Daily Prompt, driving, events, humor, serial fiction, Stories, truck, writing

Outback Rescue: Headin’ Back To Town

“You really charged him double?” Matthew said.

“Well not double but I definitely charged the prick an ‘attitude fee’.”

We were of course discussing the rescue Matthew, my brother, and I had just preformed. Well when I say the two of us, I of course mean I did the rescue and he stood around and watched. At the same time Mr. Beckham, aka Frank Walker, nicknamed after that English soccer player who married the spice rack, because both had a similar single digit IQ, worked on his women hate jokes and comments.

“Must be good to be in your line of work.” Matthew said, I turned and looked at him with what must have been a questionable look on my face. “You can get away with over charging some one yet you still get business. Not a lot of business around that can get away with that.”

“Jealous?” I asked, it wasn’t a serious question, I knew what he was getting at.

“Bloody oath!” he said loudly, then dropped the volume of his voice and added, “I guess I sometimes forget just how much of a country hick you really are.”

”A hick?” If I could have reached across the cabin comfortably and thumped him I would have, how dare he call me a hick without reasonable justification. “Did you just call me a hick?”

“Yeah,” he replied sheepishly.

“Well city boy, let me just remind you were raised in the same household, with the same parents. We are not uneducated, well at least I’m not, and despite both of us growing up in the country I neither have, nor have I ever had, hay behind my ears.”

“Ok my mistake, hill billy!”

Damn this lad was lucky I was negotiating a fairly rough stretch of dirt road and couldn’t safely reach him to give him a thump! As much as city boy was a little insult of my own because like me he’d spent more years in the country than the city he didn’t live as far into the country as I did and his use of American insults for country people seemed to be proving that.

While I waited for him to figure out some Australia insults I decided to ask him where this current line of, surely unwarranted, abuse was coming from.

“Did I explain my point badly?” he asked, obviously still stumbling for words.

“No, it’s not that you explained it badly, it’s more the fact that you don’t seem to have a point.” I said still keeping my eyes on the road and bouncing along.

“Geez, I knew you country folk were slow but I didn’t think I had to explain everything.”

There was a long pause. I took a quick glance at Matthew,he was staring out the windscreen.

“You’ve forgotten what you were insulting me for haven’t you?” I said with a laugh.

“Ah..No…Shut Up!” He stammered before recovering. “What I meant.”

“Oh yeah this will be good!” I interrupted.

“Shut up!” He was trying not to laugh. “What I meant was that it must be good to work out here when when someone pisses you off you can charge them double and still get away with it.”

He did have a point of course, it wasn’t every business that could get away with such a thing and to be fair I don’t do it to many people but like Matthew himself had said Frank did not pass the attitude test. I can put up with a lot of things but an attitude like Frank showed is inexcusable as far as I’m concerned.

Not only does such a chauvinistic attitude belong back in the dark ages common sense and basic manners would suggest you don’t treat the person rescuing you as a piece of shit on the sole of your shoe. It’s like telling the pub chef he’s an inbred goat herder with the brains of banana, it might well be true but verbalising it is a sure fire way to get him to hock a loogie into your chicken parma. Some things just shouldn’t need to be taught!

“Are you suggesting I shouldn’t have charged him?” I asked.

As I have said before in my business you might think getting payments from upset or even dodgy people is difficult, but it’s not as hard as some city businesses have it. I get a credit card, or cash, before I perform the rescue and I get a licence number and name. If a person can’t provide me with all that I make up an excuse to tow them back to town and Nick’s presence and ability to check a persons credentials usually fixes the issue.

In nearly twenty years I’ve had the need to call the debt collectors in less than twenty times and been diddled about three times and they were all small amounts. So while not everyone gets the attitude fee most of them do pay their debt, even if occasionally it takes me a little time to get the bills out.

“Not at all, the guy was a first class dick head.” Matthew said. “It still shocks me to this day that people can survive with such attitudes. It’s not exclusive to blokes, I’ve seen a few woman in the mines who act just as bad but come from a different angle. They think all blokes are useless and want to prove they can do whatever the blokes can and they go over the top stupid to do it instead of just doing the job and proving it without the attitude. But it still surprises me when I see it.”

“See, so it’s a good thing that we are around to charge them accordingly for their attitudes because most other businesses can’t do so.” I replied.

“We?” Matthew asked.

Previous Desert Rescue story here.

18 Comments

  1. Good for her! I think she should have charged double! I like the banter! .

    • You haven’t seen her exorbitant fee for normal people, charging double Mr. Beckham might have had to take out a second mortgage 🙂

        • So you lesson for the day is don’t come to Australia and get stuck because getting rescued is expensive 🙂

          • No, the lesson is don’t be a jerk, or it will cost you… in more than just money!

            • Oh there is that lesson too but I didn’t want to insinuate that you were in anyway a jerk that would do that.

              I can’t remember where I placed that exact scene (geography of the story is rough anyway) but coming from Halls Creek to rescue in some of the areas I’ve placed the stories you could be lucky to get change out of $500.

              • I’ve bent stuck in snow blizzards and I understand you don’t want people to take advantage of your desperation, but I’ve always been appreciative of their service. I’ve also helped push stuck people out just to be neighborly, but it’s not my job, so it is different.

                • There are definitely mongrels out there who will take advantage of a situation and charge 3 times as much because they know people have little choice but to pay up. But not every business person is like that thankfully. A guy I know owns a heavy haulage tow truck and he charges $350 per hour plus travel, but his rig is worth nearly $1mill and there is only a handful of people qualified to do his job. But I also know another tow truck operator who only picks up cars and charges that rate after 4pm any night of the week because a stranded motorist is at his mercy.

                  We’ve pulled people out in the bush and never asked for money and we’ve been pulled out and never been asked for money so there is still good people out there.

  2. Btw… I love I can comment like a regular Sheila! Whatever changes you’ve made are good!

    • Did I change something that meant you could comment like a shelia?

      Shelia is one of those words that some people get offended by these days. I don’t pamper to anyone or care if they are offended but unless it’s a person’s name Shelia has fallen out of many conversations because apparently it’s sexist. I should use it more often because it’s the people like those in this story that don’t get offended by such terms.

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean to be non-politically correct. I thought, Sheila, was just a woman.
        You know I do most blogging on my phone. In the past, your posts were in my reader, but I couldn’t comment. I had to open your webpage and comment there. Maybe this way you’ll get more comments. Btw… the photo is the wrong story. : ).

        • Shelia is a women and has been for years but those upwardly mobile city folk who get upset by everything think it’s insulting. Most country people wouldn’t care.

          Oh well I didn’t make that change, guess it’s just the system catching up with 2012 🙂

          Is it really, thanks for letting me know, I had to schedule the post in a rush yesterday because we had to go out for my nieces 18th and I forgot I hadn’t set anything up.

            • Changing the picture was fun 🙂

              Oh the party 🙂 Meh…was a party with family and their friends, they are teenagers with attitudes and their parents are not much better. Was really only two people I wanted to catch up with but didn’t get a chance.

              I even wrote a poem for their birthday and didn’t even get a thank you. I get more reaction on WP and you are the only one who comments here 🙂

              Weirdly enough in all my years on this planet I’ve only ever danced with 3 women and two of them were in that room last night. My mind thinks of strange things sometimes 🙂

              • Giggle …. your mind is extraordinary.
                I hope the two women get along, or it could get interesting…
                Cool that you wrote poems! Sometimes people don’t know what to think at first, but later when they really look at it, I am positive they will feel very special.

                • My nieces didn’t think it was extraordinary when they read the poem, the only reason they didn’t delete it off Facebook is because they know I’d post it again! They are teenagers they don’t feel positive about anything 🙂 Besides I might have written the poem from “emabarrassing uncle” perspective 🙂

                  The other woman is my sister in laws best friend and it was 20 years ago (next month) that we danced together at my brothers wedding (best man/bridesmaid). My wife doesn’t really know her (I barely recognised her even when she stuck her head on my shoulder) and there was no chance to get up and talk to people so getting along wasn’t an issue. But I’m sure they’d be fine because unlike my S-I-L these two are human 🙂

                  • Embarrassing uncles love their nieces so much to embarrass them! It’s beautiful! Unfortunately, sometimes it comes back on the giver (ex: I posted an old cute photo of my sweet, social butterfly sister of the south recently. She has like a mil followers and now my notification list is noise, telling me everyone who posts on that photo. Yikes! It doesn’t pay to be sweet.
                    Shhh…. don’t give away your superhuman abilities of being able to detect the non-humans! They will come for you… then you have to go into hiding, like me!

                    • Yeah I hate it when that happens. I don’t have many friends on Facebook for that reason. I look lonely and friendless but I don’t get heaps of notifications.

                      My S-I-L doesn’t do the alien race any justice if they are trying to hide from us 🙂

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