On the count of 3, everybody point your fingers and laugh.


About two weeks ago I was calling a member of Another Company a Twerp for putting unleaded in a Diesel vehicle.

(Don’t get ahead of me here)

The story of There and Back again: A Manda’s Tale

Yesterday, I made my way bravely to Toothbrush One, Silver Car behaving like a horse I used to have once. Every so often, he leaps sideways. Usually, Silver Car’s hit the groove that the road repair crew has left on the sides of the road; when they rebuilt them after the floods in March. Bad Joining techniques. But it keeps you awake. To make matters more fun – the air conditioner died. Do you know how hot a car can get in the Outback?  (at 120kmph?)




My Pepsi had boiled by the time I got back to Darwin. (Yes, I am a Pepsi drinker, not a Coke drinker). Oooof.


I was told to stay in Darwin overnight and then make my way back this morning with White car.


Woo hoo! I had plans! I was going to get out the Aquamarine Sentiments rectangles and join them. And maybe.. just maybe add a border..  Thus finishing another WIP. 


This didn’t happen. I am not going to tell you precisely why it didnt because you’ve already got enough cause to laugh at me….


I will just say one thing (for now): Ants.


But I eventually went to bed,  I took my newly delivered copy of Patricia Kristoffersen’s  Doily Patterns and read my way through… there’s just not enough hours in the day.


Then before I knew it… the alarm had gone off… I had to get up and roll. I also had one of *those* showers. You know the kind that are hard to get out of once you’re in there in the warmth… and the water’s at the right angle? I was there.


Cut to me riding through the forest at 110kmph: drinking in the green light of early morning…  avoiding the wallaby in the middle of the road…  and making sure that the road train went back to his side of the road before he got to the bit of the road that I wanted to be on.

This moderately pretty picture was counterpointed by my musing about my favourite moments from LOTR. I actively prefer to watch it with anything involving Sam and Frodo and Gollum fast forwarded. It’s a different movie that way. There are only so many times you can see Frodo fall down and still have sympathy for Hobbits. I also skip the scene at the end of Two Towers when Legolas shoots the orc that Gimli is sitting on. No dwarf should use the expression “nervous system” when   talking where he has embedded his axe.


Certainly : “Give up the Halfling She-elf” and her rejoinder is another favourite moment (but then Arwen turns into a bit of a twit.) “Whats this? a Ranger caught unawares?” is up there as well.


The poem that Theoden recites “Where is the horse and the rider?” has some majesty.

Unfortunately, ever since I read The Very Secret Diaries I haven’t been able to take Pippins’ song seriously – The VSD has him launching into “you never close your eyes anymore….” not to mention the strawberry bath bubbles. And Gandalf’s alternative narration to the “I fell” & “Darkness took me” speech post Balgrog will spoil that bit for you FOREVER.

They are worth reading – if you’re a LOTR fan. Again,  please avoid coffee as snorting hot liquid out through your nose when laughing is painful.

Yeah… anyway… so I’m driving… and driving and I notice to my horror that the Fuel Warning light is on. I’ve used up 60litres of diesel and only travelled 2/3rds of trip.

This is of Concern.


Ok… formulate quick plan. Switch to the quarter tank left in the secondary tank. Here’s enough fuel (15litres x 6km @ 115 kph) we’ve got enough to make it the 60kms to Jabiru.





We don’t.


The other fuel tank light came on.


And started flashing.


And White Car started coughing.


Uh oh.

 Formulate Second Plan.

It involves Prayer and the Fuel Station at West Alligator Crossing.


17kms away.


Hang on, White Car!


Reducing speed to try and get the best Fuel Economy ratio… we splutter into West Alligator. Its a nice restaurant here in Kakadu with fuel stop, souvenirs and you can book tours.


I buzz around because I’m also heading towards White Rabbit mode (“I’m late!!!”) and I put in 15 litres of fuel. I only put in 15litres because its $1.70 per litre there and we get it for free in a fairly short distance. And I didn’t have the fuel charge card. And I was only carrying a small amount of cash.


(You may note that I use the word fuel. Not diesel.)


I pull out of West Alligator confident that we will continue safely into Toothbrush ThreeLand.


And 2kms later…… White Car comes to a serene stop.


And before my eyes flashes an image of the fuel bowser I just used, and the word “Unleaded”.


Stop Laughing Ok.. I put unleaded in the Car.. Bloody hell!!!


I feel bad enough –

2kms from the nearest phone, no cell coverage,  in the Australian bush.


Welcome to my World.


“Self,” I said to myself, “Self. Self this is a small crisis. If you’ll forgive me, it’s a small 2 bedroomed crisis with a well appointed Kitchen, balcony and a view of the sign that says: This is a Small Crisis.”


I picked up my trusty backpack… and ball cap… and a bottle of Pepsi.


And started walking.


I walked a whole 20 metres before I was picked up by a passing vehicle (also heading to Toothbrush Three) and so I was able to provide a humorous answer to the Project Manager when he answered the phone and said “So you’re here”.


Answer was: I am.. car’s not.

 white car is hungry

So we had to go back and rescue poor White Car.

Fortunately I hadn’t put too much unleaded in… and I had stopped him almost immediately.. But White Car does have a tummy ache and is in being looked at in the Workshop.


My day did not improve. The handle end broke off my Kingston memory Stick. I was eating the electrolyte powder out of the pack (yeah yeah yeah ) and I had a blue tongue. And i didn’t know until the end of the site Induction I was giving and I asked the group if they had any questions.


Yes…  Of course they did.


The induction group had an interesting pair of steel capped safety boots amongst them.

 purple safety boots

They’re purple.

They ‘re produced in conjunction with the Australian Cancer council Breast Cancer Awareness initiative.

Excellent  Advertising concept. Find a bunch of men.. what is the one thing they are ALL interested in?

Yep…. Breasts!!!

Anyway .. No crocheting to show you from last night – just the purple boots.

And I’m feeling like a Clown…




~ by SB&C on October 23, 2007.

9 Responses to “On the count of 3, everybody point your fingers and laugh.”

  1. Awwwww, I’m not gonna laugh at you because it sounds like you had the day from Hell! I am just glad you reached your destination safely.

  2. I can’t complain about my day today – in comparison to yours, it was fantastic 🙂

    I like those purple boots…

    — Michelle (who lives in fear of accidentally putting anything other than unleaded in her car)

  3. Forgot to add, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about the ants…

    — Michelle

  4. Hi
    Resourceful little person, aren’t you!

    Anyway, you’re not the only one in this family who has put the wrong petrol in a diesel drinking car (and no – it was the one with the beard!). We had to spend a whole day in an obscure German village while the mechanics gave car a stomach pump.

    Does the blue tongue glow in the dark?

    Tomorrow has GOT to be better!

  5. well i quess i will start with hugs and then continue with – –

    YOU DID WHAT?????
    as i am readin this i am hoping that this is just a story you made up for todays entry?!
    thankfully we are all human and we all make mistakes. unfortunatly now you have to think twice before yelling at someone for putting the wrong petrol in!

    hope things improve for you!

  6. the good side of your bad day: the humorous retelling of the story. You’re hilarious 🙂

  7. Manda can I print out your clown pic and use it on my x-mas cards? lol

    Canadian Barb

  8. Sure Barb.. Why not???? 😛

    Clouded Maple – Nice to meet you!! And thanks!!!

    Kris – I laughed at him (no yelling!) and thats probably why the Gods are now laughing at me.

    M_F : any comments about me following in Dad’s footprints.. and its Heffalumps.

    Shellie – Thank you! I was never so pleased to get to a Mining Camp in my life.

    Michelle. Ants. Ants EVERYWHERE. In my Kettle.
    In the Electric Frying pan. In the Canola spray on spray pack thing. In my egg timer.. falling through the gap.

  9. […] SB&C placed an observative post today on On the count of 3, everybody point your fingers and laugh..Here’s a quick excerpt:Yesterday, I made my way bravely to Toothbrush One, Silver Car behaving like a horse I used to have once. Every so often, he leaps sideways. Usually, Silver Car’s hit the groove that the road repair crew has left on the sides of the … […]

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