Local Betoota Downs kid, Alby Sherwin (13) has today been overwhelmed with an intense bout of performance nerves today, after being challenged to perform a menial BMX trick by a middle aged man in a clapped out Holden.

On his commute home from school today, Alby was forced to become a man roughly 18 months earlier than he had planned to become one – when his grandpa had promised to gift him a slug gun for his 15th birthday.

An afternoon of peacefully skidding in the dirt in his own company was rudely interrupted moments ago, after local airport baggage handler Craig Pouch (38) spun around the corner in 1985 VK Commodore.

While Alby does not know this man, as a rural Australian teenager, he is culturally required to respect him – due to the fact that he is driving a car that looks like it’s pretty fast.

“OI” yells Craig, to the startled teenager, as his car comes to a halt at a local stop sign that he would usually ignore, if not for the opportunity to test Alby’s manhood.

Alby looks up at the man with a rural the-fuck-you-want squint.

“OI” yells Craig again.


Alby know his time has come. It’s time to impress a complete stranger with reckless stunts on his bicycle.

He knuckles go white. He feels his stomach drop. The hairs on his back curl.

If he fucks this up, he might end up on TikTok. At the very least he’s gonna get laughed at by some yobbo that he’s never met before.

Still, he keeps a brave face and gives Craig a watch-this-then nod.

He begins pedalling, but there is no plan.

He keeps pedalling, but doesn’t know when or how or where he’s going to pull the handle bars up to nail this wheelie. This wheelie he’s not even sure he can pull off under this kind of pressure.

Craig can see the hesitation in the young lad and offers him some encouragement.


The crisp ‘fucken’ jolt Alby into gear, he rips the handle bars up.

He gives it a bit more go and pumps the pedals. All of a sudden he’s floating.

He’s done it. It’s happening. The nerves disappear as he keeps pumping the pedals towards Craigs shitbox car.

Alby drops it back down after a good 20 metres and whips it round into a skid, flicking pebbles at the car.

Craig gives him the seal of improval.

“Fucken good one”

Alby smiles, he’s officially a man.

But the relief doesn’t last long. Craig has one more challenge.



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