The Perils of Possum Point is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between persons, organisations or events described here and actual persons, organisations or events is purely unintentional.

Once Over, Lightly

Ned was at home watching the Cricket. All was right with the world, until a loud knocking at the door, which turned out to be John, glubglub in tow. "I was just sitting at home, you know, reading things and so forth, and I decided that it was a fine day, so why don't I just go and see what might be happening here, if you know what I mean," said John.

"Watching the Cricket," said Ned, still watching the Cricket, even after John strode in. Glubglub proceeded to sniff in all the corners of the living room.

"Rat pellets in there," said Ned. John hastily retrieved his dog.

"So, why not get up...I said, get up....and do something, already, because there are a lot of things to do."

"When the Over is over."

"Well, I suppose I could go back home, you know, with glubglub, who's a good boy, and then come back...

As to the Cricket, it did not go well. So, when John returned, Ned was in a sour mood.

"Now you've had the Cricket, what are you going to do? Could go down to the Blues Bar, maybe, though it's way early for that, maybe, and where's my beer?"

"Take the jeep down the beach, I reckon," said Ned.

"Or take the jeep down the beach. And what?"

"I dunno. Get some driftwood for the garden, maybe."

Somewhat dubiously, John agreed, and they-Ned, John and glubglub-piled into Ned's old Russian jeep, and he geared it up and down, and the jeep joustled, and bounced and wobbled around the corner, down the road, over the hillock, and onto the beach.

It landed in a pile of sand with a soft plumpfing sound. The engine promptly quit, and a lot of instrument lights came on. A burst of steam squirted from beneath the bonnet.

"Oops," said Ned.

"I think we're stuck," said John.

Ned got out, raised the bonnet, and fiddled with the thermostat, while swearing. The fiddling may have helped-more likely, the swearing. When he jumped back in and tried the key, the engine burst back into life. But now the wheels were all spinning, and the jeep was stuck fast in the sand.

"Well, I think the best thing is I get out and push, and you steer, and after a bit maybe she'll be right."

This being accomplished, the jeep rolled down the hill, and they were off again down the beach. The jeep bounced up and down. John talked. Ned drove. And glubglub climbed all over the cab, jumping from the back seat to the front over John's shoulder, then back again, panting and breathing into Ned's ear, then howling, and squeezing around Ned's neck and crawling back into the front again.

Somewhat further along, glubglub spotted a passing rabbit and abruptly jumped out the window, sailing right past Ned, who ducked, turned the wheel and pressed the accelerator all at once. This caused the jeep to turn, where it skidded, slammed into a rock and immediately flipped over.

"This is not a good position," said Ned, dangling from his seatbelt.

"It isn't," said John, observing his own right foot which was now  eye level. "But, you know, the thing to do is just to get out of here as soon as you can, because I can see a lot of petrol leaking, and I hope you're allright, I'm just a bit surprised, is all. Yeah, just surprised. Glubglub jumping out like that, he hasn't really done that before, you know."

"I think it would probably be a good thing to move," said Ned.

"Well, I'm not sure that I can move, you know, because I think my left foot is in your ear."

"That's my finger," said Ned. "Your foot is in the ashtray."

"Oh, thanks."

"Not a problem."

"By the way, I was just noticing that there's some really nice driftwood just ahead, and you might be able to climb out and get it without too much trouble," said John.

"Blood's gone into your head," remarked Ned, unbuckling himself from the strap. He climbed out the window. John wobbled out the same window, with some maneuvering, as the window on his side was crushed.

"Lucky, really," said Ned, mournfully surveying his crumpled vehicle. The whole roof was caved in, and the bull bars had been knocked off in front by the crash. "Nobody hurt....and..."

The jeep abruptly blossomed into a ball of flame, making a sound something like "Whoomphaclumpfshhhhhhhh."

"...I guess it won't be hard to convince the insurance people that it's pretty much done for," continued Ned.

Meanwhile, glubglub returned, a very large rabbit hanging from his mouth. He dropped the rabbit in front of John, tail wagging happily.

Later came the fire department, the spectators, the police, vehicle removals, insurance adjusters, and mountains of paper. Then there was the insurance money collection, the searching, and the purchase of another Russian Jeep, almost exactly like the last one.  This of course led eventually to a second expedition for garden driftwood, which led to other adventures. For the moment, however, it seemed as though another day had come to an end at Possum Point.

 Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998 Brian J. Dooley