The Granny In The Red GTSLindsay Johannsen / Humor
THE GRANNY IN THE RED GTS
Copyright Lindsay Johannsen 2015
National Library Of Australia Cataloguing-in-publication data:
Author: Johannsen, Lindsay Andrew
Title: The Granny In The Red GTS
Cover art and design bungled by the author.
To order the McCullock’s Gold paperback version or contact the author please visit
THE GRANNY IN THE RED GTS
BRISBANE – June 17, 1998.
A year or so back, in the Blackall Ranges north of here, certain rumours and allegations came into being concerning an elderly grey-haired lady, reportedly seen driving from time to time through the Landsborough/Maleny/Witta region. In itself this is not particularly noteworthy as almost any community will include a percentage of senior female citizens, many of whom will drive cars. In this instance, however, as the stories seem consistently to maintain, the vehicle in question is a high performance, fire-engine red GTS sports saloon.
Just who this person may be and where she might come from seems completely unknown. Neither is there any regularity to her alleged sightings, as so far they have occurred in time and place as random events. Also, interestingly, the few claiming to have actually seen her can now only recollect the principal details – i.e., low-slung brutishly powerful red car and small attractive-looking elderly lady driver. In addition, there never seems to be any corroborating witnesses.
The car is described as being similar to a type which would have figured prominently in the Bathurst One Thousand a couple of years back. This sort of vehicle, with its wide, low-profile tyres and almost total lack of ground clearance, is generally the domain of the totally dedicated petrol-headed hoon, which makes the contrast between the monster-machine and the almost elfin figure allegedly driving it all the more intriguing.
Instances of new sightings are rare and nothing which might lead to the issue being resolved has been forthcoming. This might be deliberate however. In places like the Blackall Ranges such a thing can acquire the status of a rural myth and become assumed into the way the Range People see themselves – usually as more interesting, individualistic and self-reliant than the average Sunshine Coast Suburbanite.
As a result there may be a natural reluctance to examine the affair too closely; in case of there being some simple and ordinary explanation.
Nothing concrete can be drawn from the following documents, and forming an opinion as to their veracity is left to the reader – as, indeed, are the rumours and stories themselves.
* * *
(…a Mr Kevin Trash, of No. 14 No Through Road, North Landsborough, who wishes to remain anonymous).
“I dunno know, man, you know? See, me and Cristal Rainbow – she’s me Sagittarius partner in this current astral plane – we was just off the Caloundra road in the State Forest, not far from where we had some marijuana plants growin’ a while back. We’d got a flat tyre on the back of the old kombi see, so we pulls off and heads into the bush a bit along this old forestry track – you know, to burn some incest like, and chant the flat-tyre mantra. There was a bit of fog around too, but we could see the cars coming and going along the highway clear enough.
“Anyhow, while Cristal Rainbow was chanting the wet matches alight I decides to take a walk back along the track for a leak and to pick up the exhaust pipe. Then I looks up through the trees toward the highway, man, an’ that’s when I seen it. I mean like – SheeeeeeIT man! This bright-red monster GTS Commodore was just flyin’ up out of the mist, man – just beltin’ down the double lines like I dunno what, man, you know?
“I dunno, man; and it was crazy! See it was burnin along like shit, man, and drivin it was this little grey-haired granny, you know? Gees man! I mean she was like: The Granny From Hell, man! You know? Gees, I dunno.
“—Hey man; this Maleny Mountain Gold is really something pretty cool!”
(…a Capt. Doncaster Farnsworth R.N. (Rtd), of Beerwah Gardens.)
“Yes! June fifteenth! Fifteen hundred hours! Been down to the Volvo place. Caloundra. Indicator on the blink. Damned nuisance if you ask me.
“—Blasted Japanese rubbish!
“Heading back up the Blackall Range. Through Landsborough. Long straight section. Steep part. Red Commodore astern.
“Hundred and twelve knots I’d say. Past in a flash! Driver seemed like an older woman. Grey haired.
“Teenage lout probably. In a wig. Stolen most likely. Didn’t get a decent look. Small person. Could hardly see over the steering wheel.
“Now get out before I put a shot through your scuppers!”
(…a Mr Ron Bruise, of Maleny Heights).
“Well it was me and Brian, ay. We was takin’ this load of aggregate up to where the council was workin’ on the Kenilworth road, not far from Cement Hill. We come around Jakes’s corner in third high see, and I’m gunna switch into fourth when she hits twenty five hundred revs. Then I hears a bang and the old rag on the outside dual starts goin’ “foosh foosh foosh” through the hole in the wall where the tube was pokin’ out.
“I knew we shoulda changed the bloody thing before we left, but ol’ Dingo told us to clear out cos we was runnin’ late.
“So first opportunity we get we pulls over to the side of the road and Brian gets out and starts kickin’ the bloody thing. Gawd, as if that’s gunna do any bloody good. He’s not a bad kid to have around in a fight, but sometimes the dopey bugger can be a bit thick – like whenever he’s breathin’, ay. Anyway, we gets the jack and the spanner and the spare and changes the bloody thing, but when we goes to take off she won’t shift cos the wheel on the other side is bogged in the mud.
“That’s when I gets on the blower to the foreman up at the roadworks, see. He gives me a fair old serve too, cos everyone’s sittin’ on their arses waitin’ for us, but he'll send up the grader to tow us out, he says. Anyhow, we’re sittin’ in the cab waitin’ for it to turn up when this big red GTS Commodore pulls up alongside, quiet as you like, ay. I mean, I never heard it.
“Anyhow I jumps down to have a look, but instead of Peter bloody Brock behind the wheel like I’m expecting, there’s this sweet little grey-haired lady – tiny little thing; can hardly see over the wheel.
“Gees, you coulda done me for a dollar, ay. Then young Brian comes around the front. Well he just bloody stands there, paralysed, his eyes wide and his tongue hangin’ out – like that day at Noosa when them girls got him to mind their bikinis while they went for a swim.
“‘You boys all right?’ she asks, and her voice can still turn an old feller like me to jelly. Gawd, I thinks, what would she've been like when she was nineteen? Course Brian can’t say nothin, ay; the mighty brain’s on full overload just from havin’ this car in front of him.
“‘Yeah, thanks lady,’ I croaks. ‘We’ll be OK. You er ... don’t want to do a swap by any chance,’ I adds, hopin’ to hear that voice again. ‘You know, for the truck?’
“Well instead she just turns her smile onto high beam, ay, and suddenly I feel like I’m eight years old again and just got a motorbike for Christmas. Then she takes off.
“I’m buggered if I know how I got meself back into the cab. Musta just floated up there I suppose.
“And she never revved the engine too much neither. One minute she was there, then she was gone – like the car had some sort of invisible catapult or something.
“As for Brian… Well, he was still lookin down the road when the grader turned up. Thank God she never asked him if he wanted to go for a burn, ay. I’d proberly never’ve seen ‘im again, the silly young bugger.”
(Constable “X” of the Queensland Police Traffic Branch – an excerpt from his statement to the Section Chief.)
On the morning of April third I was monitoring traffic speeds at a radar post on the Bruce Highway north of Yandina. At eleven twenty three forty two I observed a red Holden Commodore GTS travelling in a southerly direction toward my station. I aimed the radar gun and took a reading of the vehicle’s speed. The instrument indicated 110.085 kilometres per hour.
I believed this to be incorrect because no one would drive a car like that at the exact speed limit on such a clear stretch of the highway. That is why I selected this particular place for the purposes of radar speed-monitoring.
I then gave the radar gun a couple of sharp knocks against a tree and, after reinserting the batteries, took a new reading. The instrument briefly showed three hundred and forty something kilometres per hour before a short-circuit blew out the glass and fused everything in the display window. This reading was probably incorrect as well, but in my opinion it would have been nearer the mark.
As the car passed the point where I was standing I observed the driver. This person I would describe as being female and aged about seventy five. She appeared to be of small build, with medium length grey hair.
I then decided to pursue the car, my intention being to question this person. I proceeded in a southerly direction at a speed in excess of 150 kilometres per hour but did not observe the red Commodore again. Subsequent enquiries with other Traffic Branch units failed to reveal any further sightings.
I wish to confirm here that neither prior to the commencement of my shift that day nor at any time during the period I was on duty did I consume an alcoholic beverage of any sort.
(Lance and Derek, interior decorators of Caloundra).
“Ooooh, it was ever so nice! We’d been up to that lovely place in Witta.”
“I knooow. The DeCameron mansion and dear Marigold, with those wonderful statues in the gardens.”
“And that beautiful chaise lounge in the drawing room.”
“Oooh yes. All pink brocade satin.”
“And my dear, the Chinese cut-silk carpets.”
“Mmm. And the curtains!”
“They’re too dark, you know. They should have been the teensiest bit lighter.”
“Ooooo I know! I was soooo disappointed.”
“Mmmm. I told them it was the wrong colour. ‘Look, Guy,’ I said. ‘This simply Will - Not - Do!’ I said. Oooh, I was so mad I could have scratched his eyes out, the silly bitch.”
“And him just poncing out like that, too. I mean you were so masterful, Derek.”
“Anyhow... We’d just finished loading all the samples back into the Volvo...”
“Mmmm. And what should come parading slowly along the street but this gorgeous looking muscle-car.”
“Oooooo yes. Fire-engine red it was!”
“‘My Dear,’ I said. ‘What do we have here?’”
“‘Oooooo,’ I said. ‘I don’t suppose he’d be looking for little moi, by any chance.’”
“Mmmm. Then we saw the driver.”
“Ohh! You could have knocked me down with a feather. I felt quite flustered.”
“I knooow. It was Little Mother MacGuire, calm as you like. And you with your best profile and your nostrils all flaring.”
“Well! Who would have expected it.”
“Mmmm. We were sooooo disappointed. Now then, how do you think this floor rug will go with Blake’s colour scheme?”
“Derek my dear, you are SO impulsive. It will clash dreadfully with his gilt- framed mirror, you know. I mean we simply must use the beige one.”
“Oooh! You make me spit sometimes! I just cannot agree. Blake’s such a colourful fellow.”
“Well of course he’s colourful, you silly boy. They’re like that; rosella parrots!”
(…a Mr Itchi Cootchi, of Hondabishi, Japan).
“Proceeding arong Bruce Highway to Grasshouse Mountains. Rarge red car go past very high-ah speed. Mama San mustah be very goodah drivah. Go verifast.
“Japanese drivah mustah not ruse face, try to catch up. Japanese drivah go verifasta too, get into wong rane – REFT TURN ONRY.
“Japanese drivah crash into vacant rot. Very rucky no one home.”