a magic marker. “You smart arses!” Peter replied while laughing and took the envelope from me.
With that fun little episode over Nick and I got to work with a few old maps and the information Nick had about the rescue I was needed for.
Previous Desert stories here.