Hell of a day, today. Three thousand word deadline. School commitments. After school commitments. Unexpectedly sick kid. Like a Flinthart Day, but without the sangfroid.
Lunchtime found me hightailing it across the city to drop a sick kid off to mum so I could get to the Fathers Day school function for Kid #2 because nobody wants be that That Guy who leaves the kid standing there on his lonesome at the father-son gig.
So I dropped kid one, skipped the offer of a quick lunch because its never that quick in the city, pointed the Swedish battle wagon at the south side of the river and laid pedal to metal. There was a sausage sizzle on at the school, but I'd be turning up late – to a Father-Son sausage sizzle – and did not fancy my chances of even hoovering up some meat scraps and stray grease from the hot plate.
Four hundred dads. Free snags. You do the math.
At the back of my mind were all the unwritten words on my feature article and the sudden expiration of my security certificate for the Fairfax online publishing system one minute ( yes, one exact minute) after the SMH decided to run my blog on the front page.
And hunger. Hunger was also on my mind. Then I remembered a new place that'd opened up at the Gabba near to my destination. The Bakers Arms, a swish looking bakery which always seemed crowded. Crowded was fine. I wasn't going to sit down. I just needed to pick up a pie and get the hell out. How hard could that be? At a fucking bakery?
I secured a park right out the front and the pies were sitting there when I rolled in. As if Fate was setting herself to mock me. She's a vicious bitch, that Fate.
I ordered my pie and I must admit that even I was a little taken aback at the demand for $8.90 which followed. But this was not a sausage rolls and finger buns kind of bakery. This place had class. And $8.90 pies to prove it.
And then I settled in to wait for my pie. The Bakers Arms was pleasingly busy, but not so busy that I expected to wait more than four or five minutes. There seemed to be a fair turn over of meals heading out to the tables, and the take away line was not so long as to give rise to concern. Not until five minutes passed. Then ten. Then other take away orders began to appear before mine. Then someone dropped a hundred forks on the floor. And I was looking at my watch thinking I gotta go I gotta go I gotta go. But I waited a little longer. Fifteen minutes. A couple of salads and fucking chai soy lattes were served up. Allow me to reiterate. A couple of salads and fucking chai soy lattes! In a fucking bakery that couldn't get my goddamned pie to me without dropping a hundred forks.
Where was my fucking pie? In the outer wastes of the arse end of Absurdistan, that's where.
And then, eighteen minutes after I had first enquired as to whether I might place within my possession, and then my rumbling tummy, one very expensive pie, I saw the guy who'd dropped the hundred forks take an icy cold specimen from the chilled cabinet and line it up for microwaving. Even that didnt bother me. I just wanted my damn pie, nuked or not.
But it was lined up behind other pies, and possibly some sort of quiche, and that was it, Bakers Arms and I were done.
I turned to the woman next me, who looked like she too was in need of a pie, and I said "Madam, take mine. I can tarry no longer".
And with that I left. Pieless and $8.90 poorer.