“All set?” Turbo asked his best mate Diesel. They’d been inseparable ever since building a beauty racetrack for their toy trucks in the sandpit at Kindy.
“All set,” Diesel replied while hauling his hulk into the cab of Turbo’s truck. “The clubhouse is all locked up and the ute’s chained down in the back.”
Diesel was a massively muscled man and unusually tall. The type of big bald man you had to stop and take in for a moment, before realising that your jaw had dropped open. He was a happy guy, playful even, which was scary because he liked to jostle you around a bit, to rough you up the way your uncle might rustle your hair and give you a playful shove. Turbo loved it. A fight with Diesel was a normal part of his everyday life. As normal as two little boys wrestling in the sandpit and then traipsing sand through the house in search of a cold drink. Although as men, big men, it was an awesome spectacle.
“Dad isn’t gonna believe it when he sees it,” Diesel said excitedly.
“I know, he still thinks he’s gonna have to rebuild the ute all over again after rolling it.”
“How cool is everyone in the club, pulling an all–nighter to help us rebuild it for him? That’s family, Turbo!”
“Can’t believe we got it finished!”
Diesel checked the clock in the truck — 10:37am.
“Loads of time. We’ll park the ute out the front of the house and then pick him up from hospital at two, home by three for the big surprise.”
“How’s he comin’ along anyway?”
“Well he won’t be walking for a month but the Doc’ reckons he’ll be fine.”
“I still can’t believe your old man made it home with Billy’s spear still sticking out the side of his ute.”
“He reckons he’s never gonna get between an Aboriginal and his prey ever again.”
“If Billy really was trying to spear the Bullies,” Turbo said cautiously.
“Well anyway, I reckon he’s got the constitution of a buffalo,” Diesel said with pride.
“Who squeals like a stuck pig!”
“Yeah, I know! I shoulda looked before opening the car door. Fair dinkum that was bad. He reckons it was the worst part.”
“Not surprising after seeing how much meat the barbs of Billy’s spear ripped out.”
“Yeah, that was gross. How about me panicking and trying to stuff the muscle back into his leg?” They tried to laugh off the sordid memory. “I reckon I woulda had him patched up in no time if it wasn’t for his screamin’. Oh well, he’ll forgive me once he sees his ute all fixed up again.”
“He may forgive you but I don’t reckon he would ever forgive the Bullies for eating his prize rooster. He was gonna enter it in the Easter Show this year wasn’t he?”
“Was!” Diesel deflated while trying to rub the frustration from his face with the palm of his hand. “He said he doesn’t blame the pups. He reckons it was his fault for forgetting to feed them the night before. Nah, he don’t blame the poor little things, Turb’. He said they were just being typical bulldogs and hunting like you and me have been teaching them. They were coming along so good too. God I miss them. He even put George and Mildred in the back of his freshly painted ute so they could sniff out their pups when he was looking for them at the tip. He wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t love them.”
“I don’t know that he loved them, Dies’.”
“Well he was still out searching for them a whole month later when the poor bloke got speared for his troubles.”
“I never once seen him give them a pat. Not even when they were puppies. And he was always goin’ off at them. Nah, I reckon he hated them.”
“Yeah, I don’t know.”
“I reckon he hates George and Mildred too — the grumpy old bastard never gives them a pat neither.”
“Bloody hell, Turbo, will ya get off his back! He’s been through enough already and no matter what happened, me old man nearly died alright?”
“Yeah alright. Sorry, mate. None of it makes any sense to me, that’s all. He’ll be OK. He’ll be stoked in a couple of hours.”
“Yeah, I can’t wait to see his face.”
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