A tale of a democracy sausage stall gone wrong.
Bazza yelled at Mick:
“Turn the heat down on the onions, Mick. Slow cook them and chop up some of that rosemary growing over there, throw in a bay leaf or two and a slurp of balsamic vinegar will help caramelise them. We’ve got to keep the voters happy.”
He snapped back:
“It’s a sausage sizzle, Bazza, not Masterchef. I don’t know why you’ve bought half a dozen different types of snags from Josh the butcher, bloody tofu and so many varieties of bread.”
Bazza said: “It’s a democracy, Mick. A sausage sandwich to suit each voter. Anyhow, get a move on, here’s our first customer.”
Mick welcomed the customer: "Good morning Mrs Jones, and I must say you look immaculate today. How about a gourmet sausage sandwich for you? Mick is a bit slow with the onions, but the sausage is cooked to perfection.”
Mrs Weatherspoon said: “Thank you Barry, just my usual plain sausage sandwich and I like the way Michael cooks the onions and I don’t know how many times I’ve told you my name is Weatherspoon-Jones.”
Bazza tapped the tongs a couple of times on the barbeque: “Ahhh well in that case….. have two sausage sandwiches.”
Mrs Weatherspoon-Jones face tightened as she unfolded her own white cloth napkin, carefully wrapped the sausage sandwich and continued her march to democracy.
Mick shook his head and pointed his tongs at Bazza:
“Don’t upset the customers, Bazza. It’s a bloody fundraiser.”
A mixed bunch of voters soon gathered around the barbeque as Bazza spruiked the range of sausages and Mick waved his tongs in vain at a group of sullen young people: “They all look the same to me, mate, first one you grab will do me, just not that one there. Put a heap of tomato sauce on it to hide the taste, in case I don’t like it.”
Bazza sighed as most other patrons followed suit, all avoiding the same sausage.
Trade was brisk until Mick dropped his tongs at the request for smashed avocado and cracked black pepper topping from a young couple, and the patronage completely stalled when two customers considered the barbeque fare for some time before eyeballing Bazza.
They weren't happy:
“Mate, you’ve cooked the tofu with the sausages. We are vegetarians.”
Bazza scratched the back of his head: “Sorry about that. Ah, you’ll have to compromise, otherwise, we would need a separate barbeque, but I’ll put it on some mixed grain, stone milled, slow-baked sourdough bread to make up for it.”
Trade continued at a steady pace until there was a request for a halal sausage. Bazza placated the customer with an onion sandwich and a promise to widen the variety next time.
Close of business left Mick and Bazza staring at the single, now overcooked and much-overlooked sausage, still sizzling away.
Mick wrapped the sausage in two thick slices of white bread with the last of the now black onions and took a small bite, as Bazza counted the takings.
Mick spluttered, spat out the contents and binned the sausage sandwich: “That’s a rough bloody sausage, Bazza. I can see why the punters aren’t keen on a curried chicken sausage sandwich. Anyhow, how are the takings for the day?”
“When I take out the costs, Mick, we are in a severe deficit. I think we have overspent on the gourmet sausages and types of bread to suit every voter.”
John Longhurst is a former industrial advocate and political adviser. He currently works as an English and History teacher on the South Coast of NSW.
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