Townsville to Airlie Beach

February 1992

Forty five minutes out of Townsville, (at about 5:45pm) we (our coach) had a tyre blowout. The tyre was absolutely torn to shreds. There was just a lump of solid rubber left around the wheel hub. The poor old coach driver donned his overalls and tried to change the tyre. Unfortunately he was unable to remove the wheel nuts. He had to hitch into town and we were left alone and  “defenceless” in the bush with all the mosquitoes. It was too stuffy on the coach, so I smothered myself with insect repellent and sat outside writing a letter.

He (the coach driver) returned some 15-20 minutes later with a guy and then the two of them tried to loosen the wheel nuts, Another guy then stopped and offered to help. Before long there were three men and umpteen levers being used to try pry off the silly wheel nuts.

Suddenly one of the men had had a (moment of) inspiration.

He exclaimed, “They’re left-handed mate!”

Sure enough they had all been trying to turn the wheel nuts the wrong way. Then very quickly but two and a half hours late, we were once more on our way.

(Everybody on the bus had mucked in. I was letting people use my insect repellent. Another guy was walking down the bus, offering wine and packets of peanuts.)





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