Rigabold the pernicketness was half way between Poochera and his next brief stop at Wuddina when the GPS started to beep, bong and twinkle. Immediately he knew what the noise was for and he looked at the screen in the dashboard on which was a very familiar, to him, face.
To anyone else that had seen the screen it would have looked like a screensaver had kicked in and the image that was chosen was a reptilian like creature with a long rounded snout several big teeth and blue skin. But Rigabold knew better, he knew it was his grand chancellor, Hilo Griffduggen.
Suddenly Rigabold wished his mobile communications system was as restricted as the earth bound GPS and mobile phone satellites made things so he’d be able to fake a bad signal connection and drop the call. But he knew better than that, Tumcuddulan signals didn’t fade out anywhere in thirty five galaxies.
“Hi-lo Hilo,” Rigabold said trying not to laugh as he greeted his boss with the name that on Earth would just cause confusion.
“Sqwibble Sqoo herth Rigabold beiof hssed onns glls.”
Despite there being nobody else in his cabin to hear the grand chancellor speak in their native tongue Rigbaold switched the GPS over to the English as if someone was.
“Sorry sir I didn’t mean that, I was just being a little silly.” Rigabold was apologising because Hilo had not seen the humour in his little Hi-lo Hilo joke, which was pretty lame but none the less a little amusing to someone who had spent so much time alone in the cabin of his Dodge. Rigabold thought about using the alone excuse for his little joke but quickly decided against it because he knew Tumcuddulan’s didn’t get lonely or peculiar in the company of only themselves.
“Yes, well don’t let it happen again.” Hilo said from several million quagnackles away. “Let’s now cut to the chase Rigabold. I’m sure you know why I am calling.”
“Yes sir, you want an update and I’m pleased to update you. Things are going along great. I’ve gathered some great data, found out lots of valuable informa…”
“Rigabold!” Even from a few million quagnackles away Hilo sounded irate, it had a lot to do with the Tumcuddulan language and the way it was spoken but even in English Rigabold could hear the conversation changing tone. “Don’t make this harder than it is. You know why I am calling.”
“Yes sir!” Rigabold replied knowing exactly when it was time to cut to the chase.
It was not a call Rigbaold had expected after only a few days on Earth but he knew there was no avoiding it so he explained to Hilo exactly why he’d done what he’d done, why he was anywhere near completing his task and what his plans were. As he spoke he had thought about giving Hilo a run down of the extra information he’d gathered, which was not a part of his original plan, to help explain things better, but instead he decided that information was better left to last.
Sure enough the extra information about the golf course, the quokkas he’d met on Rottnest Island or his meeting with Flugglenuff was not enough to have the high chancellor forgive him of his errors and misdirection but he hadn’t expected it to. What Rigabold also knew was that there was little the high chancellor could do about his mistakes other than order him not to make any more.
The truth was, and both Rigabold and Hilo knew it, the data Rigabold was collecting was valuable for future travels to Earth, especially since the Tumcuddulan’s did not plan to stop their Earth journeys any time in the future.
By the end of the twenty minute call Rigabold knew he hadn’t entirely satisfied his high chancellor but he had brought himself a bit more time. It wasn’t an open invitation to dawdle and make a vacation out of his trip but it was enough to let his hair down a little bit. If only the good Hemsworth actually had a decent head of hair to let down!
When Rigabold drove into the town of Wudinna the call from Hilo was almost forgotten and his mind was back on things that were going to make his trip interesting and exciting for those at home who might read his travel diary, the diary he wasn’t suppose to be writing.
On the screen his GPS told him that the name Wuddina may be an Aboriginal name for granite hill. A theory that was supported by the fact that the area is known as the Granite Country because of the large deposits of granite which were not only exported around the world but could be found in chunks that weighted more than twenty tonnes.
Half way through town Rigabold stopped to look at a large statue. It was a statue commissioned by the local community and made in town using the granite rock the area was known for. It was an eight metre tall person called the Australian Farmer erected to commemorate the early settlers and provide tourist, like Rigabold, something to look at.
Rigabold stood for several minutes in front of the large statue thinking about how great it would be to see a statue of himself somewhere everyone could see it. Definitely not a statue of him in the silly ‘good Hemsworth’s’ body, definitely in his true form, and it would need to be taller than eight metres to do him true justice, but it would be nice.
“Maybe one day.” Rigabold said to himself as he walked back to the Dodge. “Maybe after my hugely successful Earth journey!” he added, but as he grabbed the door handle and swung the driver’s door open he could hear Hilo’s voice in his head telling him there was no chance.
Rigabold got back into his vehicle, pulled back out onto the highway and resumed his trip east.
By his next stop he’d not only be looking for some more Chikos but it would be getting close to dark and he’d have to make up his mind about how much further he planned to travel.