It’s definitely a skill, a skill that one has to master in this industry, no I’m not talking about driving a big truck with a massive load on the back, that’s a skill so few actually want to learn it’s not worth considering. Oh oh bitchy side note: there is a lot of people in this country that want to haul big loads for the money it attracts, but there is so few who want to learn how to do it. Too many dickheads in this country get their truck license and just assume they can tow any load, it’s like the dickhead that gets his car license and automatically thinks he can tow a tri-axle trailer with three tonne in it because he doesn’t need a license endorsement for the trailer. In this country give a guy a license to drive a semi trailer and he thinks he can put the Titanic on the back and drive across four states. It’s a joke, but that’s human nature for you.

No the skill to which I refer is driving a truck, any vehicle really but a truck with a road ranger gear box adds to the excitement, while trying to eat a meat pie and sauce without spilling a drop of that gravy soaked mystery they claim is meat. If the pie isn’t cooked right you can quickly find yourself with a handful of crumpled pastry and a mysterious brown stuff dribbling down your arm and into your lap, added to that it’s hot and you could quickly have a your own roasting meat and potatoes before you know it. (obviously that last bit doesn’t happen to female drivers but I’m sure it’s still uncomfortable)

It really is a true art eating a mystery bag at any time but in amongst gear changes and steering, keeping your eyes on the road and the mirrors, watching traffic and traffic signals and singing to the song on the radio, it becomes an art many people don’t succeed at.

Put yourself in the situation for a moment…aaahhh can you not just taste that wonderful crispy pastry on the top, the softer more rigid pastry base that holds it together, you hope, and that meat they claim is beef but could just as easily be horse, camel, dog or who knows what…wonderful image isn’t it. Now picture yourself with that smothered is a sticky red goop made mostly from tomatoes and sugar. It can be eaten from any hand but only one because you might be able to steer with your knees but you need a free hand to change gears and flip the bird.

As you bring that hand closer to your mouth you can feel the heat from inside that pastry sack, you can smell something you tell your brain is beef, you can smell the dead horse on the top and your mouth is watering because you haven’t eaten for two hours. One eye is still on the road ready to alert you of any potential problems that may arise and need your attention, and ear is tweaked for engine revs and any other noise that shouldn’t be there and your second eyes is watching the light brown meat sack get closer and closer.

You’ve done well with all your efforts and you’ve got that fine dining feast to within inches of you mouth and there is no cracks in the pastry for the mystery meat to leak out. You open your salivating mouth ready for a bit and then you hit a bump and the bostrum seat bounces you upward. Of course you swear, but the severity of the curse word depends on the whether the meat bag misses your face as you bounce.

Assume you missed your face and you breathe a sigh of relief and go for that first bit again.

You bite into the crusty sack of pastry and mystery meat and two things happen. First you burn your tongue and the roof of your mouth because it’s not a meat pie if it’s not fucking hot! The hotter it is the more it hides the dog. Secondly your get a slop of red dead horse from on top on the end of your nose. You could take your hand off the steering wheel and wipe you nose but chances are your still swearing and trying to eat that read hot mouthful.

Once the first mouth is down you then repeat the process however now there is a new risk and it’s a risk that happens with every mouthful until the end. You’ve broken the seal, there is nothing keeping that gravy like mystery meat inside the pastry casing, tilt it the wrong way and you’ll end up with roasted meat and potatoes, tilt it another way and you’ve painted the cabin and steering wheel in a sticky gooey mess you can’t clean properly until you stop which could be hours.

See what I mean when I say it’s a skill that needs to be mastered? If you can’t eat a red hot mystery bag, drive, steer, change gears, sing, watch the road, navigate, indicate, overtake, and be safe about it, you just can’t call yourself a skilled driver!

Eating a snotblock requires a similar skill-set. For those who aren’t educated a snotblock, or what some people call a vanilla slice, is a thick slab of eggy custard, not too stiff that it feels like leather and needs a saw to cut it but stiff enough to hold it’s own when cut into five inch squares that are at least three inches high. Surrounding the custard is two layers of puff pastry, the top one being covered in a thick sugary icing (or as the Americans say frosting) quite often in the manly colour of pink.

Like a meat pie eating a snotblock is a skill you have to master behind the wheel, the contents aren’t as messy if spilt, and there is no risk of roasted meat and potatoes, however the eggy custard can make the floor of the truck slippery. But the challenge is to eat it without dropping anything because who really wants to waste that wonderfully sweet and slimy custard block? Only a heathen would consider such a thing.

There is one final problem with eating such delicacies and that is, from the meat pie you’re bound to end up with dead horse and maybe even some gravy mystery meat on your fingers and from the snotblock you’re bound to get some of that sticky sweet pink icing on them. You do of course have two choices, a quick lick and suck clean between courses or go for the double and wait until the end and get the mixed flavours of dead horse, mystery meat, pastry flakes, eggy custard and icing all in one delicious taste sensation.

You are welcome for the tips!

Now where was I? Oh yeah headed towards Riverbend before heading on to Grenstein for our evening rest.

Previous Heavy Haulage story here.