While much of our great State received a terrible mudbath, here in Gladstone we carried on pretty much as normal, ie: working, shopping, fishing, and hacking our lawns back into submission, because we were fortunate to have dodged a very big, and very wet, bullet.
Last week my father and I spent a relaxing day in ‘Collapso’ our faithful tinny, and not only did we miss all the fish, but we obviously missed some vital news as well, as on the way home from the boat ramp we were surprised to see jam-packed shops, and long lines at service stations. This is the price we pay for going fishing without a radio, mobile phone, or carrier pigeon.
Apparently word had spread that Gladstone’s food and petrol supplies were running out. There isn’t enough room in this column to report on what I’ve seen and heard, but I now know what happens when someone accidentally wanders between a frantic housewife and the last loaf of bread.
The next day I took The Littlest Princess into the grocery war zone, partly because I wanted her to see the empty shelves, as her generation has never known anything but surplus in our supermarkets, but chiefly because she is extremely good at climbing racks to reach any goodies left by shorter shoppers.
We returned home unscathed, and like many others, we’ll have fun getting creative with the stuff in the back of our pantries. And while it certainly wouldn’t hurt me to go without for a little while, I’m hoping to re-supply before we have to open the tins of asparagus.
But it’s a very small price to pay when compared to what countless thousands are going through at the moment. And at this time, I’d like help our own local flood victims; the people who worked in Gladstone’s shops, corner stores and service stations last week, who were stormed by mobs, survived squalls in aisles, and got flooded with torrents of abuse.
I’m thinking of making ‘Collapso’ available for them. I’ve filled her fuel tank, and somewhere under the rear seat is the Vegemite sandwich I dropped last week when I got the only bite of the day. She’s hopeless at finding fish, but absolutely brilliant for helping people relax, and that’s something I’m sure our shattered shop workers could really do with at the moment.