Dan­ger of the North­ern Sun

While cover-up is the best thing, it’s not al­ways easy

Big Rigs - - COLUMN - I SPY ON THE ROAD ispy@bi­grigs.com.au

THONGS are the pre­ferred footwear for many truck­ies in Aus­tralia, but does that ex­pose them to a big­ger dan­ger of skin can­cer on the feet and legs? It ap­pears that is the case. Spy had never thought about it un­til re­cently when cov­er­ing a big event.

Sev­eral truck­ies who had rub­ber thongs on were sit­ting in a row of seats be­hind some med­i­cal peo­ple.

Be­ing a per­cep­tive type, Spy heard one of the health group men­tion to her col­leagues to check out the legs and feet of the driv­ers, which they did in a se­cre­tive man­ner so not to let the truck­ies know what they were do­ing.

It seems both truck­ies had skin can­cers need­ing treat­ment and oth­ers which had been frozen out or sur­gi­cally re­moved.

What is com­mon knowl­edge is that sunspots and skin can­cers are caused by the sun af­ter ex­po­sure for long pe­ri­ods.

Now Spy has no med­i­cal knowl­edge, and at the first sign of a mi­nor con­di­tion con­sults a gen­eral prac­ti­tioner.

How­ever, I de­cided to men­tion the subject to more than 20 truck­ies whom I met up with at road­house park­ing ar­eas.

About 80% wore thongs and each one had either a sunspot burnt or frozen off.

Half of them had either basal cell or squa­mous cell car­ci­no­mas cut out by a doc­tor.

For­tu­nately none were di­ag­nosed with a nasty melanoma which made Spy sleep bet­ter that night.

By com­par­i­son of the 20% who wore shoes said they had not needed treat­ment for a skin can­cer on the legs or feet.

While that is such a small sur­vey, it does make Spy wants to issue a warn­ing to truck­ies: try and cover up the feet and legs when­ever you can.

Even if you wear socks with holes be­tween the two big­gest toes so a thong can fit com­fort­ably.

One of the truck­ies made a good point about the subject.

“Just about ev­ery road­house has a sec­tion on where they sell rub­ber thongs.”

Wind­fall for truckie? Per­haps

A RU­MOUR do­ing the rounds in out­back Queens­land is that a road trans­port in­dus­try iden­tity won $1.6 mil­lion at Lotto.

A per­son from Hugh­en­den, who wants to re­main anony­mous for ob­vi­ous rea­sons, took out a divi­sion one prize in early Septem­ber.

The gos­sip do­ing the rounds is that the lucky new mil­lion­aire is in­deed a road trans­port worker.

Spy can re­mem­ber a few years back when a truckie was wrongly touted as be­ing the win­ner of a ma­jor lotto prize.

The mid­dle aged ca­reer truckie had the “snip” or re­quest for a do­na­tion put on him by scores of fam­ily mem­bers and as­so­ci­ates.

And he never won a cent al­beit a close rel­a­tive of his did.

His daily bread

A MID­DLE aged NT truckie who was de­liv­er­ing into Queens­land was wait­ing for a back­load and about to ven­ture into a shop to purchase bread, milk and a pa­per.

Nearby was a small ve­hi­cle with the name of a radio sta­tion on its ex­te­rior.

There were a num­ber of peo­ple be­ing handed goods and oth­ers were pulling up in cars.

So our lad got into the ac­tion and was given a loaf of bread, a car­ton of flavoured milk, a copy of the lo­cal news­pa­per and a voucher.

Turned out it was a radio sta­tion giv­ing free­bies away af­ter ad­vis­ing lis­ten­ers on the morn­ing show of its lo­ca­tion.

The voucher was for a $20 dis­count on an ap­point­ment with a phys­io­ther­a­pist and our mate, who has a few un­wanted aches and pains, will use it next time he is in the town.

“I saved about $8 on the give­aways,” he said.

Tip­ster a win­ner

THERE is a punt­ing South Australian truckie nick­named ‘Spec’ who has a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing a tip­ster of some note.

He ap­par­ently pays for “the good oil” or the hot tips on horse races, mainly in SA and WA.

His suc­cess rate is about 30% but what makes this lad sought af­ter by truckie mates is that most of the ones which win are at juicy odds.

This month, Spy was given one of his tips on a WA race and told sev­eral oth­ers about it.

Spy never had a cent on it and the neddy greeted the judge at odds of more than 20-1.

Snow and fire

TRUCK­IES work in di­verse conditions in Aus­tralia de­pend­ing which area they are in.

Spy re­ceived a call from a Tassie lad the other day who had just driven through light snow on a road near Oat­lands which is off the Mid­lands Hwy.

An­other Ap­ple Isle driver told of heavy snow in the hilly roads around Ho­bart.

Then an­other con­tacted Spy to ad­vise of bush­fires next to the Bruce Hwy way up at Blue­wa­ter in north Queens­land.

Spy had to spare a thought for rail­way driv­ers and as­so­ci­ated staff work­ing the rail­ways in Tas­ma­nia.

I was told of a freight train trav­el­ling on the west coast through heavy snow and freez­ing conditions.

Palmer looka­like

THERE is a mid­dle aged truckie who is of­ten asked by peo­ple if he is con­tro­ver­sial bil­lion­aire and for­mer politi­cian Clive Palmer.

The gent was walk­ing through a shop­ping cen­tre and was spot­ted by Spy.

“In the last two days six, men or women have asked me if I was in­deed Clive Palmer and I must ad­mit I do look like him,” he said.

These were po­lite in­quiries, which is not al­ways the case.

“Some who think I am Clive have ver­bally abused me and about the same num­ber heap praise on me – or him,” he said.

Spy wanted to snap a pic of the gent how­ever he re­fused, say­ing he gets enough Clive Palmer com­ments al­ready. Not some­thing you’d wish on any­body re­ally...

CHECK YOUR­SELF: This pic taken at a road­house park­ing area of a gent wear­ing thongs with skin dam­age caused by ex­po­sure to the sun.

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