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ISPY ON THE ROAD: Danger of the Northern Sun

CHECK YOURSELF: This pic taken at a roadhouse parking area of a gent wearing thongs with skin damage caused by exposure to the sun.
CHECK YOURSELF: This pic taken at a roadhouse parking area of a gent wearing thongs with skin damage caused by exposure to the sun.

THONGS are the preferred footwear for many truckies in Australia, but does that expose them to a bigger danger of skin cancer on the feet and legs?

It appears that is the case.

Spy had never thought about it until recently when covering a big event.

Several truckies who had rubber thongs on were sitting in a row of seats behind some medical people.

Being a perceptive type, Spy heard one of the health group mention to her colleagues to check out the legs and feet of the drivers, which they did in a secretive manner so not to let the truckies know what they were doing.

It seems both truckies had skin cancers needing treatment and others which had been frozen out or surgically removed.

What is common knowledge is that sunspots and skin cancers are caused by the sun after exposure for long periods.

Now Spy has no medical knowledge, and at the first sign of a minor condition consults a general practitioner.

However, I decided to mention the subject to more than 20 truckies whom I met up with at roadhouse parking areas.

About 80% wore thongs and each one had either a sunspot burnt or frozen off.

Half of them had either basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas cut out by a doctor.

Fortunately none were diagnosed with a nasty melanoma which made Spy sleep better that night.

By comparison of the 20% who wore shoes said they had not needed treatment for a skin cancer on the legs or feet.

While that is such a small survey, it does make Spy wants to issue a warning to truckies: try and cover up the feet and legs whenever you can.

Even if you wear socks with holes between the two biggest toes so a thong can fit comfortably.

One of the truckies made a good point about the subject.

"Just about every roadhouse has a section on where they sell rubber thongs.”

Windfall for truckie? Perhaps

A RUMOUR doing the rounds in outback Queensland is that a road transport industry identity won $1.6million at Lotto.

A person from Hughenden, who wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, took out a division one prize in early September.

The gossip doing the rounds is that the lucky new millionaire is indeed a road transport worker.

Spy can remember a few years back when a truckie was wrongly touted as being the winner of a major lotto prize.

The middle aged career truckie had the "snip” or request for a donation put on him by scores of family members and associates.

And he never won a cent albeit a close relative of his did.

His daily bread

A MIDDLE aged NT truckie who was delivering into Queensland was waiting for a backload and about to venture into a shop to purchase bread, milk and a paper.

Nearby was a small vehicle with the name of a radio station on its exterior.

There were a number of people being handed goods and others were pulling up in cars.

So our lad got into the action and was given a loaf of bread, a carton of flavoured milk, a copy of the local newspaper and a voucher.

Turned out it was a radio station giving freebies away after advising listeners on the morning show of its location.

The voucher was for a $20 discount on an appointment with a physiotherapist and our mate, who has a few unwanted aches and pains, will use it next time he is in the town.

"I saved about $8 on the giveaways,” he said.

Tipster a winner

THERE is a punting South Australian truckie nicknamed 'Spec' who has a reputation for being a tipster of some note.

He apparently pays for "the good oil” or the hot tips on horse races, mainly in SA and WA.

His success rate is about 30% but what makes this lad sought after by truckie mates is that most of the ones which win are at juicy odds.

This month, Spy was given one of his tips on a WA race and told several others about it.

Spy never had a cent on it and the neddy greeted the judge at odds of more than 20-1.

Snow and fire

TRUCKIES work in diverse conditions in Australia depending which area they are in.

Spy received a call from a Tassie lad the other day who had just driven through light snow on a road near Oatlands which is off the Midlands Hwy.

Another Apple Isle driver told of heavy snow in the hilly roads around Hobart.

Then another contacted Spy to advise of bushfires next to the Bruce Hwy way up at Bluewater in north Queensland.

Spy had to spare a thought for railway drivers and associated staff working the railways in Tasmania.

I was told of a freight train travelling on the west coast through heavy snow and freezing conditions.

Palmer lookalike

THERE is a middle aged truckie who is often asked by people if he is controversial billionaire and former politician Clive Palmer.

The gent was walking through a shopping centre and was spotted by Spy.

"In the last two days six, men or women have asked me if I was indeed Clive Palmer and I must admit I do look like him,” he said.

These were polite inquiries, which is not always the case.

"Some who think I am Clive have verbally abused me and about the same number heap praise on me - or him,” he said.

Spy wanted to snap a pic of the gent however he refused, saying he gets enough Clive Palmer comments already. Not something you'd wish on anybody really...

Topics:  bush fire i spy on the road snow

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