Never a dull moment in car wash, just clean fun
I WAS only seconds into my interview for this week's column when I discovered my subject, the manager of Carwash Headquarters, was a good bloke.
After all, he had the same Christian name as me.
What's more, it was spelt the same way!
"I thought I was the only one with a 'y','' I remarked as I wrote Darryn Baker on my notebook.
Mr Baker: "I thought I was the only one.''
Turns out Mr Baker, originally from Warwick, was on holiday here 11 years ago visiting a relative when he said to his wife: "If we ever moved somewhere, this would be it.''
As fate would have it, the upholsterer, motor trimmer and windscreen fitter by trade, landed a job interview in Rockhampton not long afterwards.
"It was at Windscreens O'Brien.
"At the time I didn't have a driver's licence because I'd been done for DD (drink driving).
"The bloke who interviewed me said it shouldn't be a problem as I'd be starting off in the workshop.
"I was told I had the job. My wife had 80% of our stuff packed when he called back and said he'd had second thoughts.''
Now Mr Baker could have held a grudge against Rocky, but instead: "I said to my wife we've just about got everything packed, let's go!''
As the saying goes ? the rest is history.
"I've got no regrets at all,'' Mr Baker said.
"It was the best move we've ever made.''
Mr Baker, a father of four, aged 16 months to 17, said Rocky's laidback lifestyle did it for him.
"It reminds me a lot of Warwick, just on a larger scale.''
Mr Baker has been at Carwash Headquarters for a bit over two years, having worked his way up from assistant manager.
In that time he's seen a few strange things.
"I remember one day these four chicks came through.
"They were all wearing bikinis and covered in mud. There was more mud on them than the car I reckon.
"They ended up hosing each other down and they spent a few bucks.''
At this point I started to think I was in the wrong game.
"Na mate, it's only happened once,'' Mr Baker assured me.
I managed to get another tale out of Mr Baker, albeit reluctantly.
He told me about the time a customer, a regular mind you, had forgotten to hang up a hose.
It became caught on his rear spoiler as he left and ripped it clean off.
"He was furious,'' Mr Baker said.
"He wanted to knock me out when I said we couldn't take responsibility for what had happened in a self-serve bay.''
Fortunately no-one was hurt during the making of this episode.
"I saw him a few months later and I said g'day and he said g'day back, so in the end it was all okay,'' Mr Baker said.
I left thinking there was never a dull moment at a car wash ? just good clean fun!