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The Fuel Thief

By Todd Maguire on August 28, 2012 in Other

Photo: Bart Coenders

Their lifelong dream was finally beginning to fruit. Phil and Tanya had worked hard for years, saving every penny they could in order to purchase a motor home; they yearned to travel. They were far too young to be classed as grey nomads but nominated this as the best way to see what this great southern land had to offer.

Their trip so far had been going great guns as they headed up a tropical far north Queensland highway. The motor home didn’t miss a beat as they proceeded to head inland. The GPS navigation kept them on track, the kitchenette delivered fine food and the self-contained bathroom was a godsend; happy days on the open road.

Out in the middle of outback Queensland, the serenity was priceless. The couple set up their motor home along a river near the town of Longreach. Following a full day of driving, the riverside camp was a welcome oasis. There were a handful of others nearby with the same idea. As the desert skies produced a star studded show, Phil and Tanya enjoyed a campsite feed washed down with a savoured bottle of red wine. Afterwards, the couple contently bedded down for the evening; this was luxury camping.

About two kilometres down the road was another young couple. They were in a definite spot of bother as their Subaru Forrester had run out of fuel. They were in the middle of nowhere and the only petrol station in the area had shut up shop for the night.

“I told you we should have filled up back at that last town this afternoon,” the unhappy girlfriend snapped. “You’re an idiot, Myron!”

Two things you don’t want to be short of in these parts is drinking water and fuel. It is that simple. Myron knew he had done some stupid things in his time but this was up there with the best. The couple weren’t about to die, but it sure was an inconvenience. Myron had an idea. He rummaged around in the back of the car and produced an empty fuel container and a length of clear hose.

“I saw a few vans parked just back down the road along that river. I reckon one of them will be able to help me out,” he enthused.

He grabbed his girlfriend and with a torch to guide them, headed to where the vans were parked. They stumbled down the riverbank and spotted the motor home where Phil and Tanya were snoring away soundly. The van sounded like a timber mill in full production.

Young Myron was a bit of a scoundrel and always seemed to be getting himself into hot water. Rather than wake the motor home campers for assistance, he snuck around the side and located what he figured was the fuel tank. He carefully unscrewed the cap and devilishly fed the hose down into the tank.

Myron placed the empty tin on the ground at the ready. He then placed his mouth over the end of the hose and sucked to get the fuel flowing. As Myron’s lips sensed the liquid about to expel, he was a bit slow in moving his mouth away and copped a whole mouthful before vomiting violently. He had tasted fuel before, but this stuff was gut turning. Retching uncontrollably, he grabbed the hose and the empty tin and staggered away back to his car.

As the sun warmed the motor home the following morning, Phil made his regulation proud inspection of his home away from home. When he wandered around the side of the motor home he noticed something out of the norm. On closer inspection he noticed the cap from the sewage tank for his dunny was missing. He was not impressed.

“Hey Tanya!” he hollered. “Is there any reason you left the cap off the septic tank over here? It’s left an awful bloody mess all over the ground!” His wife appeared sipping a cup of tea. The two were mesmerised.

As the sun warmed the Subaru Forrester a couple of kilometres up the road, the driver was still dry retching from the vile taste in his mouth. Not even gargling a litre bottle of Listerine could offer him any form of relief. A bottle of Toilet Duck might have been more appropriate!