A condom’s ‘roughrider’ solution.

Huge road trains thunder by at about one every minute,sucking in everything in their slipstream. Australia’s Hume Highway is about 13 kilometres from where we live, but it might as well be in another country. The peace and quiet on the farm is in contrast to the concentrated diesel driven chaos on The Highway. A few years ago, these 48 wheeled monsters started showing signage on their tarpaulins with the word ‘logistic’ written on them.

So, ‘Pineapples from Queensland to you logistics’ were all of a sudden catapulted into a world of absolute efficiency, order and in total submission to commerce, unheard of only a few years earlier. LOGISTICS was the word that transformed all that trucking, and not just only in pine-apples.

How much of ‘logistics’ is there in this mad transport of one truck a minute making it at least 800 trucks passing through every day? This , of course is just on the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne and this number is probably conservative. I am buggered if I am going out at the middle of a cold winter’s night to count trucks. The few evenings that I happened to be travelling, there were trucks almost cabin to trailer and a dazzle of red tail-lights as they overtook me.

There are now truck-stops and rest stations so big they resemble airports. The shops, cafeterias and take-away are open 24/7 days. The toilets are  doing a roaring trade with coin operated machines selling condoms called euphemistically ‘rough- riders’ and ‘Lick ‘n Slip’. I believe they are now made from re-cycled truck tyres for extra strength. What goes around comes around, and up and down we go. Cupid fires his arrows in mysterious ways and venues. It takes a rough rider to know them all!

Years ago I I drove a truck picking up many tonnes of lime from Kandos near Lithgow in Australia and on the way back going up Mount Victoria, the engine that had laboured so bravely gave up and died, blowing oil all over the place in its last gasp. It was mid-winter, and in the evening as well. This truck did not provide sleeping arrangements so I made do with undoing the tarp and slept on top of those Kandos lime bags. I had a restless and cold night. No romance.

Of course, we now know, convinced by many advertising gurus that problems don’t exist anymore. They have given us SOLUTIONS now. The word ‘solutions’ is now taking Australia by storm. I pay my rates at the local Shire at a desk proudly displaying ‘solutions’ queue  here, please !  My local butcher is now ‘Southern Highlands Meat Solutions’. When grandchildren come over I often buy two kilos of Country thick sausages. Am I now, when bending over the wood fired barbecue, peering at ‘meat solutions’ and not at those innocent sausages?

Are those word slogans actually working? Are the words ‘ Creative Sustainable Solutions’ doing the job, or is the answer in the ‘doing’? The trucking industry was also the first to advertise and write ‘solutions’ on their covers. We now have “Queensland Pineapple LOGISTICS and SOLUTIONS’, hurling towards grateful Melbournians. I hesitate to think what would happen if two trucks collide with ‘logistics and solutions’ sprawled all over the highway.

Have we gone mad with slogans? Are the advertisers taking us for fools, enslaving us to words that are promising but meaningless? If 800 trucks go in one direction, another 800 would go the other way, and that just between Sydeny and Melbourne. What about all that wear and tear on the drivers and the trucks, roads? What about all that diesel carbon?

Is that the right solution? The logistics seem to imply that it could be wasteful and that goods trains on rails replace road-trains, with adequate depots at all ends could be a better solution. What do you reckon? Is this a ‘solution’ or do the ‘logistics’ not add up?

Of course, the sales of ‘Rough Riders’ might suffer.

8 Responses to “A condom’s ‘roughrider’ solution.”

  1. Gourmet gerunding Says:

    I enjoyed reading both your articles. They are quirky with a nicely honed scepticism. Look forward to the next one.Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. huskylover Says:

    Love browsing this page, always find out random interesting facts.
    Emily R. from Husky Guide

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ThePoliticalVagina Says:

    Laughed at the recycled truck tyres, you’re a funny man.


  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you, and you have an even funnier blog title.


  5. Nick Ryan Says:

    SO it is you who stands at those machines reading the titles. Is it also you who writes in black texter “Buy me & Stop One?”


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Lord have mercy on my time of day. Learned that nonsensical saying from an old nurse when I was young, Now, I’m an old retired nurse and use the saying sometimes.

    Anyhow, time marches on. Gerard you had me laughing too much again. Indeed those truckers have a reputation to uphold you know.

    About the solution and the pollution. Probably one train burning diesel engine would equal what? Maybe you can research that and find out what is the best solution to the pollution problem. I am truely interested to know. I’m not sure if all of that has been explored over in the US of A, but then if goods/produce were trasported by rail there would be an extreme number of individuals jobless.

    The real problem is that technology has made things better and in other ways life has been made worse. Destruction and pollution of the environment has negative effects on all forms of life. What in the world has happened to our world?

    So sorry to go off on a tangent here.



  7. Shirley Says:

    Gerard, Shirley from Bathurst here. Thankyou once again for your latest book Helvie sent me. It is reverting, I have known for years you wrote, your humor is delightful and I have now started reading your words via the internet. Reading about the annual Christmas party in Balmain/Rozelle, I began to giggle to myself, when you think about it, it has been almost a ritual each year, welcomed always by the hostess with the mostess, a friend of so many years, 40 actually for me, my son was a very young child when the hostess and I first met, and I guess shortly after I met you and Helvie! Thankyou again for your fabulous mind and words on paper.. god bless you both. Xxx


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      THANK YOU, Shirley. You made my day and am walking tall. You say the nicest things. Forgotten about that post. Just noticed the date of 2009. We were still living on the farm.
      You have a great new year, Shirley.
      I am on cloud nine!


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