And that’s the story of how I had to send my brother home to Mum and Dad missing half a leg and his right arm! I’m not sure what he was more unhappy about, missing a few extremities or having to go back to live with our parents…well it’s not like I was going to put up with him, he gets whiny when he’s in pain.
Oops did I miss part of the story?
In my haste to tell my story did I skip the entire part where Matthew found out that wrestling crocodiles was not as easy as it sounds?
My bad. I’ll rewind a bit and give you the full story, but I warn you now that you might need to hang on tight, this is a hell of a ride.
Great, well here goes.
I’m kidding, there is no story! As much as there are times when I’d love to feed my brother to a crocodile I probably wouldn’t, I have too much respect for crocodiles!
So I’ll go back to where I left off.
“So you want to come and wrestle a croc with us?” I said to Matthew after I got off the phone to Nick.
“Well sure, I’ve got nothing better to do today.” Matthew replied a bit dead pan.
“You don’t sound very enthusiastic.”
“Well I was hoping for a little bit of excitement today, but I guess helping you will have to do.”
“Helping me is the excitement!” I said sarcastically as I dropped the Beast below sixty clicks and cruised into town.
“I’ll be sure to tell the crocodile that!”
I could tell he was having trouble hiding his excitement but I decided he needed to cool his jets a little bit, we were still probably two hours from reaching our wrestling ring and I didn’t want him peaking too early.
“I’m going to stop and get some diesel first, no point heading out of town without full tanks.” I said in an effort to calm the excited lad beside me down.
As we pulled into the service station Derrick and Nathan were walking across the forecourt and back to their truck, at least they hadn’t got the truck stuck again! We both waved to the boys and as I stopped the Beast at pump number four they were climbing in the cabin.
As Matthew and I climbed out of the Beast, Nathan, who was standing on the step on the passenger side holding the door with one hand and waving with the other, called out “Thanks Again, Dean.” He then disappeared into the open door and they were off.
“Another satisfied customer!” Matthew said as he watched the truck pull out.
“Something you’ve never had the chance to say to a woman, for three hundred!” I replied, poorly mimicking a silly Jeopardy type host which I thought was extremely good and hilariously funny considering that I’d never actually seen a full episode of the show.
“Unlike you, I don’t sell myself for a price, so none of them are customers!” Matthew replied.
“And they still go home unsatisfied!” I said as I slipped on the gloves I’d retrieved from the storage box near the fuel tanks. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty but for some reason diesel pumps are always filthy, kind of like the diesel leeches out of the pump while no one is looking, and that kind of stink hangs around forever. It’s just not a stink you want on your hands when driving because it transfers to everything from the seat belt to the steering wheel and for hours you can be smelling it.
“Well there is one certainty here.” Matthew said.
He was obviously waiting for my prompt before he continued so I offered it to him. “Oh yeah? And what is that dear boy?”
“The Beast is the only thing here that needs refilling…” He paused for obvious dramatic effect, “…because you are already full of it!”
The insult was delivered with a straight face but I knew him well enough to know that he was laughing on the inside. Because I’m a nice person, and an even better sister I laughed too but didn’t let him see I was doing it, at the same time I having thoughts about how to use him for crocodile bait.
As a little bit of house keeping here I feel I should tell you a little bit about our crocodiles, I wont give you a biology lesson or anything like that but this stuff might be worth noting. As with the rest of the world that has them our crocodiles are dangerous, especially if you play with the sharp end. But unlike some of the rumours we put out there to scare tourists they don’t walk down the main street of town and pick fights with our pet kangaroos, well not often anyway. We do have both fresh and salt water crocs wild in the top end and in captivity in many wildlife parks but not every one who comes here meets one.
Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding with the crocodiles here (and maybe throughout the islands they inhabit) is that Salties do not require salt water to survive. They are probably one of the most dangerous creatures in the world but so few realise that in a place like the Ord River which is hundreds of kilometres from salt water a savage Saltie may well be looming. I’m sure it’s not a case of these people seeing a croc and thinking “oh it’s a fresh water the crocodile is safe”, but it’s still something so few understand.
In truth they are all dangerous, and in reality very few people are attacked by them in this country, but Salties are more dangerous than their fresh water counterparts. So how can you tell the difference should you ever visit our lovely area? Simple, you don’t need to, if it looks like a crocodile don’t go near it!
Once the Beast’s tanks were full we had a quick chat to Stephen as I signed the credit book and then we were off to help Nick.
Previous Outback Rescue story here.