IN FOCUS: Yumbo Fever

The only thing that has got boomers friskier than the rent moratoriums lifting is the reintroduction of the Hungry Jack’s Yumbo. Nothing satisfies a hard-earned hunger from jacking up rents on negatively geared properties quite like an unimpressive, microwaved ham & cheese sandwich.

News that HJ’s were bringing back the Yumbo sent shockwaves across Facebook where the boomer diaspora have now settled and claimed as their homeland. Not only did it fuel their ever-yearning need to pine for the past but it provided a perverse validation that their generation’s cuisine was in fact the culinary highwater mark of history.

Although the more cynical amongst us will claim this is merely a marketing ploy to wrap $1 worth of dogshit up in nostalgia and flog it for $3. Then again, it’s not like fast food has adhered to any other business model. If it works, it works.

Context is important when it comes to Yumbo fever. It has to be remembered that the Yumbo was a crowd pleaser in the 70s and 80s. Of course, a young’n would look forward to ham & cheese when all they had at home was water from a garden hose and a casserole dish filled with grey meat or apricot chicken.

Unsurprisingly, FB was flooded with pure boomer bullshit as they reminisced on their Yumbo experiences. Apparently, this was an era where you’d get dressed up to go into the city. Putting on your Sunday best and then marching 15km in the baking sun with your family so you could all share a single Yumbo, which was all they could afford.

The situation today is quite different. In fact, outside of an “overtaking lane ahead” sign in the outback, the need to be the first to get a Yumbo is one of the few things that get a Landcruiser 200 series moving along at pace. Remarkable.

Teenagers all across the land watched helplessly as the hordes of gummy-gourmands descended upon their workplaces in search of Yumbos.

Drive-through speaker boxes copped the absolute lot as oldies lost their cool trying to deal with this fan dangled technology. In their day, a polite young girl would rollerskate out to you and take your order personally, or some shit.

Surely this whole circus was worth it though? Had HJ’s whipped society up into a frenzy for nothing? Well, early reports weren’t great with many conceding that it was a lacklustre, untoasted ham & cheese sandwich.

Harsher critics would allege that between the buns resembled more of a yeast infection in some flogged out flaps than a tasty meal. Unless you’re into that kinda thing.

Critically though, it wasn’t the SAME as the romanticised version from the past. Perhaps it was the styrofoam box that gave the old Yumbo its flavour or maybe people are just incorrectly remembering a snack from 20+ years ago.

FB lit up with the disillusioned ramblings of an aggrieved demographic. Such a build-up for such an anti-climax. They knew it had something to do with iPads and kids not playing until the street lights came on but all they know is that the Yumbo didn’t meet their expectations.

It seems that much like Hey, Hey it’s Saturday, it’s sometimes best to leave the decomposing remains of a good memory in the ground. Rather than dig it up and act surprised when it stinks up the place.

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