Picture this: there I was, sitting in our South Melbourne office doing our last magazine of the year. Man, that’s a relief … don’t get me wrong, I love The Weekly Review … but like I said, it’s the last for the year.
Anyway, the call goes out: anyone want to come and be part of a marketing photo shoot at Claypots (at the South Melbourne Market)?
Well, yeah, a break from the desk would be good, I thought and, bugger it, I’ll have a beer while I’m there.
Thank heavens for EB, our editor. “Get going,” she said.
So six of us took a walk.
We all settled at the bar, waiting for the photographer to strut his stuff. The ever-present waiting staff took drinks orders. “Sure, I’ll have a glass of white.”
Renan, the owner (he’s a champion bloke), barked orders to the kitchen staff. “Get cooking.”
And cook they did as the snapper (yeah, there was snapper on the menu too) started to do his thing.
While he was snapping away, we were snacking away on grilled octopus, grilled prawns, grilled squid, Moreton Bay bugs and a whole fish (not too sure what it was).
Then the waitress brought a couple of ice buckets with chilled bottles of white.
Jesus, it really beat working. All too soon, the photographer had what he wanted, we’d been well fed, and after a second glass of wine, it was time to go back to the bump and grind at the office.
“You want to stay and have a few?” Renan asked me. “Sorry mate, but the office calls. What about the Elvis night on Thursday?”
“Sure,” he said, “I’ll look forward to seeing you here.”
Mateship (thanks Damo) is a great thing when the surprise is as good as this one.
ON A ROLL, MANY TIMES
And speaking of the market, last Saturday I did something I’ve never done before.
I went to my usual fruit and veg shop to get some stuff for a salad … a lettuce, some wine-ripened tomatoes, one zucchini and one pear.
I went to the cash-only checkout. The young girl operating the till just didn’t want to be there. There wasn’t a please or a thank you anywhere to be heard.
The woman in front of me in the queue handed her a $50 note. I watched in horror as the checkout chick struggled to get enough change … she’d almost run out of coins and, being the lazy bitch she was, handed the woman almost $2 worth of five cent pieces. The woman looked at me and just rolled her eyes (that’s not the first time that’s happened to me, but usually it’s for other reasons).
My turn. The tomatoes were $5, the lettuce $2 and apparently the one zucchini and one pear totalled $5.30. “I said to the girl: “Are you sure that’s right?”
“Yeah,” she said. I handed her a twenty and this time she rolled her eyes. Again, a handful of small coins and a $5 note, which she just dropped on the bench.
“Thanks for not a lot,” I said to her as the woman behind me in the queue rolled her eyes.
I went and bought some pork and chicken and pistachios for the terrine I was going to make, and I thought: “Bugger it, this is about principle.”
So I headed back to the fruit shop and queued again. When I finally got to the checkout, it was with a woman to whom I chat every time I’m there.
“I’ve already paid for this … that girl at the end charged me $12.30 … how much should it be?” I asked politely.
“She’s a bitch, all the youngies are,” she said, “it should have been $8.60,” she said as she rolled her eyes. “Go and tell the owner. He’ll fix it for you.”
I explained to him that, yeah, I shop here most times and I expect better treatment than that meted out by the out-of-sorts youngster. He rolled his eyes.
I went with him as he went to the head of the queue. “Can you refund this man’s change and then take a break,” he said as the woman, now behind me in the queue, rolled her eyes. The checkout chick was without eye roll … she just fixed me with a steely “you bastard” glare.
The woman second in the queue in fact worked out for the girl just how much change it should be. It was almost eye-rolling material for me as the checkout chick decided she had to go and get change. She almost had to be cajoled by the new checkout chick to do it.
“Just get the change,” she said to the unmoving girl, as she too (no, fair dinkum) rolled her eyes.
I don’t usually quibble about a couple of bucks, but this time I took exception to being treated like she was doing me a favour.
There was just one thing to do after that. A beer and a smoke at Claypots (the woman behind the counter just smiled … not an eye roll to be seen) and then head home to start the terrine (The recipe is already at the bottom of the blog somewhere).
By the way, I reckon the terrine was excellent. I took half to the office to share … the troops were complimentary.
In fact, no one rolled their eyes.
ME IN A NUTSHELL
- G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.