I’ve got this mate called Pieman, and he’s a really good bloke and is always the life of the party – at least, he used to be, before a bizarre and tragic decision changed his life forever.
Growing up, he didn’t mind a pie, hence his nickname. But he played footy, enjoyed breakdancing (he even appeared on an episode of Hey Hey it’s Saturday, where his head-spinning routine gave Molly Meldrum a boner that lasted for days) and even broke a unicycling world record. But all that ended a few years ago, when he made a drastic and dangerous choice. We were drinking heavily at Erina’s Woodport Inn when he told me of his plan.
“I’ve made a major life change,” Pieman explained, before taking a huge gulp of beer. I edged away from him, in case the ‘major life change’ involved a burning desire to root me up the blurter. But the truth was far more shocking than that.
“I’ve decided to go on an all-pie diet.”
I let that sink in for a second, took a sip of my beer, then shook my head. “What the fuck are you on about?”
“I’m on an all-pie diet. It means that all I eat are pies. Meat pies, chicken pies, egg and bacon pies…”
“Well, I just really like pies, and whenever I’m eating something that isn’t a pie, I wish it was a pie. So, yeah, I’m not gonna bother with other shit anymore.”
I finished off my beer and headed to the bar, returning to the table with ice-cold two drinks and a packet of cheese and onion chips. I opened the bag and Pieman politely declined, before looking longingly at a week-old pie sitting sullenly in a warmer.
“But you can’t live on pies alone!” I reasoned, while Pieman sat there licking his lips. “You’ve gotta have vegetables or you’ll die.”
“Fuck mate,” he responded, swigging his beer, “what do you think tomato sauce is?”
I left it at that, and went off to pick up (and have disappointing sex with) a blonde spunk with a Yosemite Sam tattoo. Three weeks later, I was back at the Woodport, when a massive hand dropped on my shoulder. I looked up to see a fat bloke with a pallid complexion, sunken eyes and a slight twitch. I only vaguely recognised him.
“The all-pie diet’s doing wonders for you, Pieman,” I squeaked.
“Thanks mate,” he replied, then let out a rancid fart that would kill a Chinaman from 20 paces. “I’ve never been happier. I’ve just bought myself an industrial-sized pie oven, and the local pie shop delivers a fresh batch of pies every morning. I’m living the dream, brother.”
“What about work?”
“We had to part ways,” he nodded, fishing a party pie out of his pocket and guzzling it. “They didn’t understand my philosophies, and I’ve also been a bit short of breath lately. Must have a cold or something.”
“Must be that. Certainly isn’t the 30,000 calorie-a-day diet.”
A few weeks after that, I was at the shops buying Bryan Brown’s autobiography, The Lyfe of Bryan (it’s brilliant), when one of those mobility scooters almost ran over me, and I looked up to see that the fella behind the wheel was the size of a bus. It was Pieman, his fat rolls oozing over the sides of the scooter like a melting birthday cake. It smelled like he was sweating gravy. With him was a woman old enough to be his mother, who possessed a face that looked like Dave Warner had been using it for batting practice.
“This is my lover, Darla,” he explained, before tossing a chicken and garlic pie into his mouth. The thing next to him reached into her handbag and pulled out another pie, which she placed in Pieman’s blob of a hand. Seconds later, it was gone. “As I like to say, crusts get the busts.”
“I like a real man,” the thing said, then licked her lips in a way reminiscent of a lizard. “Skinny men can go to fucking hell, I need a proper man with some meat on his bones.”
The old lady was a fucking feeder! She’d latched onto Pieman, and was stuffing him full of pies so as to make him as fat as possible! I had to do something!
But then I got drunk and forgot about it, so I didn’t hear from Pieman for another couple of months. When I did, it was via a phone call on a wet and windy August evening.
“I’ve been in hospital,” he heaved. I barely recognised the voice on the other end. It was pained and troubled. “I had a bit of a heart attack and they had to take me away so I didn’t die. They had to carry me out on a stretcher made of bed sheets because the normal one wasn’t big enough. I guess I’ve put on a bit of weight since going on the all-pie diet.”
“Yeah, you could say that. So what did the doctor say?”
“He told me that if I stay on the all-pie diet, I’ll be dead within a year.”
“Sounds about right. So you’ve gone off it?”
“Yeah. It was magical while it lasted, but I have to put my health first. So I don’t eat pies for every meal, and I feel better already.”
“Good on you, mate! You’ll be back in shape in no time. So what does the new diet involve?”
“Well, it’s easy, two days a week, I don’t eat any pies,” he said, before pausing to catch his breath. “So on those days, I eat sausage rolls instead.”