The best thing about touring with ‘No Worries’ Neville is that I often find interesting places to take my family to later. Interesting, and cheap. One such place was a country pub not far from here, that the tourist blurb described as ‘A typical Queensland Hotel.’ Which is code for ‘Dive’.
The whole place leaned alarmingly, and the water tank looked like it had been hit by a passing machine gunner. A battered sign announced that this fine establishment also served the “Best pork chops in Queensland!!” The two exclamation marks had swayed Neville.
The rooms were dirt cheap, and slightly better than sleeping in the car. My room had a bed, a broken lamp, and what I sincerely hoped were dried red wine stains all over one wall and the bedspread.
Downstairs, Nev handed me a beer and said, “Come on, we’ll go see Cookie.” I followed him into the kitchen where we found a large woman excavating her nostrils with a grubby finger.
“Waddayawant!” she yelled.
“Pork chops for two thanks luv!” replied Nev cheerfully.
“Mate,” I hissed, tugging at his shirt sleeve, “I’ll just eat the bikkies in my bag.”
“Nonsense!” cried Nev, “Best pork chops in Queensland here, put hairs on your chest.” The ash from Cookies’ cigarette dropped into the frying pan, “Yeah, they put hairs on my chest,” she cackled, “wanna see ‘em?”
Nev and I fled to the bar where I downed several neat rums in the faint hope that the alcohol would ward off the galloping botulism headed our way. Minutes later our dinner landed in front of us, swimming in pools of fat. Nev tucked into his while I ordered another rum. Well, they were pretty good pork chops. I gave Cookie the thumbs up, and her bloodshot eyes twinkled.
The evening wore on; we met cattlemen, farmers, pig hunters, miners, and the village idiot. I must have been pretty tired, because I can’t remember crawling into bed that night. My last memory was of Cookie staggering over and slapping me heartily on the back, “You won’t get none of this in them fancy resorts luv!”
She was dead right. And we didn’t get botulism either!! But I reckon my family are going to take some convincing to stay at the place.