Life with Kermie column
Life with Kermie column Graham Harsant

Kermie's son's Stella roadtrip

OUR youngest lad, Nick, is an impetuous young man.

I have written in the past about his decisions to go camping on the spur of the moment.

His camping buddies would all pull out or their parents wouldn't allow them to go.

Undeterred, Nick would head off into the bushland by himself with tent (sometimes), sleeping bag, bread rolls and his staple meal of frankfurters.

Nine times out of 10 it would rain.

If he'd gone to country New South Wales we wouldn't be talking of drought today. This was back when he was about 14.

In the years since, nothing has changed. At the drop of a hat he would hop in his little buzz box and head off to destinations unknown at the time of departure.

Like the time he and a mate headed for the beach somewhere and camped for the night only to wake up and find the front of the Toyota buried up to its front axle in a sand bog.

In latter years, Nick has hooked up with a guy called Aadil, better known as just Dil. The two have become firm friends and Dil's desire to do things on the spur of the moment is as strong as our Nick's.

They came up our way camping one time only to be sharing the campsite with some crazy, drunken druggo.

They knocked on our door at 1am looking for somewhere safer (and softer) to sleep.

Or the time they decided to head for the beach to sleep out under the stars. Leaving after dark they got to the beach about midnight and found some sand in a hollow to lay their weary heads.

They woke again at 6am - as a golf ball landed in the bunker they'd inadvertently chosen as a bed.

Last year they were sitting around on a Friday arvo, and with nothing better to do, headed for the airport and hopped on a plane to Launceston in Tassie.

Once there they got their first tattoo - a moustache of all things, on their index fingers. Go figure.

Earlier this year they were at Nick's playing pool and having a few drinks, in this case Stella Artois.

"Y'know,” said one of them. "We should take this empty Stella bottle to a collection depot in South Australia and get the 10 cent refund.”

Sure enough just the other day they announced to one and all via Facebook that they were off to do just that. I mean, they did have two full days off work.

So into Dil's trusty AU Falcon Ute they hopped and headed up the road. A bite to eat at Bendigo and on to Kara Kara National Park to sleep. Of course, in their best tradition they didn't think about sleeping bags or the fact that they could have slept more comfortably in the tray. So after a few hours snoozing upright in the cab they headed onto Adelaide.

Being a weekend I wondered if they would find a collection depot open but they eventually did. In they go and see a bloke on a forklift.

Going over they produce the bottle of Stella and explain how far they've come to-do-the-right-thing.

Forky driver is not impressed, tells Nick to take the camera off him or risk a $30,000 fine (?). He won't take the bottle and basically tells them to "piss off”.

"No sense of adventure, that bloke. He wasn't too happy.”

"Nah. Guess he wouldn't be. We're only 21 and we've got better jobs than him.”

Long story short, but a longer drive home because they decide to come back via The Great Ocean Road, the boys finally lay the Stella to rest at a recycle bin at the Twelve Apostles.

They get home just in time to start work on Monday. Speaking to Nick that night I ask what's next on their agenda.

"Who knows Daddio,” he replies. "Is NASA looking for volunteers to go to Mars? That'd be a great weekend.”

Whatever they do they'll have fun. I'm jealous because life is short and they are living it to the hilt.

'P.S: Happy 21st Nick. Proud of the person you are. Moon and Stars.'

Take care of you,

Kermie (84.9kg)

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