Few weeks back, at around the mid-way point of one of my mid-week strolls, I stepped onto the forecourt of my local service station to witness a sight of destruction.
A typically small rural fuel stop our town’s servo is ordinarily equipped with two bowsers, each with two outlets. Ordinarily, those four nozzles are kept very busy indeed. On this particular day however, the fuel dispensing area lay dormant. The four fuel nozzles were nowhere to be seen; in place of the pump units were gaping holes in the concrete crudely covered with pieces of plywood and marked with fluorescent road cones.
“Huh,” I recall thought/mumbling, “who are they kidding, those road cones’ll never be able to keep up with demand…”
Inane mumblings notwithstanding I collected my post and ventured into the shop to glean some valuable intel.
Apparently, or should I say allegedly, a pair of youths, possibly intoxicated on alcohol or other drugs, were ostensibly involved in a motor vehicle incident with the aforementioned fuel pumps, then were seemingly reprimanded but given their purported age of 16 and 17 years’ respectively, were probably sent home without conviction.
Now, please bear in mind these are largely unsubstantiated findings and are based on nothing more than whispers, echoes, and a miniscule amount genuine sleuthing. That said, even in the hypothetical sense it does provide a solid foundation on which to rest my crux.
These juvenile – dare I say – delinquents, crashed their car into someone else’s property. They were likely inebriated but even if not, the point remains, I will almost guarantee that these teenagers are scarcely held responsible for their actions. Sure, they might be handed down some community work, they may be fined; they might even be forced to pay reparations for damages caused and at the going rate of $1 per week that status symbol will be earning them street cred’ for some years to come…
No, it’s the owners of the service station who will truly suffer. Their insurance policy might well cover them for loss of earnings while their bowsers are down but who’s going to pick up the losses of those customers who meantime take their business elsewhere and never return? Additionally without motorists stopping for fuel, of course shop sales will drop considerably. This deficit in shop sales will inevitably cause a reduction in workers’ allocation of hours. Now those worker’s families are the ones who suffer.
On top of that, who counts the cost of the inconvenience at having to travel to the next town to fill up?
All this upheaval of so many lives, all because a couple of idiots decided to be idiots.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Iddy Jut
Photography by Al Aged Lee