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Showing posts from February, 2018


I hadn't slept very well, so I thought breakfast in town on the way to the office might be nice. It was one of those cafes that start with 'B'. Why do they all start with 'B'? What's wrong with the other 25 letters of the alphabet? Becco. Babka. Bruno's. Benito's. BluFish. Baa. Bello's. Baloo. They could call it Garbage Truck or Strong Smell of Liniment for all I cared. As long as the coffee was good the name didn't matter. The coffee was good. So were the scrambled eggs and bacon with hash browns, fried tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms on toasted sourdough. Should get me through to an early lunch, say around 12.30-ish. I browsed through the complimentary morning papers over the second coffee and then, after paying the bill, I winked at the waitress on the way out. Can you still call them waitresses, or are you up against some workplace discrimination law or other, and get hauled before a Human Rights Commission, of which we seem to have abo

Wednesday night.

Or it might have been Thursday morning. I didn't know the time. It could have been three in the morning. I woke with a start. I don't usually wake in the middle of the night. Why should I? What have I got to be worried about? Suddenly, something someone had said to me yesterday on the phone came back to me, for no reason at all. I had only been half-listening to him at the time, because I only ever half-listen to suits. Usually it's only quarter-listen. Often I don't listen at all. They talk rubbish and are a blight on the industry. For some reason three words stuck in my mind. The three words were 'review' and '$20 million'. I didn't know why something like that would bother me at three o'clock in the morning. Or why it should keep me awake for two hours. Once, something like that would never have bothered me. I must have fallen asleep around five. The warm, softly curved shape under the sheet next to me had not stirred.


Yesterday at the agency was horrible. So this morning I called in sick. But do you think they had the human decency to leave me alone? The bastards called me three times. I couldn't believe it. I could have been at death's door and they would have had no consideration or sympathy whatsoever. Advertising is truly a cruel industry riddled with uncaring egotists thinking only about themselves. The first call came on the second fairway, the second call on the fourth, and the third at the seventh hole. When the third call came, I really lost the plot. It totally destroyed my concentration. It was that idiot suit who had dragged me out of bed unnecessarily yesterday. (Of course, I should have turned the phone off, but I was waiting on a call about lunch with a friend from the office who had also called in sick that day, a coincidence that would not go wasted.) Seeing his name on the screen, I didn't even wait for him to speak. I shouted into the phone (it was quite win


The idiot suit, Phil, had arranged a client meeting for 9 a.m., when I am usually inoculating myself with coffee to steel me for another nerve-wracking day. Worse, the meeting was to be miles away in an outer suburb, so I had to be in the agency at the crack of dawn. At 8.15 a.m. we climbed into Phil's look-at-me BMW. I noticed with distaste the personalised number plates that read CL3V3R. I told him 1D10T would have been closer. Half an hour later we were in Bayswater, a land of high-visibility vests, and HiLuxes, and tradies, and plumbing businesses and BWS outlets and run-down factories. Every city in the world has its industrial areas, and their takeaway food places all have the same names. Ed's Takeaways . Eat & Go . Or even just Hot Pies . Phil drifted the BMW to a stop on the gravelled forecourt of a warehouse which had a rubbish skip out the front. We walked in through a metal door and entered a cold room with bare white walls. A low timber reception desk bore a s


A satire. I rocked into work about 9.40 a.m. just as several earlier arrivals were exiting for morning coffee at one of the dozens of cafes down the street. Years ago people made coffee from the urn in the kitchen in twenty seconds. Now they disappear for forty-five minutes and come back with six takeaway plastic-topped cardboard coffee cups set into a cardboard carrier the size of an aircraft carrier. Productivity Commission, anyone? After chatting with that strange breed of office workers who are always in the kitchen, I finally reached my office around 10 a.m. and commenced the twenty-first century white collar drudgery of 'checking my emails'. Naturally, I deleted most including the stupid jokes and idiot cat pictures, etc, that the cretin from the studio keeps emailing to all staff. I replied to one or two of the work-related ones in as few words as possible, and without a sign-off line. Having done with the office emails, out-of-office bouncebacks and meeting request

Kavali Fried Chicken - finger lickin' good.

Process the following: One tablespoon each chili and coriander powder One teaspoon each turmeric, fenugreek leaves, peppercorns, and salt 5 green cardomom pods 1 black cardomom pod 1 piece star anise 2 cloves garlic 1 inch peeled ginger 1 inch cinnamon 1 clove 1 pinch asafoetida 1 grate of nutmeg Half a teaspoon of sugar Three-quarters of a cup of vinegar Once processed, fold one cup of yogurt through the resulting mixture. Joint one chicken. Coat the chicken pieces with the spicy yogurt mixture, pressing it under skin or into slashes. Place chicken a large covered dish and store in fridge at least a couple of hours and preferably overnight. Barbecue time: place chicken pieces on grill. Cooking time is dependent on grill, weather conditions, wind direction, etc etc. Sprinkle cumin seeds over the chicken and serve with plain basmati rice with a salad of tomato, cucumber, coriander, white onion on the side and wedges of lemon to squeeze.

Steak sandwich making: Tim Blair gets a fail.

Chronic sarcastist Tim Blair's article in Monday's Daily Telegraph was titled The Greatest Steak Sandwich Ever Built . OK, the sub-editor writes the headlines, but it is still misleading, in the sense that someone might try his recipe and find it wanting. Tim discovers: ... the missing ingredient was brute force. But what steak to use? I've always been confounded by steak selection. Choose a substantial quality cut and it'll be too unwieldy for sandwich use. Pick something cheaper, thinner and meaner and you’ll endure a terrible chewing challenge. The trick is to find a small, thick cut and then bash it thin. I presume he means fillet. But this no way to treat it: ... commence whaling upon it with your steak mallet. I use a half-kilo bruiser liberated from my in-laws' old restaurant. There is no meat it cannot beat. Wrong, Tim. A steak mallet is designed to break down the fibres of cheaper cuts of steak. It will turn fillet into steak tartare, or roadkill that ha