I rounded the corner of Burns st earlier this week and found these two young woman right in front of me, on a slick, rainy road. I had often wished for, and truly never as much as that moment, a 40mm anti-tank cannon to mount on my car so I could give those tourists who come to my home, break all the rules and trash the place something to remember me by.
The girls in this photo would have been the first to feel some of my high-velocity shells, particularly because just one hundred metres or so from where these soon-to-be-smudges-on-the-asphalt are walking is this sign.
It brings to mind a joke that always amused me.
A guy is driving down the road in his Mercedes-Benz and stops and picks up a hitchhiker.
They drive some distance and the hitchhiker asks what is that metal thing on the front of the bonnet and the driver decides to have a bit of fun with his passenger and says, "That's my sight".
"Oh", says the hitchhiker, "what do you use that for?"
"Well", says the driver if I'm driving down the road and see a cyclist I line them up in my sight and then run 'em down at full speed."
"Oh right", says the hitchhiker somewhat nervously.
They go a bit further and the hitchhiker spots a cyclist, "look", he says, "a guy on a bike. Good chance to use your sight."
The driver says "rightio" and speeds up.
He heads for the cyclist and just as he is about to hit the bike rider he shears off to miss, but just as he does he hears a 'thunk' and looks in the mirror and sees the cyclist spinning away down the side of the road.
The hitchhiker says, "Man, you better get your sight checked, if I hadn't opened my door we would have missed him."
And there neatly to a comment made when I first came to Byron Bay on holidays 20 odd years ago.
After a week I fell in love with the place, mainly I think because it was everything my home town wasn't, and so started looking into buying some property in the area.
A young estate agent called Grant Rutter showed me around and as we went we came across some tourists walking on the road like the photo above and Grant said, "I don't know what it is about Byron but people who come here suddenly think they are impervious to vehicle impact."
In the following twenty years my temper has receded to vanishing point and I am now ready to test their hypotheses.
Since, in South Australia at least, you are allowed to use your shotgun on an intruder to your home, then surely if a pedestrian is breaking the law then I should be allowed to enforce the same law using my car.
So, if you are jaywalking around the Northern Rivers pray that a maroon commodore with a 40mm cannon welded to the bonnet is not the next one to come around the corner.