WEIGHTY ISSUE: Bruce (right) pours over the paperwork for his log book. ABOVE LEFT: The rego sticker that started it all.
WEIGHTY ISSUE: Bruce (right) pours over the paperwork for his log book. ABOVE LEFT: The rego sticker that started it all.

Son logs a weighty complaint for Dad

"I DON'T think I've ever seen my 12-year-old son as incensed as he was this afternoon.

"I can't believe this!” he ranted at us as we followed Google's directions to the nearest Department of Transport. "I think it's so wrong!”

I was pulled over today in Innisfail for a random breath test and asked to produce my log book.

"You mean the record of our fuel purchases?” I asked the officer.

Confused, I turned to Tracey to ask her fetch the thing from whichever pocket she keeps it in. I mean we have one to help us keep an eye on our spendings but I never thought the police would be interested in seeing it.

"No, your log book. Your work diary.”

He pointed at the registration sticker on the front windscreen: specifically at 13500 GVM - "that's heavy vehicle talk for Gross Vehicle Mass, meaning the total weight the vehicle is allowed to be, including everything it's carrying.

And you thought I wasn't taking this bus stuff seriously.

"I don't understand,” I said honestly.

"You're over 12 tonne so you need to keep a diary of your hours on the road. It's a $600 fine if you can't produce it, and another $650 if you don't have one.”

Those fines might be the other way around. My brain was focused more on their combined sum.

"$1250!”

"Where are you from?” he asked. "You don't need to keep one within an hour of home.”

"Gympie,” I admitted, wishing my mother hadn't been so good at her job so I could lie and say around the corner.

"Don't worry,” he said. "I'm going to give you a warning. But you need to go straight to the Department of Transport and get yourself a book. If you have an accident and can't produce one, you're history.”

Naturally, I thanked him and we took off in search of this magical bit of paperwork, which will act like a clasp to prevent our account from haemorrhaging money.

Which was when Master11 started going off. I was just pleased he waited until the officer was out of earshot.

"I just don't think it's fair!” he went on.

And on.

I kept telling him it was okay and I was going to fix it so going forward there wouldn't be any problems, but still he didn't think this was good enough. Like I said, I've never seen him so upset on my behalf.

"It's just a road rule,” I told him. "It's okay. Why are you so upset about it?”

I should have asked that question five minutes earlier and saved us all a lot of angst.

"Why should you have to keep a log book,” he said, "just because you weigh more than other people?”

"You mean, because the bus weighs more?”

I swear I could hear the gears shifting down a notch.

"What?”

"The log book,” I explained in a calm and slightly giggly voice, "because the bus is over 12 tonne, not because I'm over 12 tonne.”

I mean I know I have to lose a few kilos!

"Ohhhhh,” he mumbled, leaning back into his seat and taking up where he'd left off on his Nintendo DS. "Well that makes much more sense”

Doesn't it just.

Gympie Times


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