“I’m sorry those people were bugging you, they should have been run out of town long ago.” The lady from the cafe said to Rigabold the perknicketness.
He’d just spent the last few minutes being harassed by a couple of monkeys from a group that called themselves the Festival Of Life. It was pretty clear that they were a religious group of some sort but what that religion actually was could be anyone’s guess. Rigabold did however suspect it was not any of the standard, or common religions practised around Earth.
The truth was he could easily have gotten rid of the men by himself, by means foul or means kind but he was stringing them along and playing with them because he had little else entertaining to do. He wasn’t upset that the lady from inside the cafe had stepped in, by the sound of it he wasn’t the first one who the lady had saved, but at the same time he could have saved himself.
“You’ve nothing to apologise for dear,” Rigabold said as he looked up at the woman. “They are obviously the sort of people who think their message is more important that what people think of them.”
“Oh yeah, that’s for sure.” the lady answered, “They think their message is so important they are willing to annoy the entire town.”
Rigabold thought for a second and wondered if the conversation he’d just been having with the men who wanted to save his soul was really that much different from the conversation he was having about the men who wanted to save his soul. He had less inclination to fill the lady’s mouth with his knuckles than he did with the men but was he only replacing one annoyance with another?
“Why hasn’t the town gotten rid of them?” Rigabold asked.
There wasn’t even a seconds thought from the lady standing before him, she’d obviously been involved in similar conversations on many occasions and talking to Rigabold was no different.
“Oh pretty much all of us would have been happy to see the back of them, especially all of us traders who are thoroughly sick of them disturbing and annoying our customers, but the council had different ideas.”
The woman took a breath and sat down, since it was her own table, and her own cafe she wasn’t servicing Rigbold said nothing about her settling in for a discussion, he didn’t even suggest to her his thought about replacing one annoyance with another. The woman continued to speak.
“Bunch of corruption breeding dunny budgies hell bent on bleeding money from each and everyone one us hard workers just so they can afford their next wine filled junket somewhere us ratepayers will never be able to visit because we’ve got no bloody money left.”
Rigabold quickly deciphered a few things from the woman’s statement. Dunny budgies were Aussie slang for blow flies, so named because they hung around the outback dunny attracted to the smells produced in there and because in parts of Australia they were said to grow as big as a budgie, or small bird. A wine filled junket was something many executives and government workers did at the tax payers expense so they didn’t have to work. And the other thing that Rigabold was able to decipher was that the lady was annoyed with such people.
The lady continued her speech presumably assuming that Rigabold understood the language and the local idioms.
“They gave us the chance to object to that stupid temple thing being built out there on the old Cransky farm and they received more than thirty thousand letters rejection to the damn thing. But money talks and bullshit walks because the group offered them a massive cash injection and claimed they were prepared to keep paying a massive bill in rates so the council let them build that stupid castle like shit pile.”
Rigabold hadn’t seen, or been told about, any castle like pile of shit on any farm, then he remembered how the GPS was still being petty and immature when he had arrived in town so there might have been an excuse for his lack of information.
“Back fired on them though,” the lady continued. “Stupid council gave them all these leeways, free permits and stuff, then the group got some kind of tax exemption on religious grounds from the even more stupid state and federal governments which stopped them paying anything. Now there is a big castle that looks out of place and stupid, the council have gotten zero of their promised money and they can’t kick them out or evict them from the land because of their religious stature. I tell you this country is going to shit in a hand basket when a group of nobodies with a nothing religion recognised by no one else in the world can do what these idiots have done.”
“So they are rusted on fanatics that you can’t get rid of?” Rigabold asked already knowing the answer but feeling he needed to say something.
“Yes they are, we haven’t given up but so far our efforts have failed. But the big thing we want people, especially tourists, to know is that those cult members don’t belong here. We want tourists to come back, not be driven away.”
“Well miss you can consider me both a tourist and someone who will not let those sort of people stop me from returning.” Rigabold said knowing that the chances he’d be back through the town were slim to none.
“Well, that’s really great to hear.” The woman said as she stood up and started to clear the table of the used plates and cups. “Consider your meal on the house as an apology for what you had to put up with.”
“Honestly Miss,” Rigabold said, “it’s not your place to apologise. I’m more than happy to pay for what I ate.”
The lady thanked Rigabold and disappeared inside the cafe with the dirty dishes. Rigabold followed her a few seconds later to pay his bill. A few moments after that he was walking out of the cafe feeling good and heading back to his ute.