They were one of those couples I imagine indulge in subversive sexual practices. All that was missing were the neck braces and the wife suckling a piglet way past its weaning age. I write 'imagine' coz I don't really want to find out, I just enjoy projecting thoughts like that onto unsuspecting happy campers who epitomise the nuclear family daydream.
Jaded? Not me! There are some strange people out there, guys. There's no better way to find this out than to go camping for a few days on a sun drenched beach, blown to bits by the easterly, sharing a drop dunny with forty or fifty other punters, all of whom are determined to see out 2008, whether 2008 likes it or not.
It gets a bit like tenement housing around the salmon camps this time of year. Things become positively Dickensian in our deep south paradise, especially when the toilet fills to the brim and wafts its ripe aroma around the cooking fires.
The ranger is absent. There are no 'interpretive plaques'. Tick.
There's a bunch of teenage p-platers next door, busy gidgying inedible fish and stoking up their bonehead bull mastiffs. They are nice. They took some of our empty beer cans and plastic bottles back to their camp.
There's cooked chook and blood-soaked watermelon and coleslaw and chops in the esky. Tick.
There's a couple of crusties, all thorny toes and wrinkled ochre knees. 'Sunbirds' who fish all day, play 6VA on their car radio and give the kids party poppers and whistles for New Year.
Then there's the snooty school mums in their new Landbruisers, whom we don't like and only ever choose to hang out with in the real world when our children are too young to just drop at birthday parties and run.
There's the other crescendo of teenagers, hurling around an axe in a world record attempt at drunken wood chopping, to the strains of doof doof and breaking glass.
There's the Mexican festival of inebriated guitar-playing derelicts staggering across the dunes, stopping occasionally for a 'little rest' in the soft, soft sand, and then invading en masse somebody else's modest New Year bonfire, crossing arms with them all and insisting on singing Auld Lang Syne. (Oh, hang on, that was us.)
Past BeachCamp Neighbours of Note.
There was the good wife who knitted beanies for a living and home-schooled their peer-starved only child. The husband killed sheep.
Things began to get strange after the smoke did a few circuits. "I know where there's some sheep," said Hubby. He got out his knives and left for an hour.
During his absence, his wife quizzed me on my relationship with my friends there. She was one of those people who just won't listen once their mind is decided and sniffily told me that she thought it highly inappropriate that I was married to so many men all at once. Her knitting needles fairly clacked with disapproval.
Hubby returned with a sheep of dubious origin that he proceeded to butcher in front of us, in the most inept and macabre fashion I have ever witnessed. It was getting close to midnight. Limbs, bits of wool and strips of fat and flesh dangled from the carcass. These bits he'd slash at with an intensity that flagged with time (even though he held a knife in each hand), gripping a fag in his twisted little sphincter mouth, stopping only to neck more straight Bundy.
The baling twine broke. Mutton hit the dirt. He stayed up the rest of the night, muttering, shouting and guarding his kill from the dogs.
There was the Magpie Man, doing laps of the continent in his orange Kombi with a pet magpie and a broken anvil in the back. He told tale after tale and not many were true, most were probably lies but he held me in thrall and I think that is the point.
There was Pricilla, queen of the vision quest, who disappeared for days up Mount Manypeaks, found her way to the iconic nipple and met her Familiar, returning craggier and more spaced out than ever.
There was the couple who arrived at Cosy Corner for the local square dancing convention. Their caravan had - electric stove, electric lights, electric television and dvd player. Oh and did I mention the electric hot water system? They hated us because we tried very hard to make more noise than their thumping fucking genny, it whoomped all night. On the ground. On a piece of corrugated iron. We failed.
I could go on and on. Yes. Pauly. I was never sure whether Pauly was Aboriginal or Lebanese but he talked like those guys from Pizza, so he was most likely the latter. That urban, toothless, snakey flatterer, one eye on me and the other scanning our camp.
There was the old man at Cosy, who spent weeks there recovering from an intestinal disease he'd caught during his ten month stay with a family in Brazil. He sat perfectly upright in his Coaster bus all day and just looked out to sea. When we finally got to talk to him, he made the kid's eyes bulge at the photos of those Rio Mardi Gras women. He was kind, he told lots of stories and I think they were plausible.
And the Subversive Sexual Practices Couple? Well that was another outrageous Sarah Toa hook, I'll admit. He was actually a mortgage financier from Sydney, fleeing the carnage that he could well have helped perpetuate, driving with his family to out-of-the-way places in their black Mercedes four wheel drive. Quiet places, anywhere out of mobile phone range.
His wife was a handsome sort with impossibly gorgeous breasts, quite probably a product of the pre-economic meltdown. And no, she wasn't suckling a piglet. Sorry.