Kitchen karma

Wallington and I marvel that things generally go so right for us. Maybe it’s karma.

Maybe in a previous life I was a sniveling street urchin with a heart of gold. I quite possibly gave my last stollen – sorry, stolen – husk to a pregnant, destitute prostitute.

Maybe Wallington conjured positive fortunes in the palms of feckless, luckless, hopeless souls and changed their lives.

Things go awry sometimes when we are out and about with others but mostly it seems the sun shines, the luck lasts, and Geelong wins when we are together alone.

Tonight we decided to head out for dinner. Cheap and cheerful. Every morning we walk past a place called Chris’s Kitchen in Glebe Point Road, a Thai place that claims to have been the Thai place in the Bank Hotel in Newtown for many years. We’d been to the Bank. It was good.

Wallington read bad reviews online. ‘Sold on. Sold out. Bloody awful’, they said.

That’ll be rival Thai joints up and down GPR spitting chilli, I declared. Let’s decide for ourselves.

When we got there Chris’s Kitchen was closed. That sorted that. Maybe it was a dud? We turned around and decided to go to another Thai restaurant nearer to home. We call it the Tom Gung Gong Gong, but that’s not its name.

I found a car park not far away and checked coin for the meter. I had 40 cents. We’d be booked before we had our fish cakes. ‘Unbelievable,’ I think I heard Wallington mutter. She is forever shovelling spare change my way to keep in the dashboard for parking meters. (Or beer.)

‘Let’s just go to the Harold Park Hotel,’ she said, exasperated. We’d been driving for fifteen minutes. We drove home and walked down to the pub, two minutes away.

The Sydney Comedy Festival is on and the HPH is one of the venues. We bought drinks and asked for a menu.

‘We’ve only got this menu,’ the barman said. ‘It’s food in a box you can take to the show.’

‘I’m not going to the show,’ I said.

‘It’s just that we get so busy. You can still have the food but it will be in a box.’

‘A cardboard box?’


‘Do you get a knife and fork?’


Dinner was becoming difficult and slightly ludicrous. We’d been out for half an hour now and were two minutes from home facing the prospect of eating food out of a cardboard box with our fingers.

‘If we’re going to do that,’ I said to Wallington, ‘let’s make it pizza back at home.’

Greg Fleet sat down at the next table and phoned home and talked to his daughter while he ate his food out of his cardboard box with his surprisingly small fingers. People started arriving for the show. It was feeling vibey instead of ludicrous.

‘Should we stay and eat cardboard food out of a cardboard box and laugh upstairs about bogan mogul brawls?’ I asked Wallington.

We decided to head home. I phoned a pizza joint that had recently opened in Annandale. Made in Italy. Friends had declared the pizzas terrific. I ordered this with pepperoni and that with funghi. ‘Delivery within 45 minutes,’ he said.

‘They just say that,’ I soothed starving Wallington. ‘It’s Tuesday. There’s a universal pizza law that pizzas arrive within fifteen minutes on a Tuesday.’

Two hours after heading off to Chris’s Kitchen our pizzas had still not arrived.

What about that street urchin, palm reading karma? Why was everything going wrong? Why had Matthew Stokes got a one-week ban for not even properly hitting a Richmond player who had already punched him on the jaw twice and not even been reported? Why had I tossed and turned last night in a half-dream that I’d bought a new game of Scrabble and there was one K and one A missing? Why had the Sydney Comedy Festival made food in Sydney come in cardboard boxes? Why was the Tuesday universal pizza law not working?

I phoned Made In Italy in Annandale after almost an hour and a bottle of red later and wondered if in fact the pizzas were being made in Italy. He was sorry the delivery had taken so long. Not as sorry as me.

I was starving. The ‘let’s go out’ evening had been a disaster. I told him I would go onto social media review sites and report their crappy service. Which I will do.

The doorbell rang. The food in cardboard boxes was here at last!

In the (extremely) end the pizzas were great, which is a shame in a way because I will never go back there. Capitalism is such a hungry beast and I’m fucked if I’ll feed its failings twice.

All of this is true. But…

At the same time that I’m having these first world trivial trials I know that people are starving and struggling here and around the world. One person who eats almost as much as I do is my noble nephew Patrick. He is now eating on $2 a day.

If you want to support him in helping the kids of Timor Leste then I will love you evermore if you can, and do.

PS: Patrick – sorry about all this food talk. The pizzas were great. Have you ever had pizza?


Living large on $2 a day.


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