Adelaide liked to drive. She drove to town, where she could always find a park. She drove to the football. She drove to the video shop.
Adelaide liked to drive.
Being a sensible girl, Adelaide had a premium membership of the RAA. It was a high school graduation present from her father. ‘You’ll be needing this,’ he said with a wise nod and a knowing twinkle in his eye. And he renewed it every year, along with her comprehensive insurance, until she graduated from university and got a job as Executive Assistant, Stakeholder Relations at the Underwater Weapons Plant. That was only the mid-nineties too, and already they knew what stakeholder relations were all about.
Over the years, Adelaide had reason to be grateful for that premium membership. She was not a bogan, but she drove crap cars. Adelaide identified her geography by the places she had broken down. South Road? Solanoid. Main North Road? Clutch. Burra? Starter motor. But luckily, never the brakes. No, the brakes were always there, ready to be applied.
Adelaide had never truly been out of control.
Even now, even with her successful marriage to a retired footballer turned caryard owner, Adelaide kept that membership up. Because Adelaide was passionate about motorists rights. Society needs someone to speak up against the dreadful pedestrians and the self-righteous bicyclists. ‘When they pay registrations and levys, that’s when they can have rights,’ Adelaide said. Adelaide always nodded when she spoke.
And as for the buses and worst of all, those dreadful trams. Unsightly things they are. And now what do they want to do? Extend them all the way along the King William boulevard. Adelaide shuddered at the thought. Ann Moran was right to make a fuss. And what about the planter boxes Adelaide thought. Only just last week she had driven along King William Street and pointed the boxes out to her mother. ‘The pansies look glorious at this time of the year,’ she said. Her mother had nodded. ‘The red looks very dramatic,’ she had said. Adelaide and her mother always agreed.
So Adelaide was happy when she opened the Sunday Mail on the first very hot day of the year, and saw that finally, the RAA was taking a stance. The tram extension would be expensive, worthless. It was something Adelaide just didn’t need.
‘At last,’ Adelaide thought. ‘Let common sense prevail. A public transport infrastucture? F*k that. A visible transport alternative which links in sensible ways? F*k that. And if what they said on the radio was true, that 21 million they were planning to spend would build a lot of hospitals, keep a lot of schools open and employ a lot of police.
Adelaide cleared her throat, swallowed, took a sip of her freshly-plunged coffee. She smiled lightly to herself, then turned the page of the Sunday Mail.
Adelaide wanted to read what Kevin Naughton had written this week.