Home Hot Takes From the Zoo IN FOCUS: Apricot Chicken

IN FOCUS: Apricot Chicken

It’s the late 90s. You have just finished a hefty session of appearing online/offline on MSN to catch the attention of that special someone you hope will ollie your moist tech-deck at the after party of your school ball.

You’d happily stay online, but mum needs the phone to bitch to her sister about the price of school uniforms and Blockbuster slugging her $30 because your mouthbreathing sibling somehow managed to misplace Banjo Kazooie as well as 2 weeklies from the weekend.

Sliders won’t start for 30 minutes, so you catch up on all the latest news from the esteem destroying Dolly magazine while your brother mind-wanks to the casual smut contained in the FHM he fished from the crusty depths of the back toilet floor.

You dream whimsically about sliding into a different universe of your own when father makes the call, “kiiiiids, come set the table!” It was a call to arms that could only mean one thing – you were about to enter the average Australian lifestyle lottery of underwhelming dinners.

What fate awaited you tonight? Fuck, it smelt sickly sweet. Contained in the crockpot of broken dreams. Father opened the lid and a smell wafted through your abode. It was unmistakable, it was apricot chicken night. Your family’s prized Big Mouth Billy Bass seemed to mock you from the wall – ha ha, you little fuckling cunt. 

Steaming piles of apricot-scented-pus piled onto your plate next to scoops of overcooked rice that made Chairman Mao’s crimes seem like petty offences. Dinner was served and you knew if you didn’t eat every morsel of culinary child abuse you would be getting the wooden spoon.

Far from ashamed, your parents grinned in a state of late 90’s multicultural charm. Who needed the local Asian joint? They were cooking up fare hotter than a Tibetan monk with brand new Bic lighter.

With 3 cups of weakly mixed Coola cordial, you’d get the meal down. Gritting your teeth and praying for the sweet release from the tub of Neapolitan ice cream with a few healthy globs of Ice Magic.

Joy turned to horror as you realised only the icy residue on the bottom of the vanilla was left. Father had got into it after the pub again. He sure as fuck wasn’t going to leave any chocky for a parasite piece of shit like you. Whatever though, it was better than nothing, better than the lingering taste of apricot chicken that’d stay with you for the next 20 years. 

Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?

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