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The RV, the barbeque and the cook!

The RV, the barbeque and the cook!


By Chaucer

As promised, the first of a three-part tale about… well… about different people. I hope you get as much fun from it as I did recalling the incident. You may have similar tales to tell? Let us know!

No Grey Nomad, or RV group, or neighbourhood for that matter, is without at least one self-appointed barbeque king—the char-grill wizard. You know them; they have the latest machines with all possible attachments. Slide in, slide out this and that, including a kitchen sink, which are useless unless connected to plumbing and drainage, all costing nearly as much as a weekender on the coast. Sadly though, too many of these masters of the rotisserie are deficient in what really matters—fine taste, culinary skills and a cautionary sense of immanent danger.

Rituals of the barbecue are akin to man’s rite of passage from his Neanderthal beginnings. Perhaps it’s the freedom of outdoor cooking where barbie-bosses pit their expertise with costly cuts of meat and seafood against nature’s most powerful and destructive element—fire. If only burning fat, fur and feathers that asphyxiated our ancient ancestors their caves was genetically imprinted in modern grill-masters, life would be much safer for all—as the reader will soon learn.

The weekend barbecue ritual for some surely casts doubt upon man’s clarity of thought. Flies, smoke, paper plates, blackened food, scorched fingers and bloated sausages oozing grease are just some of the attractions that provide a peculiar enjoyment.

Mervin, my neighbour down the street, had taken delivery of his whopping new motorhome for the bargain price at almost $300,000. A brave purchase considering he had never been motorhoming before. In fact, he had never been camping before. But never underestimate the romantic lure to a grey nomad yearning to “get on the wallaby”. Magic sunsets followed by celestial astonishment—fresh air—at one with nature—bold adventure, etc, etc!

To make a $300K purchase more palatable, the great rig came with a free home barbecue, although the motorhome already had one—it slid into a slot near the toilet cassette—sensible engineering. Mervin invited half the street to break-in his new, free home barbecue. The main reason was, of course, to establish a large degree of affluence and show off the many fancy gizmos on the formidable rig that dwarfed his house—viewed from the street.

When exploring the many secrets his camper boasted, Mervin became particularly excited with the 10,000kg recovery winch that could haul the entire truck up a cliff face, he reckoned, while running out the cable to check its length. It went as far as the garden tap in front of a lovely pine tree, through a double-gang pulley and back to the rig—a goodly distance.

Three or four neighbours had now gathered to admire. Choosing centre lawn for maximum envy, Mervin fired up the six-litre turbo diesel and selected reverse. Clearly, he had forgotten about the recovery winch. The water pipe bent at a perilous angle but refused to break as the big single-rear-wheels spun at about 50 kmph throwing steaming mud everywhere. Mervin was neither tender of foot nor smart of thought. The neighbours kept their distance anticipating more drama—and they were right.

Part two through the week!

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Pensioner Pete 07/01/2018, 7:28 am

    This tale is looking good so far.

  • Jack Richards 07/01/2018, 7:46 am

    Around my neck of the woods grey nomads in motorhomes or pulling huge caravans are a bloody hazard. The roads around the Snowy Mountains are narrow, winding, rough and have many a steep climb and decent – and I often get stuck behind Darby and Joan on the grand tour of Australia doing 30-40kph and there’s just nowhere to get past them.

    • Rob 07/01/2018, 7:59 am

      Reminds me of the 50’s when the family would visit the north (Sunshine) or south (Gold) coasts on the one-lane each way roads of the day. Cars towing “caravans” would lead unwilling processions of trapped vehicles for miles and miles

    • Pensioner Pete 07/01/2018, 8:10 am

      Come out our way for a good dose of grey nomads driving RV’s and towing caravans during the cooler months, ’tis quite an experience when coupled with the considerable numbers of triple trailer livestock transports. The attrition rates due to unskilled drivers flipping vans keeps the local cops and emergency services in a job.

      • Botswana O'Hooligan 07/01/2018, 10:21 am

        PP they are a bit of a menace out your way tho the town benefits from the loot they spend. We always hated pensioner nights when overnighting for the nomads would hit the clubs we frequented and strip them bare, knives, forks, spoons, salt and pepper shakers. They are like a plague of bloody grasshoppers and a menace to society. We once decided that we would become grey nomads but figured out that you can buy a lot of room nights in a motel for the 100K plus a van would cost.

    • Bwana Neusi 07/01/2018, 1:21 pm

      In defence of the crawling grey nomad.
      Our 4WD motor home struggles to make the 110 kph often available and we keep a wary eye out for the faster traffic catching up and waiting to over take.
      With uncanny certainty we will get a “Nervous Nelly” waiting for that infinitely long straight stretch to overtake. Other drivers join the queue and courteously wait for Nelly to make a move at the head of the queue, but they wait in vain. The queue continues to grow until six or eight cars back, “Bluey” in his V16 super turbo charged ute roars past at about 200 klicks.
      We look for a safe spot to pull over and force Nelly to make the bold manoeuvre and then continue whilst we wait for the next Nelly.
      The same courtesy rules apply to those road trains, who need at least a kilometre of free road to safely pass. We find a spot and pull over, and give them a flash of the headlights, just as soon as their rearmost trailer has passed. Invariably we get an indicator acknowledgement from them.

  • Lorraine 07/01/2018, 8:39 am

    Grandfather in his late 70’s back in 1967 travelled to Queensland in the International ute with a 44 Gallon drum of petrol tied to the back ,pulling his Van, came home and told us that the only people he saw in Queensland was old fellas with caravans.

  • Ibbit 07/01/2018, 9:47 am

    The most super deluxe barbeque we ever owned produced food which tasted wonderfully of smoke, among other things. It consisted of a deepish hole in the ground with the shelf from an old refrigerator over it on which to cook. Cost zip, zilch but was much loved – in fact, still have the refrigerator grill to this day. Guess you wouldn’t be allowed to dig a hole and light a BBQ fire anywhere now, hence the latest mod con BBQ has become a necessity for travellers. I confess to having been the owner of a van, only I was a spunky young chick, not a grey nomad. Hated vans so much that I have not been in one for over 50 years. Prefer to be pampered and waited on in a ritzy hotel room these days.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 07/01/2018, 10:07 am

    No mention of an ingredient or a recipe as yet so whilst waiting for that tale to unfold may one relate a way of preserving meat or game. The FNQ way of preserving meat when salt is not handy is to soak it in diesel for a day or two for that keeps the meat, dissuades the flies and even crows, and is self cooking by the application of a match. Taste is of no consequence since most meat BBQ’d, even meat from a neighbours beast (to keep nature balanced for they are knocking off yours) tastes bloody awful. Fish of course needs that delicate touch else the flavour is ruined so may one suggest just a light rub with kerosene ere grilling. The knack of impromptu cooking is probably in my genes since Mum was a renowned dog poisoner for the Cloncurry Shire Council and wrote recipe books for the CWA in her spare time.

    • Pensioner Pete 07/01/2018, 10:09 am

      Love it! 😉

    • Neville 07/01/2018, 4:36 pm

      I suspect a large leg-pull there, BO’H!

  • MM Ed 07/01/2018, 10:53 am

    As you are having so much fun with this chapter just wait until you read chapters two and three. Tighten your seat belts! Chaucer.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 07/01/2018, 11:35 am

    Why does your cooked fish in the display cabinet look so golden? Well lady, it’s a secret really and we fast food operators are prevented from revealing that secret by our Lodge for we have taken the oath. Old bag bats eyes and simpers, but I won’t tell anyone. Well, just for you missus but you mustn’t try it at home. More eye batting. You have to buy a special machine that costs about ten grand in Guineas and get it modified to grind up Cairns Draught beer bottles after they are sterilised and dried in another expensive machine. Then you add three poofteenths of a milligram to every ten kilos of coating mix, deep fry the fish and place it in the display where the cunningly concealed lights keep it warm and make the powder mixture glow a golden colour. Old soul waddles off happy. The joys of being a fast food operator and caterer to the gentry.

  • Zoltan 07/01/2018, 4:07 pm

    Liquid Oxygen has always been the way to go, but be warned, it can damage the BBQ itself….

  • Winston 07/01/2018, 4:46 pm

    Great stuff MM. This is what I call summer fun. It’s wonderful to see MM’s family of commenters stumping up in the spirit intended. Can’t wait for Tuesday. Don’t disappoint us Chaucer! BO’H, where can we buy a kilo of the golden powder??

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 08/01/2018, 4:11 pm

      The above by MM was about BBQ’s so I won’t upset the apple cart by golden powders or even Mum’s sure fire recipe for corned beef without approval from on high. Our Anzacs were products of their mothers cooking and that made them almost impervious to anything the Turks and Germans could throw at them and their like will never pass this way again. The Poms were supposed to have the largest empire the World has ever seen which really was an accident, for truth be known all they were looking for was a joint with a decent bloody climate and they kept conquering looking for that joint!

  • Graham 07/01/2018, 9:11 pm

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