I remember my Dad announcing one Christmas Day, I think it was 1997, as we prepared to travel across Brisbane to my brother's home for our family Christmas gathering, that he had discovered a new short cut that would involve very few sets of lights. Dad hated sitting at traffic lights. He was patient with people but not with things and of all the things that pushed his buttons, traffic lights were at the top of the list. He'd tap his foot on the floor, then his fingers on the steering wheel would drum out a little tune and he would mutter, "Come one, come on" and things like, "What are we waiting for? There's no traffic coming the other way! These lights are a waste of time." Dad, if he could avoid a single set of lights, would declare a short cut.
That year Christmas Day was particularly hot and the air conditioning in my car was not terribly effective, so I agreed that he would give me directions and we'd take the short cut. I should have known better! It's not surprising that it took Dad over 50 years of living in Brisbane to discover this short cut. We zigzagged our way across the city, I swear it was the longest possible route. But I have to give it to Dad, there weren't many sets of lights and he arrived at my brother's truimphant, knowing no-one else would have got there with so few sets of lights.
So I should know by now that short cuts aren't always the quickest way to get somewhere. Yesterday, travelling one of my short cuts on my way home from the city I came up behind a tractor pulling this contraption. I think they were rolls of plastic with which to wrap hay bales. Not at all sure about that. What I was sure of was the speed of the tractor, very slow, as you can see we are travelling uphill. And the dust spewing out the back of the tractor and trailer.
Further along the road, closer to home, I came off a one way bridge and there, sitting fair in the middle of one lane of a two lane road, was this trailer unit. Sometimes we see trailers left parked somewhere while the main truck unit travels down a narrow, windy or hilly road to pick up part of his load, then returns to hook up the trailer before travelling on. But this was no-where near a turn off or a side road. I can only presume that something malfunctioned in the trailer unit.