“So what are you going to do about your idiot ex boss?” I asked Matthew as we headed inside the house.

It was probably a bit unfair of me to call the guy an idiot, I didn’t know him personally only what Matthew had told me, but honestly he did seem like an idiot with the information I did have at hand.

“I’m going to have to jump on-line and send through all the paperwork again.” Matthew replied.

The door banged shut behind us and I said, “Twenty five bucks for half an hour, discount for the full hour is sixty! Want a drink?”

“Huh?”

“A drink, you know something to wet your whistle?” I said stepping into the kitchen. I wasn’t looking at him for his reaction but I could hear the change in tone as he spoke.

“I know what a drink is, what’s twenty five bucks an hour?”

“No, twenty five a half hour, the full hour is discounted to seventy.” I said.

“You said sixty, which by the way is not a discount if half an hour is only twenty five.”

I couldn’t dispute Matthew’s maths, he was spot on. “Oh my mistake. I’ll give you the friends and family discount.”

“What for?” Matthew was actually serious, he had no idea what I was talking about as I opened the fridge and retrieved two cold beers from the six pack he’d placed in there the day before.

“For the Internet.” I said innocently, this time I had to look at his face to see his reaction. “It’s the going rate for somewhere this remote!”

“What?” he said taking the beer from my hand, but the short break gave him a chance to think about his next comment. “Ok, I’ll take two thirty minute blocks for twenty five each.”

The sound of escaping cold air filled the kitchen as we both opened our beers at the same time.

“That adds up to an hour, so you get the friends and family discount of eighty dollars.”

Of course he protested. “But I’ll take it in two blocks, I’ll even have a break in the middle.”

“Yeah but I’ll know you are just doing it to try and cheat the system. My other customers wouldn’t be happy to know that you were getting favours because of who you are.”

“What other customers?” It was at that moment that the conversation took a turn that really should have come long before it did. “Hang on a second. Why are we talking about this. You aren’t going to charge me for using the internet.”

“No, but it was fun while it lasted. Sit down and drink your beer. I’ll find us something for dinner.” I said with a smile.

For a few minutes Matthew sat at the kitchen table deep in thought. No doubt he was thinking about how smart, witty and nice his sister was and that when it came to making light of a situation so that he would feel better there was no one quite like me. However I didn’t get a chance to ask him if that was the truth because he started speaking as I began banging pots and pans together like a good little woman of the house.

“Dammit,” he started. “This time not only am I going to have to send through all the original paperwork,” his thoughts about his wonderful sister were obviously interrupted by the work thing, “but I’m going to have to provide dates and days when the last one was sent.”

“You’ve got all that information though. Haven’t you?” I asked.

“Yeah, just a pain in the arse making it all bulletproof so it can’t be disputed, but the dates and everything are on my laptop.”

“Nick will sign a Stat Dec saying he’s seen it if you ask him.” I said knowing that a statutory declaration from a police officer, even a friend police officer, was more than he should need to prove the dates a file on his computer was created and sent.

“Yeah that’s not a bad idea, better to have more than I need if the idiot decides to hide his stupid behaviour. I also need to write a well worded letter that says something along the lines of how much of a moron he is for shredding the previous documents and that if he pulled his head out of his arse I might not have resigned in the first place.” Then as an after thought almost he added, “But obviously I need to write that in a polite way!”

I threw some tinned food into a pot and started cooking us dinner, I have told you I live a bit on tinned food at home because I never know when I’m going to be home haven’t I? Well I have now. It might not be the most nutritious stuff but I can’t afford to eat at the pub every night, not since I had a dependant move in under my roof!

Over dinner we had a bit of a discussion about what Matthew wanted to put in his letter and how he was going to approach things. I didn’t try to write the letter for him but I was happy for him to use me as a sounding board for what he was thinking.

After dinner I rang Nick, explained the situation to him and asked him if he was happy to come and look at Matthew’s computer and sign a stat dec to say he’d seen it. He was more than happy to offer the service but like us hoped it was unneeded.

Nick came around before dark and with him he delivered two six packs of beer, a service not many city coppers would provide whilst in uniform, and once the formalities were over we spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the verandah sipping a few quite ones.

Previous Outback Rescue story here.