Comfortable and Furious

Road Trains: A Meaningless Rant About Truckles

The Instant Death & Disaster Show!

Just imagine, if you will, the great Australian outback: mile after endless mile of absolutely nothing but dry red sands, and the occasional kangaroo. It’s hot. And empty. And vast. Through it cuts one, immeasurable ribbon of tarmac, leading from point A to nowhere, forever and ever. On it, drive things like the thing in the picture above.

This is called, rather aptly, a ‘road train’. These giant multi-ton monsters’ power down those endless highways, thundering along as they provide fuel, meat and hay bales to the hungry inhabitants of this impossibly large country/slash/continent.

All this is very awesome to behold. Especially if you, like me, grew up in a country that’s only slightly larger than your Rhode Island. I mean, you couldn’t get lost here if you tried. So, watching those awesome trucks plowing through that great, empty landscape always fills me with nice, warm feelings of freedom, and independence.

Thanks then, one might say, to all those gods I don’t believe in, for the existence of that thing called ‘The Discovery Channel’, (and also, I guess, to all the things and people in history that made all that technology possible via which I am complaining about it, right now…) But, no. Somehow, somewhere, there evidently were some Discuvvery-producer-type-peoples, that saw the same awesome images as I did, but then thought: ‘oh, no! This isn’t good enough! What we need is some sort of Aussie voice-over, that constantly reminds us of the great perils that seem to always accompany Australian trucking!’

So, every fuel-delivery becomes a chance to explode in some horrible inferno, every flat tire out there in the bush becomes a chance to die horribly of thirst and general misery, even though we have an entire crew of Discovery-producers, camera-men, sound-guys, fixers and boom-operators (I love that word, as well as the profession that hinds behind it… Just imagine you’re at a party, and some hot chick asks you ‘what you do’, and you say: ‘Me, darling..? I’m a BOOM-operator…’) standing there, you know, like, right NEXT to that poor, but very authentic looking Aussie trucker.

I once tried to count how often the words ‘death’ and ‘disaster’ were mentioned during a single, 45-minute episode, but I failed, miserably. Maybe, or better still: probably, because I was simply too drunk, but also because numbers simply won’t go that high. At least, not in my universe.

I like those Australians. I mean, I don’t know any of them, like, personally, but judging by what I’ve seen of them trough that same, wretched TV-channel, they are almost all of these mostly friendly, hairy and fairly rough individuals, that like to drink beer, put things like shrimps on other things like barbies and drive around in Toyotas.

And road trains, apparently. Dear Discovery-people: watching a 150-ton truck thunder through the Australian Outback in a blistering 45-degree heat is plenty cool enough, thank you very much. Just leave it at that, if you will, and I promise I’ll keep watching. Like, forever.



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