Rigabold the pernicketness stood at the big fibreglass and kangaroo which greeted travellers crossing the border between South Australia and Western Australia. The statue stood about ten metres high and looked a bit like the boxing kangaroo that was made famous at the Brisbane Commonwealth games in 1982. He’d barely started to appreciate the statue, or read its plaque before someone standing beside him was telling him there was more to the kangaroo that what the sign said.
With memories of his run in with Megamouth at Wave Rock Rigabold decided he didn’t need another person’s account of history, especially when there was a plaque there for all to read. He understand that not all things were as they seemed but he also understood that some people are just whack jobs and the guy beside him had all the trademarks of being on of those.
“Thanks, but I don’t have the time for such stories.” Rigabold said and then wandered off in the direction of the sixth hole of the Nullarbor Links Golf course.
Border Kangaroo, so named for obvious reasons, was a short hole and due to all the lighting around the roadhouse and the border checkpoint it was quite easy to see and appreciate. The information he’d read on the GPS screen before arriving told him that the entire Nullarbor course was built on the ideas of the Border Village Roadhouse owner.
While there hadn’t been anyone playing the seventh hole at Eucla Rigabold was surprised too see two players teeing off on the sixth, obviously the additional light, which was flooding light from the surround area was more than enough for a serious golfer to give it a go. Seeing such dedication Rigabold decided that maybe humans weren’t all destined to destruct themselves.
After getting his notes and pictures ready Rigabold went inside the roadhouse in search of something to eat. On the way in he noticed that the man who had spoken to him at the big statue was still standing in front of it talking to some one else, Rigabold hoped the person was ready for such a lesson.
“Wow you must really like Chiko Rolls.” The short brunette in the dark blue shirt said after Rigabold gave her his order for five Chikos. The name tag on girl’s shirt suggested her name was Sonya.
“Well you know what it’s like, you find something you love and you just have to find it!” Rigabold said with a smile.
“Sure.” The girl said but Rigabold was fairly sure she wasn’t interested in what he was saying. “You’ll have to wait for four of them, only got one hot.”
Something Rigabold had noticed since leaving the bigger city of Perth was that people were more abrupt with their conversation. They weren’t rude but they spoke in less words, got to the point quicker and sometimes sounded a more forceful. Even the few he’d had a conversation with always seemed like they had something better to do than talk to travellers.
“Why don’t you just go ahead and cook all five, if I have to wait, I may as well have them all hot.” Rigabold said politely.
“Whatever, doesn’t make much difference how many get cooked.” Then almost as if she was thinking slightly behind where her voice was she added. “I’m still going to be left with one in the warmer.”
Rigabold could tell Sonya wasn’t mad or upset with him she, if anything she was confused so he decided to offer an olive branch of sorts. “Ok, well why don’t you go ahead and give me that one as well and I’ll eat that while you cook the other ones?”
“As long as you pay for it.” was the response he got.
Rigabold chose not to sit in the restaurant section, where there was already three truck drivers, no doubt long haulers belonging to the rigs outside, and one family possibly staying in the cabins on the eastern side of the roadhouse for the night. Instead he sat in the convenience store area, it felt right given that he wasn’t actually buying food from the restaurant.
As he waited and ate his first Chiko Roll he sat down at one of the tables and picked up a little pamphlet with a picture of the large kangaroo on the front. Inside the pamphlet Rigabold learned that the kangaroo was the brain child of the previous owners of Border Village road house. It was their thought that with Fremantle being the home to Australia II’s defence of the America’s Cup in 1987 many tourists would be travelling across the Nullarbor and those people needed something worth stopping to look at. It was the popularity of the Boxing kangaroo at the 1982 Commonwealth games that inspired the big statue given that the original could not be purchased. To generate some publicity the men then ran a competition to name the kangaroo and the winning name was Ruey however because one of the owners was nicknamed Ruey it was decided the big kangaroo would be named Ruey II.
Rigabold was reading the last paragraph that explained the name became Rooey II because the painter spelt the name wrong, when Sonya called out to him to tell him his order was ready.
“Thank you Miss.” Rigabold said as he paid for his order.
“Your welcome.” Sonya replied as she took Rigabold’s money and put it into the register.
“Keep the change!” Rigabold said before Sonya had a chance to pull out the small coins.
“Yep, I don’t need that shrapnel clanging in my pockets!”
“It’s not all coins.” Sonya said her voice more polite than their pre-ordering conversation.
“Keep it anyway!” Rigabold replied thinking how nice it was to hear the change in Sonya’s voice.
“Well thank you sir!” Sonya replied, she even had a smile forming on her face as if it had been the nicest thing she’d heard all day. “Would you like a room for the night? We’ve got several singles left but there is no family cabins.”
“No. Thank you miss. I need to keep moving.”
“Lots of wildlife on the road. Take care!” Sonya said and Rigabold felt like she really did mean it.
“Thank you, I will. Hopefully the wildlife see me coming and get out of the way!”
“Well if they don’t, feel free to bring it back!” Rigabold shot Sonya a confused look and upon seeing it she added, “You kill it. We grill it!”