End of the Tour

The end has come to our Summer Tour!

Once again, I am so unbelievably proud of my little 3-man team.

We’ve had some ups and down over the course of the last fortnight, but I can safely say that this has been the best tour we’ve had so far. We’ve smashed last year’s effort out of the park by visiting over twice as many events, including a few Farmers Markets and even a Golden Anniversary Party!

During the hours of driving and hectic set up operations, I tried my best to take notes of special moments to write about upon our return, but my memory’s not as it used to be (we’ll have to get Jeff to write one of these next time!).

So without further ado, I present to you the four best moments of 2016’s Meatsmobile Tour:

The International Food Event

Food-festival1Our third food festival on the tour, this one was by far the biggest and busiest that we’ve ever done.

It’s a good thing Grandpa got us up so early, because the queue to get into the festival ground took 3 hours alone!

Luckily the organisers were incredibly professional and gave us everything we needed to get set up in breakneck speed. This was fortunate as, by the time the lunch hour approached, we were swarmed by customers.

Theo Sr. really out-shined himself here, taking orders faster than we could keep up with them and entertaining the waiting customers at the same time – a true professional, if there was ever one.

The Smithston Wedding

wedding burgerOne of the last few stops on our tour, when it came to pulling up the fancy Manor House where this wedding was being held – we were all wrecks.

Nearly two weeks on the road had eroded all our hearts and just finding the place had already caused an argument. However, when we were greeted by the Bride and Groom (the first to be served of course) all that tired cynicism and irritability melted away.

My Jeff did a wonderful job of serving the guest of honour here, I was even surprised to see a little tear in his eye when the Father of the Bride gave his speech – what a softie!

Lost Exhaust

broken downNo road trip is complete without at least one major breakdown.

Ours came just after leaving our first Farmers Market – thankfully. I’ve never been sure about the exhaust on The Meatsmobile, the van itself isn’t even ten years old, but it’s always looked suspect to me.

Well, my suspicions were confirmed when we knocked it right off when Jeff was taking us through some country lanes. Of course we didn’t actually notice for a good 50 miles – by the time we’d realised, it was too late to go back and get it!

I’ll never forget how frightened young Jeff looked when he woke me up to tell me that the exhaust had gone, I was so tempted to pull his chain – but I knew that the time for pranking would come at a better time.

Clean Up Prank On Jeff

Parker-and-Grandpa-laughing_photogalleryDuring a typical service  we can prepare up to 80 individual meat-based meals, all of which are fried on our huge grill in the transit.

We’ve also got an oven in the back that keeps meats warm, before we re-fry them again on stove top. Even though we all take turns scrubbing those damned appliances each night (even Theo Sr. has a crack at them from time to time) we never seem to be able to avoid dirt and grease build up. By the end of the tour, both are a wreck and unusable.

This year, whilst we were driving home, I was talking to Jeff about his pay and how much of a good job he had done. I could tell he was tired, big bags under his eyes and his lids drooping. This is when I casually mentioned one last job that he had to do for me before he could get paid. I saw his eyes flick open, and his head start to take. Before I even mentioned the grills he was loudly protesting and causing such a ruckus I could barely concentrate on the road for laughing.

A good lad, I didn’t make him clean them. A decent oven cleaning service is all that was required, I’m a tough task-master, but I’m no villain.