Rigabold the pernicketness wasn’t interested in seeing the abandoned homesteads and old stations that were scattered around the Nullarbor. It wasn’t that they held no interest for him, they kind of did the first time, but with so many Tumcuddulan’s visiting earth the recording of such things from all over the world was fairly common.
The only thing he could compare it to was what humans did when they first discovered cameras and video cameras, they went on holidays with the things and took blurry photos with peoples heads cut off, nondescript scenery shots, shaky video of hills and trees and they did it on mass. Then they brought all that stuff home and sat their so called friends down and showed them everything until their friend’s brains melted and turned to mush. The only saving grace of such a situation was that everyone got a turn to go on holidays.
Because Tumcuddulans had been coming to earth for so long they had photographs of things like the Nullarbor homesteads in glorious colour, in their hey day, back when there was four hundred kilometres between homesteads and back when it took days not hours to get from homestead to homestead. Stopping at what remained of those homesteads a hundred and fifty years after they were at their prime just to look at what was left when they had all that documented on Tumcuddula seemed like a waste of time, especially in the dark.
The super bright headlight beams of Rigabold’s Dodge cut through the night as he cruised east along highway one at just under ninety kilometres per hour. If it wasn’t for his advanced GPS and alerting system he’d definitely have been driving slower in such darkness. Several times he saw kangaroos, dingoes, and other wildlife which through luck only stayed off the road for him.
The traffic, not that there was much, was mostly made up of trucks, big trucks with multiple trailers and so many lights that they looked like a travelling side show. Rigabold spoke to a few of the drivers on the CB radio as they passed each other, but the conversation was short and little more than a road report.
A bit over three hours after leaving Border Village roadhouse Rigabold pulled into Nullarbor roadhouse. The restaurant, store and service station part of the roadhouse was lit brightly and near the petrol pumps Rigabold could see a small whale statue, no where near as big as the one at Eucla but there to indicate that the “Head of the Bight” was a Mecca for whale watching at the right time of year. There was only one truck and two cars parked in the large dirt car park, neither of them were refuelling and neither seemed to have anyone near them. Despite the large building in front of him being a different shape and size to the other places he stopped across the Nullarbor he couldn’t help but feel a similarity with them all.
Despite the hour approaching midnight Rigabold still hoped Nullarbor roadhouse would be able to provide him with the Chiko Rolls he needed. Not for the first time since starting his journey he wished the contraption on his back seat which made perfect Pollywaffles and other foods could make Chiko Rolls but he also knew that if such a thing was possible he wouldn’t be on the journey he was. Simple fact was the creation of Chiko Rolls was so unique that making them in the back seat was not possible.
With most of the roadhouses catering to all travellers they did open twenty four hours seven days a week and were cooking fast food for the majority of that time. But they also had to consider the amount of waste they created and cooking food only to throw it out was not good for profits. So while he remained hopeful for a Chiko Roll he understood that he might not get one.
“Evening sir. How’s the road treating you?” The balding, slightly over weight man in the blue shirt behind the counter greeted Rigabold with as he walked into the roadhouse.
“Yeah, not too bad.” Rigabold replied trying to act casual as he walked towards the hot food counter. “I’m enjoying the quiet.”
Rigabold could see no trace of occupants that belonged to the two cars out the front but in the restaurant part of the roadhouse he could see a large roundish guy wearing a blue singlet sitting at a table eating a meal and watching the TV mounted to the wall. Rigabold knew that long haul truckies often kept strange hours, they drove to their log books and often spent the hours most other motorists slept driving the highway and byways of the country getting the job done causing the least interruption to others as they could. He also knew that the blue singlet, shorts and round belly was the stereotypical description of a truckie, therefore his thought that the man eating at the table before him arrived in the big rig out the front was more than likely correct.
Rigabold looked at the hot food that was available, there wasn’t much. He then looked at the board on the wall and as soon as he saw Chiko Rolls were available he asked if the man behind the counter would cook some for him.
“Minimum order of two at this time of night.” The man said.
Rigabold knew it took no more effort and time to cook one Chiko than it did five but he also understood that in many places, especially remote places that stayed open all day, there was an unspoken convenience fee. For the roadhouse that fee was making it a little bit more worth their while cooking things, which actually meant, “why sell one item when we can sell two.” But Rigabold didn’t mind, money wasn’t an issue, neither was more than one Chiko Roll.
“I tell you what sir,” Rigabold said politely. “How ‘bout I make it really worth your while and you go ahead and cook me six of them?”
“Yeah I’m hungry. It’s been a long drive and I need some sustenance.” Rigabold replied.
The man disappeared into the kitchen without further comment. Less than two minutes later he came out of the kitchen lead by woman who looked like the truckie sitting in the restaurant only she wore an apron and a dress. She was carrying a plate of food and when she stepped out from behind the counter Rigabold could see she was headed for the actual truckie.
“So have you seen any UFO’s out there?” The man asked as he stepped up towards Rigabold.