Saturday, January 15, 2011

... do they wonder why they are loathed?

Lack of recent posting due to Mine Host being occupied with the ususal busy December trading season......

... Followed by being in the middle of the grandaddy of all natural disasters. (Grandaddy in terms of the financial impact on the world economy)

In past floods in his town Mine Host has noticed the main feature being an over-supply of epaulettes and an under-supply of experience. This is an unhappy combination for the long-term residents of a small town. Nothing quite like knowing that until MacCauley's paddock goes under, the water won't reach to the base of Jacko's tankstand, & then there is another 6 foot for the water to climb before it gets to your yard, so you've got nothing to worry about yet, etc etc etc.

Or so you thought, THEN some numpty wet-behind-the-ears cop turns up & gets all macho about "floods" and how you have to evacuate blah blah blah, when all he knows about a flood is what he's read in some handbook.

Fortunately with most of the state experiencing flooding over Christmas/New Year there wasn't so much officiousness concentrated in the one spot this time.

Mine Host, in the heart of the CBD one night to top up the tanks in his motor vehicles before the servos closed down/ran out/went under (take your pick) strolled accross the road in the darkness to see how far/fast the water was rising (handy intelligence, and natural human interest in how your own personal usually-dry-river now looks)

A small marquee and witch's hats with orange ribbon between them denoted a manned picket line, so the water must be close. Hopefully there would be SES under the marquee who could provide Mine Host with a reliable update on the behaviour of the river.

When still 40 or so yards from the other side of the road a voice rang out from the marquee:

"Right mate! That's as far as you go!"

Yep, the marquee was infested with a cop.
One second Mine Host is strolling amicably, a pillar of the local society taking in the night air, 40 yards from a folorn "emergency-do-not-cross" tape strung out in the dark, intending to make a few seconds polite small talk with the volunteers manning the line, instead, without provocation Mine Host is subjected to the most offensive statement he'd heard for some time.

Taken aback, and pondering for some moments the words to use to chide the policeman on his lack of manners, Mine Host felt the sadness that stings the innocent when their innocent intentions are destroyed by a half-witted bully for no reason other than the bully was able to.

So instead he turned away, disgusted, the peace of the night ruined. (The river height was later ascertained by the usual method one is forced to adopt when police prevent you looking at the bridge or main road, proceeding upstream/downstream a short distance to a secluded spot & forging one's way to the water's edge through debris, long grass & other obstacles - much more dangerous)

Cameraderie and unity of Queenslanders in the face of the collective threat of rising floodwaters?
.....Not when the Queensland Police are on the scene.