A Fresh Pair Of Reg GrundiesErnie and Moira had recently retired. Planning to join the trail of grey nomads circumnavigating our vast country, they purchased a splendid motor home with as many creature comforts as they could possibly stack inside.
Ernie was very excited as he did the final check of his personal bag. He had studied his checklist and packed accordingly. Socks, t-shirts, toothbrush… and undies. He proudly placed his new six-pack of ‘Holeproof Underdaks’ in the side pocket and laughed to himself. When he was a kid, his mum always made sure he wore clean undies whenever he left the house.
“Make sure you always have clean underwear on, Ernest,” she would say. “Just in case you get into an accident or the like.”
Good advice from his late, thoughtful mother.
The journey was going great guns. Ernie and Moira headed south from Sydney, enjoying the spoils of the NSW South Coast and the wilds of the Victorian coast. The landscape slowly changed to arid desert as they made their pilgrimage across South Australia. They happily shared the driving, so travelling was as sweet as a nut.
“I might just duck into the back for a bit of a snooze, love,” Ernie announced with a yawn. “You’ll be all right at the controls solo for a while.”
Moira smiled. She loved driving and she was good at it. Despite the air-conditioned comfort of the van, Ernie stripped down to his new undies, lay on the bed and was soon snoring like a sawmill.
After an hour or so of driving solo, Moira heard a rattling sound at the rear of the vehicle. She pulled over on a side road and stopped. Finding the source of the noise, a loose bracket at the rear, the clever woman grabbed a screwdriver and tightened the offending bracket.
During her observation and repairs, Ernie awoke. Noticing that the camper was parked on a deserted stretch of road, he climbed through to the front cabin. There was no Moira. Ernie got out of the camper through the passenger door and walked to the rear of the vehicle. Still no Moira.
The motor of the campervan kicked over just as Ernie realised he was parading around outside in only his new undies. Before he could put two and two together, the van took off down the desert road. Smiling behind the wheel was Moira, blissfully unaware she had just left her husband behind.
Poor Ernie was beside himself. No phone, no idea where he was and, most importantly, no clothes. He was more embarrassed than scared, left high and dry wearing only a pair of undies. At least they were new, he thought.
Fortunately for Ernie, his savior was not far away. After a bewildered half hour, a car appeared in the haze of the horizon. As it came closer, Ernie’s embarrassment skyrocketed. It was a police car, with two young female constables on patrol.
After listening to his explanation, the two young officers understood his predicament. They managed to track Moira down via radio and get her to pull up. The coppers had to good laugh.
“Lucky you took your mum’s advice there, Ernie. Nice pair of ‘Reg Grundies’ you’re sporting,” they chuckled.
As the police car drove him to reunite with his wife, Ernie looked down. The thin cotton and nylon garment he saw was the only thing saving him from fully naked embarrassment. For that, the poor man was very, very grateful. In his mind he said a prayer, thanking his mum for her precious, old-fashioned advice.