ASK PETE: YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS SOLVED!

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Aah Pete! Kinda rhymes with excrete – which is what this man tends to do (verbally) when given a chance!

Pete I read your story last month about the unfortunate soul stuck without toilet paper. It made me think about a more serious issue that is playing out in toilets all over the world each day – the roll that faces the wrong way!

Jonesy, Yarraville (via email)

More toilet dramas Westsiders? This has always been a contentious issue, after all, a toilet visit is an important event for many of us, and it tends to all unfold a little bit smoother if everything is in it’s correct place. Yes Jonesy, I like you, am a little anal (pun intended) about my daily ablutions. But I think the sensible way to look at this problem is a little like this music analogy – you’re either a Stones fan, or you’re a Beatles fan, there’s no sitting on the fence. Similarly you’re either a roll facing towards fan, or a roll facing away fan. Whilst pondering your problem during my last ‘visit’ Jonesy I combined these two conundrums and came up with a little tune; “I know, it’s only toilet roll, but I’ll wipe it, wipe it, yes I will…” Ha Ha Ha!


Pete I started going to the gym which has been great. One thing I don’t get is the music they play though. Apart from the fact that it’s really loud and bloody awful, nobody listens to it, they all have earphones in. Even the staff member who put its on just leaves the room!

Liam, Footscray (via email)

Liam the music in gyms is like the music in clothes shops, the only difference is that in a clothes shop, the people who play the music actually hang around to listen to it. They listen to it so much in fact, that they completely forget to serve customers! Hey Liam, a gym is not the worst place for bad music – let’s face it you are just there to work-out, maybe sweat a little and then leave. But remember that music has long been used to manipulate us – in church, at political rallies, and during Nicholas Sparks movies. And when the owner of my favourite bar has had enough and just wants to pack up, he plays ‘go home’ music – music so bad you tend to just scull your drinks and head off. “You, make me feel… mi-mighty real” works every time!


Pete I’ve just started trying to cook with a little more flair but am wondering why so many recipes use ridiculous ingredients I’ve got no hope of finding? Tarragon vinegar, banana leaves, poblano chillies – seriously it’s infuriating!

Jane, Spotswood (via Facebook messenger)

Jane I empathise with your plight. Your choices seem to be: continue doing your head in trying to find pickled walnuts and moon dust on the shelves at your local Coles, or go back to cooking starchy boring favourites from your childhood, like bubble and squeak and toad-in-a-hole. Each has its pros and cons of course. If you forge ahead with this idea that becoming cooking’s new rising star will increase both your culinary wisdom and popularity, each notch added to your apron may represent the loss of a wafer thin slice from your soul. But if you go back to the old ways, no one will want to dine with you and your reputation will flat-line – unless of course you invite members of your local RSL around for dinner. It’s up to you – at the end of the day does it really matter where your popularity comes from? It certainly doesn’t to me!

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