Linda’s Outback Adventure

Written by Natalie Jenkins

The sun was shining, the birds were singing and Linda was ready for her holiday. With six weeks off work and a trip around Australia in her caravan planned, there was nothing that could dampen her bright mood. Jumping into the packed car with her husband, Rob, Linda pulled out onto the road and started the first leg of the journey.

Within a few hours, the green trees and rolling hills were replaced by the red dirt and long, empty roads of central Australia. Suddenly, a kangaroo appeared in front of the car and Linda swerved to miss it. As she tried to get the vehicle under control, Linda glanced in her rear vision mirror and watched in horror as their caravan uncoupled from the car and rolled sideways down the steep edge of the road. Coming to a stop, Linda and Rob sat in silence for a moment, hearts pounding.

‘Well,’ said Rob, ‘that’s not good.’

‘No,’ said Linda, ‘probably not.’

The two stepped out of the car and made their way over to the side of the road. Down below, their caravan sat, miraculously intact, on the very edge of a ravine.

‘Oh, yeah,’ said Rob,’ definitely not good.’

Linda pulled her phone out of her pocket and held it up to the sky, sighing. ‘Well, I think we’re in a bit of a pickle. There’s no phone service and there’s no way we can get the car down there to hook up the caravan and pull it out.’

‘I guess that means we’ll have to wait and flag someone down for help,’ said Rob. They both glanced back at the empty road, trying to remember the last time they had seen another car.

‘I think we might be waiting a while,’ said Linda. ‘A hydraulic crane would really come in handy right about now.’

A loud rumble split the air, and on the horizon a hydraulic crane appeared.

‘Wow,’ said Rob, ‘what great timing!’

They both ran forward, waving their arms to get the driver’s attention. The vehicle came to a slow stop and Linda was surprised to see Sammy step out of the passenger seat. Dressed head to toe in what looked like a metallic silver space suit, he waved at them merrily.

‘Sammy?’ said Linda. ‘What on Earth are you doing here?’

‘Oh, nothing,’ Sammy said. ‘Katja and I are just out and about testing out our newest R&D purchase!’ Katja stuck her head out of the driver’s side window to wave at them all, dressed in the same bizarre outfit as Sammy.

‘In the middle of the outback? More than six hours away from Head Office?’ asked Linda.

‘Yep!’ said Sammy, as if this was an everyday occurrence. ‘And I guess it’s a good thing we are, because it looks like the two of you might need a hand.’

‘You can say that again!’ said Rob. ‘Do you think you might be able to help us out? We’re not sure how to get the caravan back on the road.’

‘For sure!’ said Sammy. ‘This is actually the perfect opportunity to test out our new purchase on something bigger than a human!’ He pointed at the back of the crane and Linda noticed a gigantic magnet attached to the end of it.

Linda looked back at the metal suit that Sammy was wearing, thought about what he had just said, and chose not to ask what he meant by ‘human sized’. As head of the Taipan safety committee, it was probably best for her not to know.

‘All right, Katja,’ yelled Sammy. ‘Swing ‘er round!’

Katja swung the giant magnet over the caravan and attached it to the roof, gently lifting it to hover behind Linda’s car. She pressed a button and the caravan crashed back to the ground.

Sammy sent her a thumbs up. ‘A little heavy on the dismount, but the execution was beautiful!’

As Rob hooked the caravan up to the car, Linda turned back to Sammy. ‘Thanks for the assistance. You guys really saved us.’ Sammy waved off the thanks graciously and hopped back into the vehicle.

‘Where are you two off to now?’ asked Linda.

‘To be honest, Linda,’ said Sammy, ‘I don’t think you want to know the answer to that question.’

Linda watched as he adjusted his metal suit and nodded in agreement. ‘I think you might be right.’ As Sammy hopped back in the vehicle, Linda called out to him. ‘Don’t even think about telling Allan or Neil about this,’ she warned. ‘They’ll never let me live it down! They’ll spend the next ten years reminding me of the time Taipan came to our rescue.’

‘Oops,’ said Katja, sticking her head out the window and waving her phone. ‘Too late!’ The phone pinged. The text had been sent. Linda sighed and watched as the two of them drove away quickly, giant magnet swinging in the wind behind them. This would be the talk of Taipan in no time.