While Australians young and old whinge about not going to the pub for a few weeks, those on the frontline continue to risk their health in an effort to keep essential services running.

One such worker, servo clerk Neil [38] tells The Advocate that he thought he’d experienced such a risk when a run-in with a stranger left him scared for his life.

After an unusually slow day in the once bustling service station, a bored Neil was keeping himself busy restocking the cigarettes when a muffled sound caught his attention.

Unsure whether it was a grunt or an ill-concealed cough, Neil reports that he was immediately on high alert – until he latched eyes with the masked man standing in front of the counter.

Neil joined our reporter for a Zoom session to relay the harrowing events.

“I think what struck me first were his eyes”, says Neil, “you got this skinny bloke with crazed, bloodshot eyes, wearing a facel mask.”

“I thought to myself that some yuppie dickhead had skipped out on quarantine to grab himself, I don’t know, a Magnum ice cream or something.”

“Almost told him to just fuck off with whatever he wanted to buy and don’t bother paying. I smoke a pack a day. I don’t need that shit.”

Backing away from the counter and with one arm stretched out to grab his phone, Neil says he was one cough away from dialing the cops before the bloke whipped out a large kitchen knife from his pocket and demanded all of the Winnie Blues and scratchies from behind the counter.

“Oh fuck” says Neil

“I tell ya, I must have let out the biggest sigh of relief”

“I’ll take an armed hold up over the virus any day.”

More to come.


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