The Irish and Brazilian girls that make up the vast majority of Betoota’s roadside traffic marshalls have today been treated to some raw and unadulterated Australian culture.

As the roadside gang gathers in the car park of the local council depot before heading out to the newest upgrades on Birdsville Development Road – a quick head head count is interrupted by one of the team’s veterans.

With all of the crew assigned to their respective utes for the day, Betoota Downs-based father of 4, Cody Slade (29) has asked everyone to just woo up a sec.

“Aye steady she goes” the Cody urges the predominantly immigrant workforce who have absolutely no idea what he just said.

Everyone turns back to see what else Cody has to say that could delay the work from beginning.

Cody strokes his dense and hirsute beard, before exhaling two lungs of flavoured nicotine vapor.

“Where are we heading again?” he asks.

The team leader is a shorter man who has no beard – and therefore, according to the universal rules of the roadside, must show adequate respect to Cody even though he’s a subordinate – sighs and begins to repeat himself.

The rest of the crew patiently wait as the boss once again carefully explains the exact instructions that he just ran them through minutes earlier, which is also the exact same word for word instructions he’s given at the this exact same time and exact same location every morning for the last 3 months.

At the conclusion of the second briefing for the morning, Cody appears satisfied with the information he’s been provided.

However, with half a 500ml can of energy drink to get through, and vape in his hand – there is still cause for delay.

“Wait just let me finish brekky” he says to the crew.

Known colloquially as the ‘Roadside Banquent’ the combination of a large energy drink and a nicotine vape is now the accepted form of breaking fast for Australia’s traffic marshals.

The popularity of this cuisine has all but replaced the ‘Dingo’s Breakfast’ – a mouthful of water and a look around. But as the Betoota Downs council workers will attest this morning, the Banquent is far more time consuming.

“You can finish brekky in the truck” says the team leader.

“Have you packed lunch?”

Cody pats his chest and checks for his 6-pack of cheese and bacon rolls stashed in his hi-vis jacket.

“Yeah” he says, as he blows out once last fat cloud.

“We’re on”


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