President's Report - October 2001
To wave, or not to wave, and when? That was one of the many discussion points during last month's club meeting at which Colin Handley gave an account of his recent trip to the Kimberley region in WA.
On long, outback journeys of the kind Colin and I have separately undertaken this year, we were both faced with the inevitable question of if and when to wave to drivers of other vehicles. There is a long tradition of waving to passing motorists in out-of-the-way places where vehicles are infrequently encountered. Indeed I remember the days when passing Peugeot drivers would flash lights, sound horns and wave all at the same time, such was the enthusiasm of seeing another Pug on the open road. Unfortunately flashing lights have become the universal warning of trouble ahead, usually in the form of police radar, so pug greetings have become necessarily rather more restrained. Pity really.
These days, the most enthusiastic outback waves mostly seem to come from members of the Grey Power group, touring the country with caravans, trailers, camper vans and the like. Less enthusiastic responses come in the form of a raised finger (no, not that finger), almost imperceptible as you flash by at highway speed. Truckies present their own problems because its difficult to see into the cabin of many trucks, so you never know if a signal has been sent or received - a bit like sending signals into space, wondering if there is life out there!
Decisions such as "Should I wave first, or wait to be waved at first, then wave back?" invariably tax the brain of the outback adventurer. Also, how far outback do you have get before the wave becomes compulsory? I found that nearly everyone waves on the highway across the Nullarbor, for example. But it's hardly an outback road these days. A long, mind-numbing drive, perhaps, but you end up waving an awful lot of times.
I have no real answer to the waving question that will work in all situations. My rule of thumb is when the distance markers (can't call them mile posts these days) are 10 km apart instead of 5 km apart, this seems to broadly correlate with an increased degree of "outbackness", and hence I wave. Well, not exactly a wave, more like a raised finger or two on the steering wheel.
Meanwhile, back in town, our next club meeting will be the Annual General Meeting, at the Italo-Australian Club at 8 pm on Tuesday 23rd October. The usual elections of office-bearers will be held, followed by supper and more of the Redex Trial video.
In November we are arranging to visit the Battery Factory in Fyshwick, probably with a 5.30 pm start. The date is yet to finalised depending on their commitments, but we will endeavour to hold it on the tradition fourth Tuesday of the month. Details in next month's newsletter.
Keep on Pugging,
No doubt about it, our new club car badge will be a terrific adornment for all club cars. Having bought one for each of his four pugs, our club president is now deciding where best to place them. The front grille is the obvious place on his 203, 404 and 505. The number plate holder is also another potential place on the 203 and 404, because the historic car plates are smaller than standard plates and there is plenty of room left for extra things to hang off. However, the 405 grille seems to present special problems because of its angled fins, and Brad can see only one "good place" to put the badge - right over the top of the lion in the middle!
So, this month's trivia question is "Where is the best place for the club badge on the 405?"