A 52nd birthday celebration for a 3rd generation Balcatta family means only one thing: a belt-unbuckling assault on the local Sizzler. Only kidding, there is no chance Tony is going to wear something fancy enough to require a belt. Nope, he opts for Big W comfort wear and slicks the remaining 13 hairs on his head to form the Borneo-Orangutan of comb-overs – sadly scarce and underpopulated.

Tony insists his entourage get there half an hour early to snag as much complimentary cheese toast while they wait in the corridor of shame. He grabs a young waitress by the arm and leans in as saliva bridges start foaming in the corners of his mouth, “where’s the free cheese toast, luv?”

She feels the planetary sized arses of his group begin to gravitate around her with murmurs, “are they getting the cheese toast”, “I’m bloody hungry”, “save me some after I have a shit”. Christ, she doesn’t get paid enough for this.

She hurries back with a tray of complimentary cheese toast and Tony grabs two pieces and palms them into his sweaty face with all the restraint of Huey creating his version of butter chicken. He sounds like a pug with hayfever as he shares the juicy chewing experience in full Dolby Digital sound. It’s OK though because his group are doing the same. It’s a virtual orchestra of stomach-churning mastication techniques and the entire queue has a front-row seat.

A waitress appears and promptly herds the buffet-bovine to their table – aka the slaughterhouse. Their 10 person table looks like a who’s who of the frozen food section of your local Coles and they have carnage on their minds. Some of the casual gluttons discuss their life, but Tony is a professional, he is focused on one thing and one thing only – salad bar strategy. He is obsessed with the idea of not letting Sizzler “win”.

He orders a chicken malibu burger and the salad bar. As soon as he is given his plate he roams towards the promised land. First and foremost, he creates a mighty mound of caesar salad and peppers it with potato wedges and splashes more Caeser sauce than Julius consummating his relationship with Cleopatra. He nudges his wife, “remember to get a salad in, doctors orders, luv”. He is stretching the definition of salad further than the elastic on his mustard coloured jocks.

He leaves a trail of fallen food as he tries to balance Mount Heart Attack as he heads backs to his table to begin the feast and repeat the cycle. After a mere 3 plates, he starts to feel a little full. Who would’ve thought to empty half the tray of potato bake could have an appetite crushing consequence. No problem, he heads to the toilet and pulls the emergency fat-shit-chute and dines on the super-model-dessert: two fingers followed by a powerful chunder.

He storms out of the toilet a new man. Born again in a desire to binge eat. He crop dusts past a group of boganettes who heard every guttural heave. He imparts some wisdom, “can’t let Sizzler win, ladies”, as he pulls his trackies up over his man-gunt and heads back to his malibu chicken burger. They continue to shovel more mini marshmallows into their lip-smacked shame-holes as they watch Tony power waddle into the distance.

He proceeds to eat ¾ of his meal and then promptly complains that it wasn’t up to scratch. Some cultures thank an eatery after a meal, some even tip, but in the Perth suburbs, there is no better way to end a meal than an ugly confrontation to try and scam a discount because you a human trash can.

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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