Taking on toads, thieves and dust …. and winning!

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Grey nomads kill cane toads
"I hope I don't end up in John S's yard!"

Halloooo Mailllbagggerrrs!

Welcome back to the column that never fails to deliver an entertaining insight into what’s getting Australia’s grey nomads excited, enraged and engaged.

Our story about a New Zealand study which discovered that the dust particles kicked up on dirt roads could be seriously bad for your health, stirred up a storm.

“What a load on nonsense, it wouldn’t matter what is tested they will find something wrong with it,” wrote Malcolm R. “Maybe we should all stay inside to save ourselves from these life threatening problems … get on with life, you’re going to die anyway.”

Jeepers! That told those ’em, Mal. Gary K was a bit more practical.
“If another vehicle in front was kicking up dust, I’d ease off and let him go,” he wrote. “Too easy!”
Problem solved, Gazza.

Grey nomads and dust

Mailbaggers aren’t worried about a bit of pesky dust!

John S took a similarly pragmatic approach to the issue.
“If you can’t help being in the dust, just put your air con or fan on to re-circ,” he said. “That will help to minimise dust in the cab … and then back on to fresh air intake when you can.”Problem doubly solved. Nice work, Mighty Mailbaggers!

Another story which grabbed your collective attention was the inexorable march of the dreaded cane toads, which are apparently closing in on Broome …. and Perth – we are told – soon could be within their toxic range. Yuk!

Neil A has been taking matters into his own hands.
“We have noticed a lot less toads in our backyard this year,” he said. “Last year we destroyed three or four a night (we have a Jack Russell Terrier) so we have to be quick before she grabs one … but this year maybe one or two a week.”

Sounds like they messed with the wrong family, Neil!

And the same can certainly be said of John S, who  was eager to share his cane toad killing secrets. He says a disinfectant, a small spray can and a powerful torch can be a very productive weapon.

“I set the spray nozzle on to jet and set off just after dark, and I have just about cleared our five-acre property,” he said. “I used to kill between 20 to 30 a night, now I only have a few.”

Nice work, John. But what is the …. ahem …. battle plan?
“The spray is good … give them a good soak and they go away and hide, and you never see them again,” he reports. “Sorry I’m afraid I can’t put them in the freezer with my food no matter how well bagged up they are.”

Double yuk! I’m with you on that, John. But have you got any final instructions for our grey nomad warriors?
“Good hunting!” he writes.
Okay, Mailbaggers. Load your weapons …. and, on my command … CHAAAARGE!”

Of course, another unwelcome visitor we reported on this week was the thief who stole a caravan from grey nomads in South Australia. Fortunately, the police were on to him and, after a dramatic chase through the Adelaide Hill they recovered both a stolen car and the stolen van.

Just makes you think  about pulling  up for the next cuppa out along some highway,” says Herbie. “I guess this kind of thing is bond to start happening in these desperate times.”
Sad but true, Herbie. Sad but true.

Grey nomads thwart van thieves

Grey nomads (2), caravan thieves (0).

Gary D was eager to praise the police for a job well done.
“Nobody likes to have this sort of thing happen but, if it ever happened to me, I would hope that the police would be on the ball, and as efficient as the police in this case seem to have been.”

Hear, hear, Gary.

The ordeal of the victims of this caravan theft sounds harrowing enough, but spare a thought for the poor relatives of Chazza. They had unhitched their van and were sleeping in it parked in the driveway of their daughter’s Melbourne home when it lurched forward.
“Thieves had hooked up and were stealing the van… with them inside!” reports an aghast Chazza. “Hubby – a pretty solid sort of lad – soon got that sorted. Thieves unhitched and drove off but hubby had rego. Coppers got ’em soon after!”
Good news, Chazza. And that makes this week’s final scoreline. Nomads 2, van thieves 0!
Hooray for us!

Okay, Mailbaggers. Before we close for this week. Our story about the GFC-inspired invasion of backpackers looking for fruit-picking jobs caused concern to some … particularly those who may be seeking to pick up some pocket money as they travel.
“I know farmers sometimes have a hard time getting workers, but maybe that’s not so much the case either anymore,” wrote an alarmed Donna. “It worries me because we plan to travel and work because there’s not much available at home, and we’re not at retiring age yet.”
Good luck, Donna,. I’m sre something will tune up for you.

And there it is folks. Another action-packed week of grey nomad shenanigans. There’s never a dull moment when you’re out on the road in this Great Southern Land of ours.

Until next week then, adios amigos. Farewell, mighty, mighty Mailbaggers!

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