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Saturday, May 11, 2019

Athletics Day and How Scotto Wants Me Dead.

The day began with a buoyant air of thrilling adventure.

The sky blazed like a jewel in a dazzling, azure radiance. Children spilled out across the oval squealing in gushy admiration of brand new, neon sports shoes, house themed tutus and brightly zinc-creamed noses. 

Jaunty rows of tiny flags fluttered in the cool breeze as if welcoming a ticker tape procession of heroic Greek gods.

The day ended as all the teachers knew it would; sweaty, fractious children squabbling over whose tattered, runner-up ribbons were whose, shattered teachers lurching around with rubbish bags, limply pointing at bits of lolly wrapper in the gloomy hope someone, anyone, would pick them up. Bunting, once gay and festive, now strewn across the field in torn, desolate shreds.

But at least it was Friday afternoon and we teachers knew that sport’s day was done and dusted for another year.

It was three o’clock and I was about to walk out the door, fatigued but exuberant to be leaving.

“Pinky,” intercepted our school officer, Reggie, poking her head around the corner. “There’s been an accident on the highway and the police have closed the road.”

I blanched. Sweat appeared in droplets on my upper lip. I felt the hysteria rise up my throat.

An accident meant the road could be closed for hours and hours.

And hours and hours.

And maybe even some more hours.

What the actual??? It was fucking FRIDAY!

“I suppose I can drive home via the alternate, rustic route,” I spat bitterly. “Even though it takes an extra 45 minutes and most of it is highly dangerous due to it being made of dirt.”

“You could stay and do some planning and wait for the road to open,” offered someone, trying to be helpful but being outrageously annoying instead.

Planning. As if. Lol.

So, I set out on the bloody road less travelled, comforting myself with the fact that I’d probably see a lot of interesting cows and goats and possibly a donkey and, as I like animals, that was quite a good thing. 

I could enjoy the bucolic scenery whilst listening to an extended podcast about mindfulness and I would arrive at home one hour and forty-fucking-five minutes later feeling very fucking serene.

Distracted, I failed to spot the ditch. It was carved deeply into the road and I was travelling at eighty kilometres an hour with a queue of frustrated drivers trailing behind me. 

There was no sign warning me I was about to traverse the Mariana Trench in spectacular airborne fashion with my trusty Renault. There was a sickening thud as the car landed. 

The cows paused their cud-chewing and gazed through exotic lashes at the foreign car leaping like a frog then sliding across the loose gravel. A goat screamed.

Swearing like a truckie, heart pounding with anxiety and palms sweating, I drove the rest of the way home, nervously anticipating the familiar tug on the wheel indicating a flat tyre.

“Can you check my tyres tomorrow morning?” I asked Scotto, throwing my keys on the dining room table in a vile temper. “I went over a bit of a bump on the way home.”

He forgot. I forgot as well until on Thursday morning, a sinister light began flashing on my dashboard informing me there was something seriously askew with my tyres.

In a panic, I screeched into a service station and rang Scotto. I’d parked beside the air machine and needed instructions on where to poke the thing in and what to do then.

“Don’t worry about it, Pinky,” drawled Scotto. “You have low profile tyres and you probably just knocked air out of one of them. You can drive on those sorts of tyres, flat. You’ll be fine.”

Now, I’m not sure if Scotto is trying to get me killed, or if he just couldn’t bear to go through the excruciating task of explaining to an idiot, how to pump up a tyre over the phone or if I inconveniently caught him on the toilet having a poo and he was in a fluster… but he was wrong... fatally wrong.

The tyre specialist man has since diagnosed two dangerously split sidewalls, compromised rims and the urgent need for a wheel alignment. 

Can you see that bulge waiting to explode?

The tyre man stressed that, at any time during my travels last week, I could have experienced a blowout and if it had occurred whilst travelling up or down the mountain, the car most likely would have flipped. 

According to the movies Scotto particularly likes, when a car flips over the side of a mountain there is usually fire, blood and crushed steel involved.

And you know what that means.

* Dead Pinky.

* Youngish, fancy-free widower with unimpeded access to whatever he wants to watch on Netflix and no more annoying interruptions to his morning poo.

In the meantime, I’d like to say, farewell $515. It was nice of you to visit my bank account. Hope you enjoyed your stay. Please enjoy the remainder of your travels in the tyre man’s wallet and I hope to one day meet again.