Rigabold the pernicketness was intrigued as the GPS in the dashboard of his Dodge Ram told him about the South Australian town of Wirrulla holding a secret. What sort of secret does a town hold? Mass Murders? A haunted house?
He remembered reading about another South Australian town named Snowtown while he traversed the universe in his Stargazer. It was noted for a collection of murders where the bodies were stored in barrels in a bank vault. Some of the reports stated that the town held a secret for many years, but Rigabold knew that wasn’t true, it wasn’t the town that held the secret it was the people who committed the murders.
The GPS, and the signs that were on the side of the road, clearly stated that the “Town” held the secret and if Rigabold wasn’t looking too much into something that could have been bad wording it indicated to him that whatever the secret was it wasn’t something as pointless as a few murders. What that meant exactly Rigabold didn’t know but he decided he needed to find out. Of course he could have just asked the GPS to tell him what the ‘secret’ was and he would have been presented with a detailed description of the ‘secret’ and how to find it on the screen, but that wouldn’t have been as fun.
Ten minutes later Rigabold flicked on his left indicator, there was no other vehicles in sight but he knew and understood the road rules as well as he understood that he wasn’t using a blinker to indicate his intention to turn, because a blinker was something they used on race horses.
He turned off the Eyre highway and headed into the town of Wirrulla. The town itself wasn’t very big, a small outback town with only a handful of residents that served as a place for the surrounding grain farmers to offload their crops for transportation to the city and ports. Out his right hand window, as he crossed the train line for the train that transported the crops to the ports, he could see the huge silos of the co-op that handled the crop transport.
A right turn, a veer to the left and past the police station and Rigabold was on Hay Terrace heading into the heart of the small town. Not far past the mechanics shed and for reasons he wasn’t entirely sure of, when he got to the intersection of Hay and Chapman Terrace he decided to stay on Hay Terrace and not veer off to the right. Whether it was his amazing sense of direction or the fact that the ‘secret’ was not very well hidden Rigabold wasn’t sure, but it took him very little effort to find it.
Because it was the done thing of the traveller Rigabold parked the Dodge and walked over to the ‘secret’ and read the information board under the big tree. He read the information with interest, more interest than he’d have read the screen of his GPS. He was also suitably amazed by the wonderful ‘secret’ and he decided immediately that he would write up a little report for his fellow Tumcuddulans that wouldn’t get the chance to ever see such a great secret. He also decided that he would not reveal the ‘secret’ in those writings in order that those who did get a chance to visit were as impressed as he was.
Being a Tumcuddulan Rigabold didn’t have a need to use the next tourist attraction in Wirrulla and although he was sure people standing out the front of it taking photographs was not unusual he also didn’t want to do that. He would get a photograph and he would enter the facility to say he’d been there but he was not going to get all touristy and stand in the hot sun staring at it.
He drove the Dodge over to Chapman Terrace, not far from where Hay Terrace intersected, and pulled over onto the dirt shoulder on the right hand side of the road. There was a another car, a smaller four wheel drive towing a caravan, parked not far from him and a man had exited the vehicle. Climbing out of the Dodge Rigabold nodded to the man walking past in a standard recognition of greeting.
“Let’s see if it lives up to it’s name!” The man called cheerfully as he headed towards the brightly painted wall that had the word “THUNDERDOME” written across it.
To the uneducated a thunderdome might be a big steel cage used for fighting in the movie Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, the poorly made American instalment to the classic Australian Mad Max series. But to the town of Wirrulla a thunderdome was a brightly painted public toilet.
Because a thunderbox was an age old Australian outback term for a toilet Rigabold assumed that the word thunderdome had been used as a hook to get tourists who saw the word and connected it with the movie. Whatever their reasoning it had worked because there he was an intergalactic traveller from many millions of quagnackles away standing in front of the small town toilet block.
Rigabold took himself a few happy snaps of the Thunderdome and immediately uploaded them to the Dodge’s advanced GPS. When he gave the order, probably once he left town, the GPS would then transmit those images back to Tumcuddula for the rest of his fellow folk to enjoy.
He was only standing outside in the heat for a few minutes when the man who’d exited the four wheel drive came out of the thunderdome, he had a smile on his face and Rigabold knew he was going to get some kind of comment.
“Well there was definitely thunder roaring in there but I wouldn’t rush in if I was you!” the man said obviously proud of himself.
At that exact moment Rigabold decided he did not need to see the inside of the thunderdome and if anyone asked he’d simply tell them it was like any other toilet on earth, uncomfortable, impractical and designed incorrectly.
Three minutes later Rigabold was back in the Dodge and once again headed east along the Eyre Highway