The Stuart Highway, named after explorer John McDouall Stuart, runs north-south through the centre of Australia from Darwin to Port Augusta for a distance of 2834 kms.
It draws attention to a worrying development in the Australian cattle industry. Not only is it seen by many as unnecessary pampering to issue I-phones to cattle, but also adds significantly to the cost of a decent T-bone.
Furthermore, it increases the probability that a beast, temporarily distracted by its txting activity, will wander onto the highway and get hit by a 50-metre road train travelling at 110 kms/hour or more, with the result that the I-phone gets run over and broken. This is of course the risk to which the sign draws our attention.
Recent research has shown that the majority of txt messages sent by cattle are of a trivial nature such as “C U at the dam” or “which paddock R U in?” Bulls have been known to send txt messages of an unsettling nature to cows – “wot R U doin 2nite?” is a mild example.
This all goes a long way to explaining why Telstra and other phone companies are so slow to provide phone coverage in the smaller towns and villages across the nation – they’re too busy installing mobile phone towers in cow paddocks. We’ve learnt to look for free-range eggs in the supermarket. Now it’s time for us to insist on beef from phone-free cattle.