Earlier this month, I was amused to read the story of a man caught driving in Toowoomba with no front seats.
Yes, you read that right. The car was missing both front seats.
Instead, the driver – who later admitted he was disqualified from driving as well – and his brave passenger were perched on rolled-up foam mattresses.
Surely you could at least drop in a stroller, like that clever Bush Mechanics mob?
Once I got over my surprise that this seatless expedition broke only two laws (I guess the need for common-sense isn’t legislated yet …), it got me wondering: what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on the road?
For example, there used to be regular sightings throughout Canberra of a small car travelling with an alpaca in the back.
As it turns out, this was Honeycomb the pet therapy alpaca, visiting hospitals and palliative care centres to brighten up the day of those who were sick and dying.
Sadly, dear old Honeycomb passed away in 2016. His duties have now been taken up by friends Hercules and Forrest Gump, but they now travel in the relative space and comfort of a van, so might not be as easy to spot.
Still in the animal world, and friends visiting from Sydney recently found it quite odd that we’re so used to pausing our journey to let a kangaroo, possum, wombat, or family of ducks cross the road.
My regular drive home to Googong, carefully dodging kangaroos along the way, had them white-knuckled … Or maybe that was just my driving …
Anyway, that leads me nicely to one of the strangest things I’ve seen on the road. And it was entirely of my own doing.
Some time back, I was driving along Parkes Way with a friend, just after dusk.
As we approached the city, a pair of ducks were trying to make the treacherous journey across the road from the lake, to the safety of the pond in the middle of the Coranderrk Street roundabout.
An animal lover through and through, I couldn’t stand by and wait for the inevitable.
So, after pulling over safely to the side of the road, I jumped out to herd the ducks quickly and efficiently to their destination.
Ha ha, just kidding – that wouldn’t make for a very good story. Plus I’m not silly, so of course, I made my friend jump out to perform the crucial role of Emergency Duck Shepherd.
While (albeit reluctantly) brimming with good intentions, my friend made the understandable error of attempting to gently shoo the ducks in the direction they did not want to go – back towards the lake.
Did you know that, when threatened and driven to protect their mate, male ducks can be surprisingly aggressive and quick on their feet?
I’ve often wondered what other drivers thought of the sight of my 30ish-year-old male friend jumping and sprinting down the side of Parkes Way in the semi-darkness, yelling at the large, angry and very loud male duck in close pursuit.
I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard. I couldn’t drive for about ten minutes.
Now, some people might say the strangest thing you’ll see on a Canberra road is someone moving out of the right lane or merging correctly.
But I want to hear your really strange and funny stories – what’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen while driving around Canberra?