Thursday, 5 February 2009


I’ve never eaten “Frozen Meal in Box”.


By “Frozen Meal in Box”, I mean those things that are tricked up to look like a full-fledged proper meal with a proper name and all the trappings and accompaniments. Like “baked potato” and “fresh peas” and “creamy sauce” and such.

I’m not talking about stuff like frozen fish fillets or frozen pies, both of which I’ve eaten on occasions and, especially in the latter case, have always wondered why on earth I bothered to put the stove on in the first place.

For frozen pies are fucking horrible. You’ll never eat a frozen pie and say afterward, “Damn, that was good”. It’s as if someone’s deliberately gone out of their way to present you with a pastry that has the consistency of a Gingernut biscuit which has been soaked in an unidentifiable meat flavour for a few seconds and then baked on the lip of an active volcano for a week or three.

And the packets advertise contents like “tender chunks” or “herbs and spices” being present in the foodstuff. If your definition of a “chunk” is something the size and shape of a toenail cutting and to you “herbs and spices” means a midget pinch of white pepper, you might find this type of mulch to your liking.

To me, however, “herbs and spices” means you add the spice to the fucking food, not wave the stuff about over the top of the pot for an eighth of a nanosecond.

Anyway …

“Frozen Meal in Box”.

Yesterday, I saw some “Frozen Meal in Box” advertised in a Coles or Woolworths brochure, and they were on special for four bucks a pop. I thought to myself, “That’s pretty cheap. Maybe I should buy some “Frozen Meal in Box” and give it a try.”

And then I thought, “Hang on. Is this an indicator of something? If I begin to eat “Frozen Meal in Box”, does this mean that I will have started an irreversible decline into old age where, by the time I’m 70, dinner will mean a slice of toast with half a tomato and a glass of milk, because I just couldn’t be bothered anymore?”

That’s what happens when people get old, isn’t it? And I’m now officially middle-aged, aren’t I?

And now, after 30 years of mostly making my own meals, I find myself at a point in life where I’m beginning to think “Frozen Meal in Box” may be a plausible option for food?

It presents me with a vision of my life 12, 13 years from now when (I hope) I’m retired …

Where every morning at about 9.56am I shall shuffle from my one-room bedsit above a bloodhouse pub somewhere in Deliverance country down to the scarred, piss-and-vomit smelling public bar (for that is all I shall be able to afford) there to sit for 8 or 9 hours grunting meaningless familiarities to the bartender, nursing 3 or 4 schooners of basic beer over that period of time as my brain slowly turns to blancmange from the constant hum and throb of Fox Sports on the 478cm holographic plasma television that hangs above the Kettle Chip rack.

And, at the end of the day, before the bar I have now come to call “home” will be invaded by loud, gaudily dressed, rude young things and their horrible music, I shall shuffle back to my tiny little nook in shapeless trousers and shapeless shoes, a shapeless t-shirt flapping about my shapeless frame of shabby bones to plop into a shapeless chair, the highlight of my day being the keen anticipation felt for the next 25 minutes as I patiently wait for my special weekly treat of “Frozen Meal in Box” to unfreeze …

“Ooh, look dear, you can get 4 varieties for 10 dollars at Aldi this week …and they have some very good generic denture solvent for only $1.75 too.”

It’s life Ross, but not as you’ve known it.



Scott said...

That's quite a vision you've mapped out there, Ross. A man's gotta have dreams.

Ross Sharp said...

I shall have slippers to keep my feet warm, and an old dressing-gown sash shall be strung along a window from which I will hang my smalls.

With some Frozen Meal in Box and a Ronco Inside-The-Shell-Egg Scrambler, all the comforts of modern life shall be mine.