My Friend Libby

Richard my son calls them ‘randoms’. These are my friends who, he claims, I have picked up somewhere and come in all shapes and sizes, colours and creeds. According to him their only common characteristic is that they all have a few sheep loose in the top paddock. My friend Libby is a random.

Libby is probably what you would call a bogan. She is racist, hopelessly politically incorrect, a bit to the right of Ghengis Khan and has not got a mean bone in her body. I am a bit sketchy on her background but do know that she has had a large succession of jobs despite the fact that she is only in her mid twenties. When we first met she was working as a carer for a physically handicapped organization. Not long after this she got her “dream job” (a direct quote) as an apprentice fitter at a major 4 wheel drive centre and now happily puddles amongst the oil, paint and grease. As she said she was “tired of working with cripples” (another direct quote!).

Now the plan is that when she has finished her apprenticeship she is going to get a job as a diesel fitter at the mines, the bigger the vehicle the better she likes it. In the meantime to keep busy she has dismantled her Nissan Patrol and is rebuilding it to her own specifications, apparently the giant tyres and 8 inch lift kit was just not quite hard core enough for what she has in mind. Not sure what that may be.

Now no doubt by now you are envisaging a nordic type amazon but to the contrary Libby is willowy and slightly built. Not an ounce of fat on her. Perhaps it was our dietary preferences that forged the friendship. Like me Libby believes that captions such as ‘low fat’, ‘no added sugar’, ‘heart smart’ and so on are simply synonyms for ‘tastes bloody awful’. On one of our trips she set off to do the shopping with another friend, one who constantly monitors her diet and follows all the rules to ensure her own longevity. Yvette informed Libby that we need 5 serves of fruit and veg a day to maintain our health. The next day before breakfast (Libby and I would be having bacon and eggs, Yvette some cereal, no added sugar, high fibre with added vitamins), while sucking a lemon chupachup, she announced ‘That’s one’. At morning tea while eating her potato chips she noted ‘That’s two’. Clearly by the end of the day - fruit jubes, hazel nut chocolate, cherry ripe, beer (from hops she observed) and so on – she had far exceeded her daily requirement of five serves. Which she was quick to point out to Yvette. As I said we do share dietary preferences.

As usual I have drifted away from Libby’s employment history. Earlier in her career she had a job at a Funeral Home, general duties driving and so on. One morning her first task was to transfer a client across town to the crematorium, the vehicles they used for these routine tasks were simple Holden panel vans. While cruising down the T2 lane she was pulled over by a motor cycle cop who then asked her if she knew she was in the T2 lane. You can see what is coming – she said yes but there are two of us indicating the casket behind her. The constable had a look and said that is not a passenger and anyway if there is someone in there they are dead. Libby replied (I have got to admit that she can be a bit feisty at times) that he was welcome to have a look and besides she was sure that the Traffic Act did not specify that the passenger had to be alive. Without replying he produced his book and was about to write her a ticket; with what can only be described as great presence of mind she backed down a bit and said to him ;

‘Look if you do give me a ticket I will certainly ring your Station to complain and you and I both know that, if I do, you will not be able to show your face there until the laughter settles, if it ever does. You can imagine what sort of comments you will get.’

To his credit, he paused, closed his book gave a bit of a laugh and with a wave rode off.

I guess if Libby did not have the power to simultaneously shock and amuse me we would not be friends. Then again she probably would not be a random either.