Il Duce


We all have moments in our lives when time seems to stop. I had one a few years ago when a large 4-WD SUV vehicle pulled into the lane in front of me. It wasn’t a traffic accident – the car was being driven very well. It was the name the back of the car…the SsangYong  Musso.

I ignored the SsangYong. Like ffitch-Smythe and llewellen, the double letters are just cultural pretence. It was that Musso that grabbed me.

Musso is the Australian slang for Benito Mussolini…the head of the Italian fascist movement and a man who briefly hung around petrol stations…as stinky a name as Hitler. How any sensible oriental marketing department could have thought to send that one here is beyond me.


Imagine my delight upon discovering this Musso in the long-term car park at Perth Airport this week. From the looks of the left rear tyre, it has been a longer stay than most…


I suspect that it will be longer still. My daughter once worked for the airport and mentioned that it was a regular problem – backpackers would club together, buy an older vehicle to travel Australia, then merely abandon it in the long-term park when they exited Australia…not caring what became of it after that.


That’s all very well if they post the keys to the airport and agree that it can be sold off for the parking fees, but if they take the keys away or bin them it means that there is a hell of a lot of fuss that has to be gone through to remove the hulk and dispose of it. By the looks of this  Musso it has been in the hands of the tourists all right, and from the looks of the ground around it has been there through several rain storms.

Perhaps it is just the vehicle of an exceptionally conscientious mine worker who has elected to stay up in the northwest through several work cycles and will eventually come and claim it. Or it could just be a giant keychain ornament…


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