Need any clay?

While I was waiting for a train at Brighton Beach yesterday morning, there was a bulldozer doing its thing nearby. I stood there watching it ferrying loads of dirt from one pile to the other. I was pondering if someone could make a mint of money by setting up a quarry somewhere, and letting blokes discover their masculinity by paying to drive a bulldozer around in the mud for a couple of hours.

The driver paused and shouted out of the window at me: “Do you need any clay at home?”

I laughed. “No”, I replied, “Got plenty.”

He grinned and kept going.

(And it’s true. Andy, who does my gardening for me, reckons there’s some clay in the back garden, giving the grass a hard time.)

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “Need any clay?”

Brighton Beach is my station!
Touch wood, I haven’t had a cancellation for over 2 months. Yah!

The bulldozer operator asked you a deep existential question that clearly depended upon a metaphorical understanding of the Judeo-Christian roots of European civilization and all you can say is “Got plenty.” Or were you being subtle and were actually expressing your Enlightenment-based humanist values via the use of the vernacular?

I think I should go and get myself a coffee.

Any other interpretations?

More seriously, that kind of easy banter where everyone’s your mate and you can just pick up a conversation standing on the corner is something that I really, really miss since having left Australia. When I try to do it around here as often as not the people look at me like I am crazy. Then again, maybe that’s just me.


My wife (or one of her friends) had this same idea (moving dirt around play area for men) a few years ago. I think the insurance costs quashed it.


Somebody over here in Germany already had the idea to let men play with bulldozers. You pay per hour and can use bulldozers, big lorries and other machinery on a special site full of sand.

If clay is a problem, spread Gypsum of the affected area – it helps break up the clay. Helped our new lawn establish itself – just before the water restrictions killed it.

There was a article on one of the Travel/Touristy shows about driving a Rally Car or a Bulldozer – can’t find it but from memory it was up near Newcastle (NSW)…

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