Running with Moke empty
byDave Margison

It was that time of the year again in Cairns, Parade time. Hurrah! And Tricia
and Max had once again done us proud by managing to squeeze us into
this popular parade through the streets of Cairns to showcase our Mokes,
even though it was way past the deadline for entries! The us were - Max and
Tricia, the leaders of the pack in ‘Anabella’, followed by none other than
Cairns’ mechanical Mokemaestro Mr.Darren Jones himself in ‘Bugs’, the three-
cylinder turbo-diesel Moke. And in the rear but not to be forgotten was me in
person in ‘Mokio’.So three Mokes.

The day started as it usually does with the sun rising but this was no usual
day, by golly no, this was ‘The Grand Parade’ day with tons to do on our
Mokes in preparation. But moreover as well as the councils theme for the
parade - ‘Flower Power‘ we Moke folk were to yield a better one, yes indeed,
for the year was 2104 no less and the 50th anniversary of our classic, and
getting more classic by the day, marvellously mighty Mini Mokes! Gee that
was a long sentence!

I decided not to mess around with my Moke and go the whole hog. The hog
for this occasion being the full treatment. So enough of the preamble and
down to the nitty gritty.

Now there's a fair amount more reading - you didn't want to stop here and
make a cup of tea or something? O.K. boxing on . . .

I had had a beaut Official 50th banner made at our local you-got-it-we-can-
copy-it shop. Yes, just on paper but laminated with 1200 micron clear glossy
film and tough as old boots. A wooden stick was nut ‘n’ bolted on either side
to the side window frame of my Moke, using existing holes - dunno why they
were there but very handy.

The banner had plenty of extra clear film at each end to wrap round the sticks
and make secure. With the sticks being one-and-a-quarter-inches square it
was easy to drill a hole in the top end of each into which a $2 Aussie flag from
our ‘Reject Shop’ was inserted. Wow! the Moke now looked smashing.

I hope you are all captivated by this - you don't get to read about this sort of
thing every day of the week you know.
Anyway ‘the Moke shall have music wherever it goes’ - loud music! So out with
my lounge-room, spare, super JVC Tuner/Cd Audio System with twin matching
3 -way speakers and my super 600w DC/AC inverter and all rigged up nicely
but not so nice, if fact terrible,it wasn't working! What the hell and bugger,
was I dead disappointed? I sure was. So being much too late in the day to
persevere with it I grabbed my very old portable karaoke boom box it was
made in the era when boom was 60 watts - remember that time? It did have a
12vdc input as well as 240vac and Aux in, so that was reet handy. I tied it to
the hoops at the back and with R'n'R music inputfrom a Walkman portable Cd
player all was ready? Er . . . not quite.

Most of the show would be in darkness so into my shed to dig out my
flashing beacon. You know; the ones they have on the roadside when repairs
are going on - nope didn't pinch it from there - got it from my local recycle
yard - believe me. Now I hope you haven't fallen asleep already as the parade
is about to begin. “Thank the Lord,”says you.

It began in Martin Munro Park as usual and as usual the ‘kick off’ was 45
minutes late which was a pain in the proverbial I can tell you. Tricia had
brought strings of artificial flowers for us so that we would blend in as it were
and smiling balloons which cheered us up no end.

And we were off and racing and boy-o-boy were there ever big crowds ? Yes
Siree! Oodles had turned up just to see our Mokes- and maybe a few of the
other floats perhaps.

Apart from the music I made my presence known with an ear-splitting
siren,Rrwirrowa! Rrwirrowa! ‘Spellchecker’ didn't like those words - it's got no
imagination! Please don't laugh - have you ever tried to translate the noise of
a siren into English? This siren was operated by my passenger and Moke-
enthusiast-to-be, Ramiah, while another noise maker was a more sedate
bicycle horn, Toot! Toot! ‘fired up’ by the other passenger, my nearest and
dearest Grace. And the light was flashing well as well of course Flash! Flash!
Did I tell you about how I rigged up the siren? No? good job I didn't, ‘twould
have taken up half a page!’

Anyway there we were in ‘Mokio’ chasing Darren and Darren in ‘Bugs’ was
chasing Max and Trisha in ‘Anabella’it was about half way along the Esplanade
when ‘Anabella’s’ engine died and she came to a full stop! Rats!Then
we stopped and so did the 20 floats behind us.Woe, woe, and thrice woe,
whatever can the matter be? At the time anin-the-middle-of-the-road repair
job was far from what the vast crowd was calling for- so what alternative ? Yes,
you got it in one - Tricia and Max jumped out and ‘ran’ with their Moke to the
end of the parade. Only there, where they were not in the way, did they
discover the problem - no petrol!

“Never mind Tricia and Max, it can happen to the best of us, and I figure you
did put on the best show stopper of them all!”

Now I am hoping you have understood this article, if not, you will require a
piece of my mind. Did you count the colloquialisms? And I’ll bet you need that
cup of tea now.