Thursday, December 13, 2012


Michael 'Your Friendly Neighbourhood Butcher' Burton donned the blue course-setters apron and sharpened his knives, as he dressed the window display with prime cuts and choice offerings for Christmas. Michael, mostly known for his juicy steaks (and the 'GalaxyWurst' sausage), augmented the beef and lamb displays with a range of poultry - including that senior bird, the 'Coogee Duck'. For many buyers, eager for a bargain, the duck proved a tough bird. A very tough bird.

"Tell me more Pork Pie (hereafter old Duck Pie?)".

Arriving shoppers, parting the plastic fly curtain and ordering the Wednesday special, received a portrait wall chart indicating thirty common cuts. Somewhat resembling a slabby and untrimmed Porterhouse with a fatty middle, the spread looked reasonably within budget and thoughts strayed to higher quartile scoring - until the duck factor kicked in. A duck-in here, a duck-in there - ah ha, the Butcher was going to make you flap your wings to earn your points. It was to be an evening of 'Doing a Larry', ducking in and out to the many dead ends to pick up the meat.

So, looking at the course in more detail, we see the Butchers Block itself hosting several tough whacks with the cleaver (21,12,22,24), while the lamb loin chop pairing of 16 and 25, also needed well glued false teeth to chew and digest them. Further west, cleaner loops meant less 'duck-in' work was required, although checkpoints 19,20 and 30 all saw runners ping and reverse direction. The south western Butchers trio were pretty tough ducks - with the long flogs to water level at 21, 12 and 22, all rendering the returning uphill shoppers breathless putty in the hands of the Coogee maestro.

Given the threatening land owner, the linking path to Woodford Bay was rendered (boiled down if you will) out of bounds, making the fifty points at 16/25 an out and back flog of testing proportions. This 'duck-in/out' took the cake, and I suspect the stuffing, out of most who ventured here, but was probably the cut of steak most quickly discarded by runners on a more sensible budget. As noted above, twenty one looked the worst of the others, although #12 required a similar effort - and only gave you a twenty dollar hamper for your troubles.

In making a selection of the cuts (points) available, many liked the look of the Tambourine Bay shopping, and  especially the 26,27,30 collect that seemed an affordable add to the main Longueville offering. The bush tracks in the middle of the course are well and fondly remembered, and Michael included good scoring here for those that like a touch of eucalypt in their mint sauce. The wider loop west (19,9,29,28,18,27 - ignore #8), worked well for the guns, although they had to annoyingly duck-in/out to #30 in working their trip here (a brilliant bit of setting). The way out and back to the creek/west was either go 11,20,10,30,19 and a clockwise claim, or work up the peninsular (some after beeping the Blockies themselves), and run in at the north via 6 and 7 before booking 26,27 and an anti clockwise route.

If of any interest, correspondent 'Duck Pie', managed a win in LM with 360 points, and an 'anti' circuit that began in/out to 11, then 1,22,2, the Block to 4,15,5,17,6, the creek to 26,27 reverse engines, in/out 30,10 in/out 20 and flog home. In other observations, the 17-6 joint could be carved on either side, scrambling 26 to the road worked, the natural stone bridge at #10 gets the 'natural beauty' award (closely run by #7, the sewer manhole) - with a very difficult decision on the lonely pot. Number eight in the west was easily dropped from the wider claim as I have mentioned, but worked for the 27,8,29,9,19 runners. Maybe the dreaded #21? Maybe the pair in Woodford Bay (16,25)?? Mmmmm, much to cogitate on - especially if enjoying a sirloin with a nice Shiraz.

So, a wide course offering from our friendly butcher, but plenty of interest and choice. Not so spread as 'The Heavy Rollers' last week Epping epic (good correspondence after last weeks post), but a challenge all the same. 'The King' at the head table won the night, posting a final 550, after his full girth measurement of 590 inches was reduced by a 40 point vegetarian penalty. All hail to Richard for another magnificent run.

We see a couple of zero point totals on the Specials blackboard, and a sensational minus 230, at the other end of the dining table - and plenty of action in between. Now that we have given the event 11 meat tray a close inspection, lets pop the competitors on the barbie and see how they cook.

Our age class winners are (again) much as before, with fearsome competition in many categories. We have mentioned His Royal Highness, King Richard Green taking out the MM title with his 550pts - pipping Glenn's all stations 600 (-60) 540 in the same age category. The Open's saw ties in both classes, with OM stars 'The Pen' and 'The Hangman' both carding Glenny's 540 (Steve in early, Mark a 580 minus 40), and with Catherine and Gill both posting 490's in OW (this time Catherine in with a nicely timed 44.48 and 'I'm Not' working a 510 minus 20). In MW, Carolyn 'New' Haupt worked the City of Sails trollybus to a clear win with 400, holding off rival MW fancies Rachael and Mary by twenty.

Briefly in other winning postings (I'm suddenly thinking chocolate - weird in a butcher's shop), the Curries both won in SJ, 'The Underarm Ball' and Georgia took the J's, Pete Annetts and 'West African Slavery' tied in the vets (holding off 'The BSA' by 10) while 'The Blast Furnace' and Ross Emslie tied up a ton each in the SVM's (Neil interstate) with 390 apiece - both interestingly home in minus ten after 45.30 and 45.39 final beeps. Paula and Karin won various V's, the 'Pie' managed a rare win against 'One Flick & Their Gone' in LM (360/350, with 'The Pants' back on 330), and with Mary Jane going back for seconds in LW. 'Not' June Stanley had a full head of steam up to crash through in the Immortal Women, and Heiko suffered a rare loss in IM - going down by ten to Teddy and Mal.

Interestingly, Wendy Stevenson walked last night. Her 260 just shy of 'The Paving Stone's' 280, and giving her OW rivals a night off. The 'Bus' is keeping something in check for a bike event I gather. Jimmy walked with granddaughter Blyss (she posts an inaugural 140 in SJW), giving Wazza and Mel a kilo of mince in the WaM's  Also, in the stars on the bench stakes, Eoin 'The Rothbury Estate' Rothery, only at half speed in SVM with 260 points - or is that pints (of Merlot of course, the choice of meat men in the far west copper mines).

The Feet generated another excellent roll up at the Longueville Butchers Block, with 204 entries, and another 18/20 or so following mummies and 'partners' into the shop. Always a popular venue this BB. And one where our most popular score (260pts with 17 runners) was the same 'most popular' as the last time we were here!   Velly weird missus Pork. Actually, the 17 nags on 260pts only just made it, with 15 runners going sixty better in carding a trendy 320 - including mum-to-be Sue Davis, Miles 'The Trumpeter' Ellis and Garingal Master, Emmanuelle 'The Conservatorium' Convert (also on trumpet).

We again had runners from interstate (Melissa 'Terry' Thomas from Red Roos in the ACT (350 in OW - and no gap in her front teeth), and Clifford  'Mr D'arcy' Heath from Bayside Kangaroos in Melbourne (a smouldering 340 in VM), and what might be a prelude to the NZ Oceania Challenge in January - runners from Europe coming down under to begin their campaign, including Aran Lankow (OM), Sweden's Per Ivarsson (SVM) and Paivi Srppola in VW. Welcome all.

Our longest on course award goes once again to Ian 'The Incan Ruin' McKenzie, walking for 97.40 to collect all and a 70 point Guiness pie. 'Princess' Amelia and 'Prince' William weren't out quite so long (84.23) but managed to convert their 170 point lamb roast into a minus 230 point serving! No gravy for these two. While I'm on a theme here, Stephanie 'No Relation' Allen earned 320 but then lost 320 after refusing a police escort and taking the wrong tram home. Her zero post is a classic tale of selfless enjoyment - and the merits of crispy bacon.

We had two 'one second overs', with Andy Hill going 52.01 and the Bryan Merzeo 'Estonian Folk' Group doing likewise with a 42.01 outing (in flashy skirts). Tough stuff - like the Duck! A close shave worth another gnaw of the bone, is Paula 'The Saveloy' Savolainen - home in 44.59! How's that for timing, and not burning the Ozzo Bucco.

A couple of other scores to finish (before shop closing). We had four competitors that enjoyed The New York Cut (400pts), including Andy 'Randwick Racecource' Graham and 'The Ink Bottle'; eight that went for the Rump (300pts), including Gordon 'The Blue Engine' Wilson, 'The Vegie' (great to see Ronald out from under the Pinus Insignus), Ian 'Big Blue' Miller and (having jumped ship) Tania 'Park' Kennedy; three that ordered the Pork Chop (200pts), including tour driver Kerry Hass 'Pass'; and a singular 'Frankfurt' (100pts) in Barbara 'Keep Working Barb' Junghans. Excellent scoring throughout the price category, with something for everyone in the 'Make Mine Meat' stakes. Full scoring will be up on the web shortly of course - as is our style at the Summer Series Showroom.

A couple of final points to conclude a wonderful evening of 'Jamie's 204 Ways With Lamb'. Did you hear of Michael and Connie getting their car 'bogged' putting out controls! Where, which one?? A prize  for the first correct answer. And Richard 'The King' downloading after his top run - into a 'Clear' Si box!! Nearly lost the lot, but recovered by a quick thinking Foot (was this you Andy?). Phew!

So thanks Michael for another cracker, and to the other Feet for helping (good to see 'The King of the Rock' there). A great night eating Peking Duck - and a tasty Reschs to follow.

Next week Gordy is leading the Bennelong team in our traditional pre Christmas run at Balmoral. Although the focus is expected to be Balmoralish with a whiff of beach and the excellent old tramway line cutting, we are starting up the top at Suakin Drive, so expect a little Contour Kate in the mix. This is an outstanding venue of course, and Gordon knows how to dampen the running top. Expect fireworks from the BNO star as we ease into the holidays, with fish & chips on the beach, or pot pie at the pub, as temptations to end the evening - and almost our first half. Make it a date.



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