The Doust Files – Albany Advertiser 14/9/2010

In my line of work I have to drive a lot.
Moving to Albany was a perfect lifestyle choice, but not sensible for the making of a living to support that lifestyle. Travel is essential if you do what I do and as soon as I discover what it is, I will let you know.
These days, given I have history with kangaroos, I drive with a good deal more care and nowhere as fast.
When I say fast, I mean, of course, well within the speed limit of the section of road I am on at the time of asking. Or as near as I can get.
On the long drive there are many things to see and many experiences to be had.  Some of the roadside signs, particular those mentioning the current targets of local police, have themselves been targeted.
In the old days, about a minute ago, the usual way to target such signs was to use them as target practice on your way to a fox hunt, but graffiti artists have made their way out bush and some of the signs, although politically incorrect, have caused a smile, sometimes joined by a chuckle.
One sign I spotted last year suggested local police were targeting “mullets”, while another warned that the police were targeting overweight people of the female gender, although not in those words.
We even have our own version not far out of Albany that clearly warns us we are in “Mafia Country”.
But the places causing the greatest mirth and pain, for this writer, are the motels. In particular, the internal designs.
Whoever designed the internals of country motels has never had to stay in one, sit in one, dry himself in one, go to the toilet in one, or lie in one, or then get out of bed in one.
And I say him because, please excuse any hint of sexism, I cannot imagine that a women designed such pokey, ridiculous places. They would surely have considered people, whereas the man who designed the places I occasionally stay in was only thinking of a bottom line and noting at all about the line of a bottom.
On countless occasions I have opened a door only to find myself trapped between two doors; sat on a toilet and had to get up to reach the paper dispenser; banged my shoulders, elbows and knees while drying myself following a shower that only directed water against a solid wall; tiptoed around a shattered glass shower wall; and made a cup of tea with the kettle sitting on the bed.
I was in one a month ago up in a wheatbelt town which shall remain nameless and no sooner had I entered that I felt like a kangaroos trapped in headlights on a wet and misty night in the middle of a road in the middle of nowhere.
I had no idea which way to turn and finished up trapped between a shower curtain, a toaster and a bed rail. I’m lucky to be alive.

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