I was crunching the gears and bunnyhopping before we’d even started. Sticks.
30 year old cant drive a stick. And he’s trying to take his mum for a beach bash to the creek in a borrowed rust-bucket.
The lads in the back were quiet until Mum started giving me shit.
“Fuck sakes… hill starts are tricky when you don’t have a handbrake”
The rusted thing lurches and starts to roll backwards down the hill.
“You don’t have to make excuses son HAHAHAHA”
Sniggers from the back.
Dammit. Open Season on the goose. Me.
It was good once I got through the resort. Onto the beach. Nice packed sand. Feels like you’re driving faster than you are when you’re right on the water. Feels good.
We didn’t get any fish down the creek. I never caught shit down there. It was always more about getting down there. Its a pretty spot. At night, its insane. The stars bouncing right off the water, the sound of Barra jumping in the black and nothing else.
Following tracks on the way back. Saw some Cows grazing on the beach. They always looked so strange. Those beach cows…
I was counting the days. Work was done.
Those days. They all folded together….
People were bailing. Cramming their backpacks, their cars, and heading to the next great thing. It was sometimes sad, but we’d seen a lot of turnover throughout the season and I wasn’t far off myself.
Half the kitchen were getting into the fitness program again. Some had a couple more months to go. Some are still rocking out the Wet season with the skeleton crew.
I told Chef Karl that I’d fallen in love. He asked me “Who?”. I didn’t know her name. It was a image taken by a photographer called Mike Brodie. I described a filthy train-jumper with her skirt pulled up, a disgusted look on her face, tattoo’d knuckles and a blood stain on her underwear. He shook his head and told me I was a fucking disgrace.
I laughed and walked back to the bar for a few more Campari’s.
‘Boat’ stands for Bust Out Another Thousand, Daz tells me.
Daz has been busting out a thousands getting his engine working. Well maybe not. He was one of the first Mechanics to set up shop in Broome years ago. He’s been putting some time into it though.
It’s nice to be fishing on his boat. Even if the engine is fucked.
I don’t fish. Not really. This day I caught a 2 meter shark and thought maybe I should fish a little more. Its pretty fun.
The shark was released and swam away to plot its revenge.
We spluttered back to the resort.
The Malcolm Douglas Croc farm outside of Broome. It’s a Croc farm. Meat and Leather.
Dangerous Saltwater Crocs are trapped and released into concrete pools surrounded by chicken wire where they spend their days baking in the suns like leathery logs. They don’t move for much besides their bi-daily feeding and occasionally breeding among themselves.
So there’s a legend around these parts. It’s not much of a legend really. There’s too much truth in it for it to be relegated to the status of a folk tale. Its one of those ‘this happened to a friend of a friend of mine tales. Here’s how it goes…
At Divers Tavern, near the main beach in Broome one evening a bunch of lads from the area were having a few. The type of fellas who spotlight roos and hunt wild bulls with crossbows on quad-bikes when the mood strikes them. The regular type out here really.
So they’re drinking and they’re bored and one lad reckons he’ll jump the fence into the Croc Farm and wrestle the largest model they can find in the place. The rest of his mates reckon it’ll be good for a laugh and they all bail out to the Troopy and drive 20 k’s out of town to the park.
A couple of hours go by and the rest of the folk drinking in the tavern have forgotten about the lads taking off earlier when they come through the doors. The Lad who proposed the idea of drunken nighttime saltwater crocodile wrestling leans against the bar and orders a can of Emu Red. and an Ambulance.
He’s got blood pouring out of him from head to toe.