Host: Donal Sullivan
If you missed my post yesterday, you’ll read below some of my observations on characters you commonly find on cattle stations, inspired by Sir David Attenborough. These are written entirely as a joke, and anything that sounds illegal is definitely not based on a real person or real events.
‘The Chopper Pilot’ – Aviatus Flappus-Rotorus
A fully grown ‘Aviatus Flappus-Rotarus’ tending to his helicopter
Occasionally individual Feralius Stockmaniei with very sensitive feet develop into Aviatus Flappus-Rotorus, commonly known as a Chopper Pilot. These individuals are much more delicate creatures than the Ringers, their sensitive feet cause them to develop the ability to gain a Commercial Helicopter Licence so they can fly around and don’t have to walk. Pilots are difficult to keep in captivity because of their delicate nature, though it has been found they flourish when provided with air-conditioned enclosures and very specific food. They have highly refined taste-buds and require a diet high in smoko foods such as cake, scones and slice. They have a phenomenal ability to detect meal times, especially smoko and BBQs, at distances of over 100km.
Still fascinated by bovines, the Chopper Pilots insist on flapping around in their helicopters whilst the Ringers pursue bovines and often help chase them into enclosures, though their fascination doesn’t extend to a desire to join in the patting ceremony. Once the bovines are captured the Chopper Pilots will migrate to another tribe of Ringers and, after hunting for some suitable smoko food or rib-bones, will begin the process of harassing bovines all over again.
Chopper pilots are surrounded by a great deal of mystery and superstition for the Ringers, and the tribes often worship the arrival of the Pilot by gathering about him and his helicopter and chattering excitedly in their native language. The Pilot joins them in an intricate hand-shaking ceremony, and he must be careful not to offend the tribe lest they throw a rock in his tail rotor. One of the superstitions that the Ringers believe is that Chopper Pilots have very large testicles, which boost the supply of bravery to the Pilot when he is performing aerial manoeuvres in his helicopter. This superstition may aide the Pilot in attracting a mate, as discussed in more detail later.
An adolescent Pilot may begin to emit a high pitched whining noise when it gets weary. There has been no documented remedy for this though anecdotal evidence suggests a small dose of cement may be beneficial. Older Pilots however, are well adjusted to the high altitude lifestyle, often socialising wildly at various tribal campsites in order to make flying more of a challenge. With such a transient, nomadic life surrounded in mystery, Chopper pilots often have several mates scattered across the outback. These mates are referred to as ‘Rotor Bunnies’ though they are not actually rabbits (nor are they a part of the lagomorph family) but are instead female Feralius Stockmaniei who have disguised themselves as males by spitting and swearing as the men do.
Aviatus Flappus-Rotorus abhors the rain (which can make them melt, in a similar manner to the witch in The Wizard Of Oz) and will either sulk or flee for hours if storms clouds approach or if it begins to rain whilst they are flying. In the tropics the Wet Season presents them with a problem in that there are such frequent storms, so these clever creatures solve that problem by hibernating and gaining weight for the Dry Season when they do most of their bovine harassing. They do this by consuming either liquid from beautiful golden cans or an elixir of life high in sugar and preservatives known as ‘Bundy’.
‘The Truckie’ – Boganius Driveicus
A rare sighting of a group of ‘Boganius Driveicus’.
A usually solitary creature, Boganius Driveicus commonly known as a Truckie, is a fascinating animal to study. They migrate widely across Australia in large trucks which they use in a similar manner to that of a bower bird and his bower. They decorate and personalise their trucks, using them to attract potential mates. They also attempt to attract females using their hairy legs and bum cracks, which they display through modest short trousers called ‘footy shorts’ or ‘stubbies’. If they do manage to find and woo females they first hide any copies of ‘Zoo’ or ‘Picture’ magazine, then take them to a small nest behind the driver’s seat to talk about how much they love their truck. The nest is often air-conditioned, to provide comfort for the occupants and to frighten away any other living creatures (especially the Great Grey Nomad) outside the truck as both the airconditioning system (‘IceBox’) and the truckie and his mate, make a horrible racket.
Truckies survive off large amounts of pies, tomato sauce, caffeine and small amounts of illicit chemicals and have been found to forage for thousands of kilometres in search of this food. Their natural habitat varies, though they seem most common on long highways and parked at remote service stations. Other species exploit their travelling tendencies in a symbiotic relationship by loading trailers with freight for the truck to tow around the country side. The truckie is reimbursed with currency with which he can obtain his favourite pies with tomato sauce. Truckies often belong to large tribes, which identify members by the colours and symbols on the truck and its trailers. Sometimes tribes join forces to create a team and collect various items of freight to a certain place – more on that later.
Truckies temperament various greatly, with some seemingly quite mad and a threat to the very survival of their species and others are quiet, reclusive individuals who listen to ABBA and Adele. Some truckies have hobbies, such as collecting bovines. A truckie will start by convincing a tribe of ‘Ringers’ (See Feralius Stockmaniei) to give him some the bovines they have gathered. The Ringers proceed to chase the bovines on to a double decker cattle bus which the truckie drives, sometimes thousands of kilometres, to a designated enclosure where he and a many other truckies on his team stockpile the bovines. This driving often takes place through all hours of the day and night, and many doses of illicit substances are required to keep them focused and awake lest they try to pull off the side of the road and read ‘Zoo’ Magazine. Their hard work is often ruined by opposition truckies who love spoiling animals. The opposition team takes the bovines to huge boats and send them on luxury cruises.