You wouldn’t get an electrician to fix your toilet, but inner-westies will run their problems past anyone…

    The loud crunching of food at the movies is annoying and should be banned.

    Graham, Footscray (via actual typed letter)

    You’ve shone a light on a clear conspiracy Graham. Just as burger joints add extra salt to everything in order to make you thirsty and buy a drink, cinema owners are selling foods with a higher crunch factor so that they can elicit repeat business. What’s that you say? Poppy-cock? Graham you sound like my grandfather! Wait – are you? We haven’t seen him for years, just disappeared off the face of the earth he did. Er.. but anyway back to the problem at hand. You see, just think about it, what happens when people crunch loudly while the movie is on? Correct – you can’t hear what’s being said and literally (and possibly figuratively) lose the plot. So what’s the solution? Well if you’ve missed half the movie because someone’s sucking down an industrial-sized packet of Burger Rings, you’re going to have to purchase another ticket and see the damn movie again! Cha-ching!

    I work in a large office with multiple kitchens, with hardly anyone in my corner of the building, so the nearest kitchen tends to only be used by me. Which is why this upset me so much. The fridge was empty one morning, and I had butter for my muffin which I put into the butter compartment as you do. When I came back later to get it, the only other thing in the entire fridge was a ripe banana, which someone decided to put in the butter compartment alongside my butter, leaving me with foul smelling, banana-flavoured butter. What kind of sociopath does that!?

    Mal, Williamstown (via email)

    Buttered muffins, ripe bananas, ha ha so much dodgy material you’re setting me up with there Mal. But rather than make fun of you I will try to help you get to the bottom of this. So skipping past the “who on earth butters a muffin question”, I don’t suppose it was a banana muffin? Because when you think about it, you wouldn’t have noticed the banana flavour in your butter, would you? That would have been a convenient solution that satisfied all parties I would think. Anyway, how do we move ahead with solving this thing? Move the banana to a more appropriate section of the fridge? A sticky note with a smug, holier-than thou message? Or do you just throw the banana in the bin and risk causing an incident? I’ve got an idea – just put a lock on that fridge and claim it as your own, and pin a map to the door directing random bearers of mouldy fruit to all corners of your building! No more buttery shenanigans for you!

    Pete, you helped me once before with a coffee-related ethical question (Issue #34), and I am hoping you can do it again. I just bought a new reusable cup. When I get a takeaway coffee, I usually put the lid on myself (I like to be helpful). If filled to the brim, this well known cup brand overflows when the lid goes on. If I point this out to the barista when I order, do I risk offending them? It’s just that when I’m rushing for the train in the morning, I simply don’t have time to take a couple of ‘pre-lidding’ sips.

    Lisa, Yarraville (via Facebook Messenger)

    Lisa as recently as even a few years ago your questions would have been dismissed by those-that-came-before-me as mere frivolous, pointless, yuppy angst. But times change my friend, and there is now a book of Commandments longer than Moses beard that dictates cafe, coffee & barista etiquette. Unfortunately this book is quite fluid – an ever evolving thing – prone to spillage and spoilage just like your daily soy latte. It’s also an open-source, digital crypto-doc as well, which means approximately 47 million people are editing it, moderating it, hijacking it, and blocking subterfuge at any given moment. But all this doesn’t really solve your first world problem Lisa. You won’t find a firm solution because it will likely be changed by a hooded cyber-terrorist in a dark basement in Lithuania by the morning. My advice; stop being helpful! Like most professionals sweating away in high-pressure, fast paced work environments, baristas have a system and like to do things their way – they don’t need interference from the rest of us…


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