SAFETY IN NUMBERS:
SAFETY IN NUMBERS: "Us dummies have to stick together,” says Bruce Devereaux who has just completed a first aid course with wife Tracey ahead of their round Australia trip.

Bruce and Tracey have a date with first aid

I LOVE my wife, not least because it's been my experience having her around always makes everything a little better.

"We should get the kid sized manikin,” Tracey suggested.

One of the last boxes to tick before we take off on our big lap around Australia was a first aid course for myself and Tracey. Since we're going to be on some long, lonely stretches of road and as far off the beaten track as the last bar of internet will take us, we thought it prudent to do a refresher.

I glanced around the class as pairs of people started to practice the only sort of chest beating I think I'll ever be interested in.

"But every one else has an adult doll,” I said.

"Maybe their kids are older,” countered Tracey, her mind clearly focused on the fact in a couple of weeks we'll be travelling with our five youngest kids.

A good point but I had a better one.

"I'm 50 next year. You're more likely to have to work CPR on me,” I reminded her while grabbing an adult manikin off the table.

I don't know if first aid is supposed to be funny, but we pretty much giggled our way through the whole day. Even before we started Tracey was using the course to keep us amused and safe.

"You wanna try the brake?” Tracey asked me as I darted through a yellow light. "It's the pedal you haven't been using.”

"We're late,” I explained. "They start in less than five minutes.”

"Yes, I know,” she said calmly, "but I haven't done the course yet so I'm worried I won't be much good to you if we crash.”

Except for the sections on snake bites and blue bottle stings - which nearly flatlined the whole bus adventure as we both fought off 'what if' scenarios in our heads - it was an educational day and something I think we both should have done years ago. To be honest it's one of the best dates we've had - it counts as a date because we had no kids. We even treated ourselves to KFC for lunch.

But best of all I got to show off one of the reasons I love my Tracey so very much.

"Usually,” I heard her say to the instructor and a couple of other students while I leaned over our CPR manikin to deliver a couple of quick breaths, "it's me making out with a dummy.”

See? What's not to love? As if sucking face with a doll in a room full of people wasn't hilarious enough, Tracey opens her mouth and somehow makes it even better.