"The Pothole Men - or, "How to survive in a small rural town!"
We were heading up north to Queensland, towing a large caravan behind an equally as large V8 vehicle. It was back in the mid 1980’s and Kat was just a young toddler who had the whole back bench seat to share with just herself and my best ever dog, a short-haired Jack Russell X-terrier named “Tiger”.
Kat could read her books, play with her toys, or just curl up with Tiger and snooze the miles away.
Anyhoo-de-doo, we were on the gun barrel highway, north of Moree and on the way to Goodiwindi, when we hit a pothole in the road.
THUMP! Bang, wobble! …….. Correction and on our way we went.
“Daddy, don’t hit those potholes!” Kat said.
“Can’t help it, darling,” I replied, “It’s those nasty pothole men. It’s all their fault!”
“Who are the pothole men, Daddy?” Kat asked.
“Why they are conniving, clever men,” I replied. “They go round moving the potholes every few days. You no sooner get used to where the holes are and they sneak around and move them again so that they can catch you unawares!”
“That’s not true, Daddy.” Kat replied. “I’ve seen the road truck going around filling them in!”
“Oh No,” I said. “They’re not the pothole men. They are the council road workers trying to fix the holes the pothole men have left out to trap unwary motorists,” I said. “The pothole men have a store of potholes that they keep and they sneak around digging them into the roads, usually in the dead of night so no-one suspects and makes it easier to catch you in the morning.”
“Why would they do that, Daddy?” Kat said.
“It’s to help their families to survive,” I said back as quick as a whip!
“What do you mean, Daddy,” Kat asked, “How do they help their families by putting potholes in the road?"
“Well, darling,” I said, “Out here in the country there is not a lot of work and so families have to band together to help each other out. The pothole men have brothers, one runs the windscreen repair shop and another runs the tyre shop and yet another runs the steering and suspension shop!”
“Oh! That can’t be true, Daddy,” said Kat.
“But it is my dear, and one of their names is Goodyear! You wait till the we get to Goondiwindi and you’ll see – there’ll be Goodyear’s Tyre shop and Goodyear’s windscreen Replacements and you’ll probably even see Goodyear’s Front End and and Steering shop. If you don’t see them you’ll certainly see their cousins, Ajax, Dunlop or, Beaurepaire!” I said.
“But Daddy, the council wouldn’t put up with it – they’ld stop them wouldn’t they?” said Kat.
“What!” I exclaimed. “Do you ever think Mayor Goodyear would go against his own family? And just where do you think all those council employees doing the pothole repairs come from? Why, they are all Goodfellows, first cousins to the Goodyears and the Beaurepaires! And that’s what these country towns do – they have their Goodfellows to see that the Goodyears get them through the tough times!”
We kept the pothole men story going right through all those wonderful years as Kat grew up and we toured around the country on our annual holiday migrations!