Remember where I was? That’s right we were spending the evening in the pub with a couple of American back packers, some aussie tourists and a truck driver. Nick had bought me dinner after our busy day of chasing wild geese, Barry was in fine form and we were having a few drinks and playing pool.
Brett the truckie had not long left the building, presumably headed for his truck for a snooze before heading off in the morning and a bloke in a dirty flannelette shirt, dirty jeans, Blundstone boots, and a brown leather hat stood in the doorway. If you want a really good description of the guy you really should read back because the guy really is scary and I’m not going into more detail right now. Oh expect to remind you he had a knife, sheathed to his belt.
Oh I just thought of something, remember that scene in Crocodile Dundee, I know you’ve all seen it and think that’s the way all us Aussie act, where Mick says, “That’s not a knife. This is a knife!” and pulls out the big silver blade, well the knife on this guy’s belt was bigger than that, only we couldn’t see the blade so the sheath had to tell the story.
When Barry greeted the ominous stranger standing in the doorway Charlie and Chantelle, our two American back packers nearly shit themselves. Ok I’m not often that crass but honestly it was bloody hilarious to see the looks on their faces. Had Nick been sitting there in uniform the reaction might have been different but it’s hard to tell.
Bruce and Gwen, our Aussie tourists, were a bit shocked to see the man, he was a fairly looming and dark character but they didn’t have the same reaction. I don’t think either of them particularly felt comfortable with Mick being there but they didn’t drop their bundles like Charlie and Chantelle did.
Have you worked out yet who Mick is? Does the name Mick Taylor ring any bells? What about the name Wolfe Creek?
For those still not on the same page Wolfe Creek Crater is an astrobleme, or for the laymen a meteorite impact crater, the local aboriginal people, the Jaru, refer to it as Kandimalal and more than one of their Dreamtime, or Dreaming, stories tell of it’s formation by the rainbow serpent. The crater is about 900 metres wide, sixty metres deep and said to have been created by a 50,000 tonne meteorite sometime in the last 300,000 years. Young compared to some of you people!
It’s about a hundred and fifty kilometres south of Halls Creek and was discovered in 1947 and named after creek which runs nearby. The creek was actually named after one of Halls Creek’s most prominent shopkeepers and prospectors back in the very early days of the township, a Mr. Robert Wolfe. The crater is apparently the second most obvious crater in the world, second only to one in Arizona, having not seen that one for myself I can’t disagree with the information as presented to me.
So why the history lesson? So you understand the cultural significance of the Wolfe Creek Crater. So you understand that it’s not just about a big hole in the ground. So you understand that while scientists explain it their way there is also a deeper meaning to the locals, a meaning that is rooted deep in their ancestry. It’s like Ayers Rock, or Uluru, thousands of tourists flock there every year to climb all over the thing with little or no respect to the aboriginal people or what it means to them.
Now that you’ve had your little history lesson have you worked out who Mick Taylor is?
Charlie and Chantelle obviously had because they’d seen the movie Wolfe Creek. The horror movie that told the story of two British back packers and their Aussie friend abducted by the character Mick Taylor. If you’ve seen the promo posters you’d also understand why Charlie and Chantelle reacted the way they did. And if you’ve seen the movie you’d probably excuse them for wanting to run out of the pub screaming and yelling.
Don’t worry I’m not trying to convince you that Mick Taylor is a real person or that Wolf Creek is a factual movie because despite the tag line “based on actual events,” the movie is a fictional story that uses elements of real life cases. But I am telling you that the character standing in the doorway of the pub was real, his name was even Mick, but it wasn’t Mick Taylor. The Mick that was standing at the door was Mick Francis, he was the cook at the pub, his uncanny resemblance to Mick Taylor, or more specifically the actor John Jarrett was just a coincidence that we used to play silly pranks on tourists.
You might be thinking that such pranks are cruel and don’t get me wrong I don’t condone bullying or picking on people but in our defence we are a small town and easily amused, oops I mean we do select out prey carefully. If there is any doubt that the tourists wont take things as the joke we just wont pull the Mick Taylor prank.
Surprisingly enough we haven’t had too many misfires in our years since Mick Taylor became such a known identity and the few that we have had were easily won over by offering them their money back on their meals and drinks, with only one occasion where we also gave the tourists free accommodation.
Like I say Bruce and Gwen had been a bit shocked to see Mick because of what he looked like, not because of who he looked like. They had not seen the Wolfe Creek movie so they had no idea of the killer persona kitchen Mick was portraying. Charlie and Chantelle on the other hand reacted just like we expected them too.
While the joking around is fun the best part of the whole joking process is when our new friends sit back and laugh along with us at the end of the night.
Previous Desert Rescue story here.