baret = drainage ditch (in Melanesian Tok Pisin)
Ask my daughter and she’ll tell you in quite colourful language that I have an obsession with digging and maintaining barets. It’s my spade and shovel physical workout. Popeye biceps and barrel chests do not maintain themselves just with spinach you know.
So what’s with all the barets? We live close to Australia’s wettest meteorological station which is located on top of Mt Bellenden Ker. (It’s records include 5.3 metres of rain during January 1979, and 12.4 metres total for the year 2000.)
I have around 200 metres of barets on this farm. They prevent my gravel roads,
marijuana plantations, buried bullion, plant nurseries and buildings from being washed down the mountain and ending up in the hands of some undeserving layabout mooching around on the coastal plain at Innisfail.
The road barets are very important to prevent scouring of my steep 300 metre gravel driveway. The following pictures illustrate why the local Council should be employing me at the rate of K100 per annum to oversee maintenance of it’s road network instead of the incumbent indolent and incompetent slackarse.
Council have NO functional barets, whereas I have seven magnificent ones.
Number 1 is at the top of the hill. Next one down is Number 3, then Number 7 followed by Number 2, (I maintain a conscientious objection to numerical order) and then, right near the steep corner is my pride and joy. An engineering masterpiece. The mother of all road barets… NUMBER FIVE….one foot deep and two feet wide.
Baret Number 5 has two purposes;
1. To capture and redirect floodwater.
2. To trap and/or deter door-to-door salesmen and other unwanted visitors, including Katerina and Katya the Russian twins who keep sending emails twice every week saying they want to do some things that my mother never told me about.
Every few weeks I need to shovel silt and leaves out of my barets and collect any other miscellaneous debris which might have accumulated.
I found the following objects in, or adjacent to, baret No 5 during the first quarter of this year. If any of them belong to you, please contact me so I can arrange their safe return.
1 only Volkswagon towbar with a cutoff tennis ball protecting the towball.
1 only sump plug and four litres of used engine oil. (now gritty)
6 only assorted exhaust systems complete with mufflers …..probably suit small Mazdas or Hyundais.
1 only Honda Civic plastic bumper bar with a “Bonk a smallholder farmer now before they’re all gone” sticker attached.
(I didn’t have these stickers printed for bloody city slickers to whack on their woosy toy-plastic bumper bars. They’re for proper 4WD bull bars.)
1 complete Volvo station wagon (white) with fluffy dice hanging from the rear vision mirror, and a “Jesus loves you” message on the rear window. There are two large boxes filled with “Watchtower” magazines on the back seat.
Oh yes, and I’ve just discovered a new coffee shop in Cairns.
Why was it not there 40 years ago when I was in the mood for this sort of thing?
Sadly, in the wake of my senescence, I no longer have a passion for caffeine.