Half-Gallon Jar caused panic in the restaurant
Py korry, it's a funny thing how one little thing can upset a whole weekend. Last Friday I forgot to buy the meat. Well, you'd think the world had come to an end. The mother in law she say to me like this:
”Well, Hori what did you bring home in the way of meat for the weekend?”
“Spare me days” I tell her, “I got busy talking to a pakeha joker in the pub about this and that and one and another and forgot all about the meat”
Well, the Hon Mabel Howard is only in the primers compared with the mother in law when it comes to the speech making.
She opens up on me and her bottom jaw does about 500 revs to the minute.
“I notice” she barks “that you didn't forget to bring home a couple of half-gallons of beer”
“Well” she goes on, “we have to eat dinner on Saturday night so you had better take us to some restaurant in the city.””
We leave the kids at home with a few meat pies and some pigs trotters and set off in the old V8 for town. I find one of those eating places and take the missus and her mother into this joint. When I go in I think there must be a power cut or something' cause the place is in half darkness. There are a lot of candles about, stuck in bottles with the candle grease plastered all down the sides. Py korry, I don't see this since I stayed at my uncle's farm at the Great Barrier Island in 1948.
A joker comes along and says “Good evening, saire. Have you booked a table?”
I say “No mate but we are hungry and want the good feed”
This coot says “Alright, just sit here and I will see that you get attention”
Then he claps his hands and a joker comes along with black patent leather hair and a white towel over his arm.
This chap bows so low I think his head will touch the floor and he says like this “It is a pleasure to have you with us. What can we do for you?”
I say “Fish and chips for three with a few mussels and some crayfish claws on the side.”
Well this waiter joker gives me a look and pulls a face as if he had just taken a bite out of a green tree tomato.
“We only serve fish as an entree” he says
“Ok” I tell him “bring us some of that”
Then he says. “Don't you want to see the menu?” and he brings along a piece of cardboard a bit bigger than a time sheet but smaller than a ship's manifest.
While we wait for the fish a pakeha girl comes along with a basketful of little round buns as big as a ball on a trailer couples, but harder, which she takes out of the basket with a pair of tongs. By this time the waiter with the patent leather hair has brought us our fish.
Well, fair dinkum, you wouldn't read about it. This entree fish is about the size of a packet of razor blades and, py korry, we're all very hungry. We can't read what is on this menu thing 'cause is all written in some strange language so I point to one item and say “well have some of that”
This waiter coot gives me another our look and says that is the name of the piece the band is playing – a joke as old as I am.
“Well” I say “ that rattling noise you can hear is the mother in law's ribs knocking together, so bring us some tucker to keep them apart.;”
We then order some steak and eggs. While this is coming up I go out to the old V8 and bring in the good old half-Gallon jar. Well did this cause the big trouble!
They did everything except call out the fire brigade. The boss man waves his arms about and has the loud korero with the waiter and the girl drops the basket of buns and the tongs.
“Take that thing out of here quick” says the boss “or we will all lose our chance of getting a license for the plonk in about three years time”
Well at last we get the steak and eggs, so after we finish I ask for the bill. The waiter joker says “That will be 27 bob each, plus a cover charge for the band of 7/6 each making a total of £5 3/6.”
The mother in law starts to argue the toss about the prices, but he says all the prices are on the menu. But we can't understand the writing on this thing.
We go out of that place smartly and on our way home we stop at the pie cart and have a feed of pies and peas. When I get home I go under the house 'cause I know I left a couple of dozen mussels under a wet sack there, but py korry, they've all gone. The wife's brother has clouted on them while we are away, so I go to bed hungry
Just before I leave for work this Friday the mother in law comes to me with a piece of strings and says “Hori, tie this on your finger to remind you to get the meat”
“I say “Don't worry! I'm going to tie a piece of no.7 sash cord round my neck to remind me to buy a whole sheep”