I mentioned already that prior to my Glenrowan road trip there was a trip to Wilsons Prom, which I don’t like to count as an official road trip, partly because neither of us were Australian so we didn’t know about Crowded House and Cheezles, and partly because it was a little bit of a disaster.
I found Sag on Gumtree when I was trying to kick start the universe into providing for me (item 3 on my universe wish-list was a group of nice people with a car that I could travel with). Sag’s advert said he had a car and time on his hands to do some travelling in Victoria.
We met for a coffee to get to know each other a bit and to plan our upcoming trip. He seemed like a nice guy and we got on well, although I did not completely discount the idea that he might be a serial killer. My flat mate reassured me that when you go on a road trip with a stranger, the other person is much more likely to piss you off than kill you. He didn’t have any statistics to back up this claim, but I suspected he was right.
All the same, when Sag picked me up just outside Melbourne city centre I typed the registration of his car into a blank text message. Scrolling through the contacts in my phonebook, I couldn’t think of anyone I could send the text to that wouldn’t either panic unnecessarily or think I was overreacting.
I reasoned that it probably wouldn’t do me much good to send the text anyway. If Sag was a killer, no one would know about it until my body was discovered. Would I really be bothered about whether or not the police could track him down using the registration plate of his car, bearing in mind that I would be dead?
I was just mulling this over, wondering if I owed it to my family to give them a vital clue to help solve my murder, when Sag interrupted my thoughts. “The police in Scotland are very good, aren’t they?”
“I’m sorry, what?” I glanced down at my phonebook again. Maybe I should send that text after all…
“You’ve never heard this before? They are very good at solving cases, if someone gets murdered.”
I knew that Scots had a reputation for being stingy and for drinking whisky, but I didn’t know our police force was renowned. Worried that Sag was calculating how likely it was that he would be caught if he killed me, I decided to play along.
“Yes, that’s right. We have very good police in Scotland. Very good.”
“I thought so. Scotland Yard are very famous.”
I tucked my phone back in my pocket. Just a little communication mishap. Nothing to worry about.
It wasn’t until the second communication mishap later that evening that I decided the road trip had earned its little-bit-of-a-disaster label.