My Book Fun article has inspired more sharing of stories in my family. My mother had me in fits of giggles this week over the antics of my father. She reminded me of the time my Dad expertly fixed her broken windscreen wiper with a ball of Hubba Bubba chewing gum. It stuck fast, fooling the Queensland Transport inspector who had come to town to issue fines for all non-compliant vehicles. The wiper stayed happily in place until the next downpour of rain, when (forgetting it was held on by chewing gum), my mother turned on the wipers sending the broken arm flying off the glass and in the direction of the main street footpath. It narrowly missed an unsuspecting pedestrian. My mother, and sister, (who was in the car at the time too), didn’t realize what had happened until further down the road when they put the events together. It was fits of laughter all around for that tale, and for every retelling of it since.
Another amazing family event was the story of my cousin. In his youth he and his mates were on their way back from a night out. He leaned out the window of the car to give a spontaneous ‘Ya Hoo’, and the car hit a bump forcing his hat from his head. Now, an Acubra hat is a vital piece of clothing for a country man. In country Australia hats are used for far more than keeping the elements off one’s head. They are also used to fight fires, direct livestock, swipe at something attacking you, and to hold a drink of water from a creek if needs be – so a hat was something to retrieve. The problem with retrieving this hat was that, when they reversed the car they found the bump in the road had been a massive carpet snake. The snake spanned the road with the hat resting next to the snake’s head. My cousin thought the best idea was to pull the snake off the road by the tail, thus gaining enough space between head and hat for the retrieval.
He started pulling the tail when suddenly the snake whipped around and latched onto his hand. If this wasn’t a dire enough situation, seconds later the local drunk screamed around the corner, collecting both my cousin and the snake. The force of the blow from the vehicle dislodged the biting reptile and sent both snake and man flying into the air. The good news was that the hat was retrieved. The bad news was that my cousin suffered a broken leg, (thankfully that was the only injury). To our knowledge the snake went on his way, but he left his mark – the really bad news was that for years to come my cousin’s hand would swell up with little sores. From these little sores a carpet snake’s tooth would emerge.
This story was so amazing that it made the national news. It was certainly a series of unfortunate events, with really quite a fortunate outcome.
If you would like to hear some more of my family stories please have a look at my article in this month’s Book Fun Magazine. Scroll down the index until you find ‘”Yabberin'” – Page 159.
I must also say that it is due to the great protection of the Lord that our family are able to tell these stories. I do not advise anyone to pull a snake (even a carpet snake) by the tail.