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Saturday, December 27, 2014

How to Get Along with your Step Daughter

“So I hope you realise how much I’ve sacrificed having a good time on my holiday because of you,” I groused, as I sat in the car waiting for Scotto to pick up the key to our room from motel reception this afternoon.

“We can’t go out anywhere nice, can’t leave you in the motel room alone, can’t have any fun at all really! All because of you. You!”

“Yes, I do know and I appreciate it, Pinky,” came a polite little voice from the back seat.

I spun around in my seat, horrified.

“I was talking to the DOG, Petal. The Dog! Surely you didn’t think I meant you?”

We left on our road trip yesterday morning with Scotto’s thirteen year old daughter, Petal and Celine the Fox Terrier and Pablo the Chihuahua tethered in the back seat. The plan was to drop Petal back to her Mum in the New England area on our way through after she’d spent Christmas with us.

“I wasn’t sure,” answered Petal.

“You don’t think I’m an evil stepmother do you? I would never say that! The dogs’ve spoiled my holiday, not you!”

“I know,” she replied quietly.

I’ve tried to be a good stepmother over the last ten years, I really have.

So anyway, after driving for nine hours we’d arrived at the Ambassador (pet friendly) Motel in Rockhampton. 

Bloody Rockhampton. Just as stinkin’ hot as North Queensland but incorporating a massive bull with huge testicles hanging between its legs planted in the main street into the mix.

The Ambassador motel owners are true blue; dinky di, the nicest people… ever. They are just as mental about dogs as their beatendownbycaninesobsessive clientele. It was a decent, tiled room and we were allowed to feed and keep the spoiled Beverley Hills mongrels in the room with us. The only stipulation is that you’re not allowed to leave the dogs in the room alone, BUT the motel has an excellent room service menu AND sells booze at the counter at a reasonable price. 

Let’s face it… there ain’t a hell of a lot to do in downtown Rocky on a mid-holiday season night anyways.

We left home at 5:00 this morning when the sun was just rising; reminiscent of family holidays when I was a kid when Mum would make us eat Weetbix at 4:00am before a road trip and my sister Sam would invariably spew all over the back car seat (whilst inconveniently positioned beside you know who).
Scotto and I decided we’d stop for breakfast at ‘Bowenwood’. It used to be called ‘Bowen’ until they made the movie ‘Australia’ there and the flamboyant mayor decided to label it fudging, Bowenwood.
I seriously hate Bowen. There’s NOTHING I like about Bowen except Horseshoe Bay where we sat and ate our bacon and egg Mc Styrofoam. 

Horseshoe Bay, Bowen.

It’s a pretty bay, I’ll give it that… but with an underlying secret loathing for all things Bowen; the depressing salt pans, the stupidly wide streets and the absence of human life. I swear we did not see one living soul apart from the young girl who served us at Maccas who had NEVER HEARD of Horseshoe Bay and couldn’t even give us directions.

R.I.P. Bowen.

So now, as the weary travellers rest on our bed in downtown Rockhampton on our way to the luxurious 5 star resort, “Tail Waggers”, Scotto lies fast asleep and the dogs are cringing beside me like a pair of miniature dire wolves ready to pounce on and savage anyone who happens to walk past our door to ask reception for extra milk.

“At least someone loves me,” I gestured at the dogs and joked to Petal who was watching a terrible movie starring ‘The Rock’ on the telly.

I love you, Pinky,” she whispered.

"I love you too, Petal," I replied after a moment's stunned silence.

Gold I tell you. It was pure gold.

I ask you my friends… would you sacrifice your holiday for your pets?