ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
WHEN ASKED IF HE KNEW what he was doing, Graham Conroy said of course he did.
Seeing as though he’d watched all the others do it – even the girls, the 21-year-old decided that he’d have a crack at starting the Kubota, while the everybody else looked on.
Pushing the throttle all the way up, holding in the decompression lever, giving it a few rotations to get some clean air in the cylinder, Conroy slowly began turning the crank handle as the generator slowly gained momentum.
The trick is to stop the hand turning the crank, popping the handle out in one smooth motion as you let go of the decompression lever. However, yesterday afternoon Mr Conroy got a bit confused in all the excitement.
He let go of the decomp lever with the crank still attached to the generator, causing it to take at full throttle.
The crank handle spun once around violently once, collecting the shocked first-year on the wrist, visibly breaking it.
Hearing a sickly shriek come from behind the camp, head stockman Grant Coleman said he turned around on his milk crate to see the Conroy running towards him cradling his now discombobulated arm with his good one.
“Grant, I’ve broken my arm,” yelled Conroy, looking to the boss ringer for help.
“What do you want me to do about it? Does this look like a hospital? Do I look like a doctor?” replied Coleman.
They weren’t, in fact, at a hospital and Mr Coleman isn’t a doctor. They were camped on the side of a sand hill two hours south-west of Betoota, close to Haddon Corner.
Far from the cosmopolitan lights of Adelaide Street, North Betoota. With its village atmosphere and fairy-light studded London Planes. The boutique stores and department chains. Conroy was miles and miles from a hospital and the expertise needed to mend his broken wrist.
“There’s some Herron capsules in my glovebox, mate. Help yourself to two and if it still hurts in the morning, I’ll drive you into town.” said Coleman.
More to come.