ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A young French Quarter couple are set to spend the early evening up on Flirtation Hill in Betoota Heights as they listen to ‘Fast Car’ by Tracey Chapman, again.

Melanie Russel and Tom Pole are in their last year at South Betoota High School and both dream about getting out of this ‘shithole’ on the fringe of the Simpson Desert.

It’s that shared dream, they say, that brought them together in the first place.

Speaking to The Advocate in the car park of the Dune Road McDonalds after asking our reporter to buy them alcohol, the 17-year-olds say they often make their way up to the lookout of an evening to listen to ‘Fast Car’ while they dream of moving to the big city to the east.

It’s a small comfort in the monotony of everyday, opportunity-less life in Betoota.

“Our destiny doesn’t include growing old in Betoota, there’s something out there for both of us,” they told our reporter.

“But we’ve both got so much family and responsibility here. We can’t leave without letting them down. It’s hard,”

“At least I’ve got my brother’s [Proton] Jumbuck. He said I could use it while he’s on deployment. He’d understand if we left without saying goodbye. Fuck man, we just want to see the world. Do you have any darbs?”

Our reporter gave them the rest of his Rothman Reds, said to be careful and told the kids not to smoke them while they were driving. They’re not Lights.

More to come.


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