Cookin’ With Gas

Cookin’ with Gas was the best Mexican themed restaurant in Chinatown that Melbourne has ever seen, and I should know. I was the owner: the one and only Jack Cookin’.


I only owned Cookin’ with Gas for two months but it was some of the best two months of my life. I was surrounded by some pretty wacky characters- there was the loyal, fat, head chef, Heado; the stubborn, sassy, head waitress, Waito; the extremely French waiter, Patty McIntyre; and a few others who I’ve forgotten the names, roles and personalities of. I loved them all like family.


We got into some bizarre fun adventures in my time there that’s for sure, with shenanigans aplenty. Like the time one of the cooks got accidentally deep fried!


“How did this happen?!” I asked chef Alcoholly, who was uncharacteristically inebriated.


“I thought he was the pig!” she slurred.


“That’s a silly mistake!” I screamed.


“Boss, the mayor has just arrived,” Patty informed me.


“What!? Which mayor?”


“Uh, the mayor of this city.”


“Oh no! Uh, OK, give him the finest table in the place. The one with the least amount of broken legs. Ol’ Two-ey.”


“Very good sir.”


“OK, Heado, how will you survive without the dude that just got deep fried?”


“Bad, boss! He was the best cook here!”


“Hey! Hey! That is a goddamn lie! I’m way better and waaaaay better!” spat Alcoholly.


“And Alcoholly’s drunk! She can’t work like that!” yelled Heado, as Alcoholly punched a bag of flour for looking at her the wrong way.


“Hey, I am not drunked!” she barked, and then proceeded to throw up all over a freshly cooked plate of fajitas.


“Oh man I hate when she does that! Well where am I going to get two new cooks from? Space?! Because Space is closed tonight I’m pretty sure!”


“Shame, they do good milkshakes.”


“I know right! Anyway, any suggestions?”


“Jack, you’ll have to shut the restaurant down,” said Waito, stubbornly.


“Lemme clarify. Any suggestions that aren’t BLOODY DUMB AND STUPID? The mayor is here! And I heard he’s mates with the Assistant Mayor!! And the Assistant Mayor has a pool! Imagine getting in his good books! Wait a minute… good books! That gives me an idea! My mate Goodo! He’s read heaps of books! About cooking! I’ll call him up and he can fill in!”


“Hmm OK, but we still need one more cook.”


“I’ll do it!” I volunteered. “I can whip up a tasty dish or two, I’m not just a pretty face.”


I pointed to my face for emphasis and in the process knocked over a wok, pouring mince all over me.


“Ugh my face! Anyway, Patty, call Goodo.”


“Uh sorry sir, I don’t have his number.”


“Oh nah, he’s asleep in the gutter outside, just call his name.”


Goodo showed up half an hour later. As he walked in, I whispered to the staff.


“Oh by the way everyone, he’s a massive racist, so be nice.”


“Wait, wha-”


“ Hey Goodo mate!” I yelled.


“Hey mate, so what’s the bloody story?! You got some French wanker working here!”


Patty looked slightly offended.


“And why the hell do I smell Mexican food?”


“Well it’s a Mexican restaurant.”


“Mate, I’m a pretty reasonable bloke and I only got one rule when I work: don’t make me cook anything that’s not Aussie. Or be around any food that’s not Aussie. Ya dumb prick.”


“Hmm yeah OK that’s fair.”


“But Jack, I just finished a plate of tacos!” yelled Heado.


I threw them against a wall.


“Too bad! We need to only make Australian food because Goodo is racist and we need him as a cook because otherwise we won’t be able to make food quick enough and the mayor will leave angrily and our restaurant will get a bad reputation and we’ll have to close! Do you want that, Heado?!”


“No sir, I do not.”


“Then let’s get cookin’! And everyone remember, we’re an Australian themed restaurant now!”


Minutes later, I had just started barbecuing some snags, when Patty burst in.


“Mr. McLachlan, what am I meant to tell the mayor about this sudden change?”


“What sudden change?”


“Waito told me we’re an Australian themed restaurant now?”


“Oh, that, yeah. Well tell him that nothing much has changed. Just read the Mexican foods as their Australian versions. So, a burrito is a sausage. Chipolatas are chips. Taquitos are … um…ok, taquitos are off the menu.”


“Um, OK, I’ll…I’ll tell him that sir.”


“Good help is so hard to find these days,” I muttered to Goodo as Patty left.


“Yeah and he’s a fuckin’ French prick!” Goodo yelled.


Patty overheard this and threw down his waitering towel.


“That’s it! I quit!”


Patty left the restaurant and never returned.


“Damn!” I swore. “”I left my Wheatus CD in his car! Also now we need a new waiter!”


“I can wait, mate!” said Goodo.




“Jack, no we need him to cook!” Heado pointed out.


“Oh yeahhh, man, it’s just predicaments central tonight, eh guys?”


Waito burst in.


“Jack, most of the customers have left because this isn’t a Mexican restaurant anymore.”


“Uh oh. Did the mayor leave?”


“No, apparently he wants a nice juicy steak.”


“Excellent!” I replied. “Heado, with barely any customers, you can probably spare a cook right?!”


“Um I guess, boss.”


“Brilliant!” I replied. “Goodo, go on out there and show them what you got!”


Goodo left the kitchen and prepared to do some serious waiting.


“Jack, you need to get rid of this dead body!” yelled Waito.


“Yo, keep it down, dummy!” I cried. “We can dispose of the dead guy once the night is over, OK? I got enough on my plate!”


“But it’s a health and safety issue!” she responded annoyingly.


“Pftt, technically yeah, but it’s not like we’re gonna get a visit from the health inspector at 8pm!”


The health inspector showed up.


“Hello, my name is Time Van Grant and I’m the city’s chief health inspector. I’m just here to do a surprise inspection, OK?” he told Waito.


“Um….” she replied.


“Great,” he said and started wandering around the restaurant, sniffing things and taking samples.


“Crap on a fuck!” I swore, as I spied on him from the kitchen. “OK, we need to dispose of this corpse then, boys. Heado, help me throw him in the dumpster!”


“Yes boss.”


We picked up whatshisname and exited the kitchen.


“OK, Heado, on the count of three, we chuck him in.”




“OK. One, two, three!”


We threw the corpse. It landed on the health inspector’s car, setting off an alarm.


“The hell, Heado?!” I screamed.


Waito poked her head out.


“What the hell just happened?”


“Nothing, OK, nothing!” I replied. “We just kinda accidentally threw the dead body onto the health inspector’s car instead of the dumpster, alright?! Now please distract him while we fix this!”


Waito sighed and went back into the restaurant.


“She has a great arse,” said Heado.


“Heado, that is extremely true but this is not the time! Now come on, let’s put the body in the dumpster properly this time!”


“Hey, I gotta go back in and make sure everything’s being cooked adequately!”


“Oh, those guys are fine on their own!” I replied.


The fire alarm went off.


We ran into the kitchen. My sausages were burning.


“Why was nobody watching them?” I screamed.


Waito burst in.


“Yes, yes, we know, the fire alarm’s gone off! We have it under control OK?!” I yelled at her.


“Yeah whatever, I couldn’t stop the health inspector! He’s on the way to his car now!”


I screamed and ran outside.


Time Van Grant was strolling towards his car. I tackled him.


“What the hell?!” he yelled at me.


“Oh, ha, sorry mate. Thought you were a prowler trying to steal the health inspector’s car.”


“I am the health inspector!”


“Well, yeah, I know that now!” I replied.


“Who are you?!”


“I am Jack Cookin’, the owner of this fine establishment.”


“You’re the owner? Right, well if you excuse me, my car alarm is going off.”


“Oh yeah, yeah, I noticed that. It was just a bird.”


“A bird?”


“Yeah, like a pigeon. It landed on ya car, set it off. No biggie.”


“I’d still like to inspect it.”


“Hey, mate, you’re here to inspect my restaurant’s health, not your car. Now go back in there!” I said, and began to guide him towards the restaurant and away from the corpse on his Corolla.


“No, I would like to look at my car!” he grumbled, and began to struggle.


The car alarm and fire alarm were still going off by the way.


I looked over at the car and noticed Waito and Heado pulling off the body. They were good employees. I just had to distract the health inspector for a few more seconds.


“Hey, do you like House?” I asked.




“You know, the show with Hugh Lauries! Don’t you love how he solves crime using only his brain?”


“I don’t know! I don’t care! Let me get to my car!” he moaned.


“But we need to discuss business first! Why are you paying my restaurant a surprise inspection?!”


“Because I’m the city health inspector!”


“Can I please see some form of ID?”


“Well, yes, yes, you can! It’s in my car!”




He pushed me over and ran to his car. The corpse was gone. I turned to see Waito and Heado dragging the body inside. I smiled.


“Why the fuck is there a massive dent in my roof?!” the health inspector screamed.


“Uhhhh…it was a big pigeon?”


He didn’t buy it, so I punched him in the face, knocking him out cold. I then dragged his body inside.


“Heado! Make sure he doesn’t go anywhere! Hey, um…hmmm…this fire’s a bit out of control….”


“I’m on it! I’m on it!” yelled Heado, as he prepared a fire extinguisher.


“Wait, where is Alcoholly?” I asked, noticing the lack of a third body.


“Umm Jack, we have a problem!” cried Waito.


I ran out to the dining area to find Alcoholly drunkenly yelling at the mayor.


“And….and another thing mayor, mate…ya…ya whole dictatorship is based on lies! Ya…ya wanker.”


I was about to defuse the situation when Goodo approached her.


“No! No! You will not talk to the mayor like that, you dumb broad!” Goodo yelled.


Everyone in the restaurant gasped as I remembered Goodo was also a sexist.


Alcoholly went to take a swing at Goodo but missed and collapsed.


“Mr. Cookin’, who is this dastardly scumbag who just insulted this poor homeless woman who was giving me insightful feedback?” asked the Mayor.


“Um…well, uh…”


“He doesn’t work for you, does he?”


I stared at Goodo. He stared at me.


“No. This prejudiced son of a bitch does not work for me,” I replied and punched Goodo in the face. He collapsed.


“Good to hear, Mr. Cookin’,” said the mayor. “I must say this restaurant is a fine establishment indeed. “


“It sure is!” I smiled.


“How’s that steak of mine going?” he asked.


“I’ll go check now, sir!” I said cheerfully.


The kitchen was still on fire.


“The hell, Heado?” I cried.


“OK, well, turns out the fire extinguisher doesn’t work. I thought you were gonna order a new one, Mr. Cookin’!”


“Nah, waste of money, mate! OK, quick, everyone just throw water on it! No, wait, that’s too expensive! Everyone pee on it!”


“Why don’t we just call the fire brigade?” asked Heado.


“No! We can’t upset the mayor! Speaking of which, how’s his steak going?” I asked as I unzipped my fly.


“I think it’s almost done,” replied Heado, mid stream.


“Good, good. Oh shit! The fire’s burning the dead guy!”


“Well, he is already dead. Does it really matter?” Heado pointed out.


“Yeah, nah guess not. Oh shit! The health inspector’s on fire!”


“Oh crap!” Heado started jumping on him to put out the fire and broke the guy’s back. He was no longer on fire though, so yeah.


“Aaaaaaargh!” moaned the health inspector.


“Shut up! Shut up!” I yelled as I furiously put out the remaining fire with a hose I just remembered we had.


Waito came in.


“Jesus Christ, that fire got out of hand.”


“Please don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. Plus, chillax, it’s almost out now cos I’m a hero. What’s up, anyway?”


“The mayor is enquiring about the screaming. And the fire alarm. And the smoke.”


“Tell him it’s nothing to worry about. Health inspector just broke his back and got a bit burnt. Don’t tell him that though. Tell him his steak’s almost done.”


“Will do,” she said.


Heado hit the health inspector over the head with a bag of potatoes.


“Good work Heado. Well, everything seems to be under control now. That steak done?”


“More or less,” replied Maxo.


“Sweet. I’ll give it to the mayor.”


The mayor loved the steak!


“Mr. Cookin’, this has indeed been a wonderful night. I will recommend Cookin’ With Gas to all of my esteemed colleagues!”


“Hey, don’t thank me, Mr. Mayor! Thank my wonderful employees. Heado the head chef. Waito the waitress. And the others! And me!”


Everybody in the restaurant clapped.


Then the police burst in.


“We’re here about the homicide.”


Everybody gasped.


“What homicide, idiots?” I asked innocently.


“I rung up and told them about Alcoholly murdering Richard in a deep friar,” some kitchen hand spoke up.


Everybody screamed.


“Who the hell’s Richard?” I asked.




Cookin’ with Gas still remains to this day the greatest Australian themed restaurant in Chinatown that Melbourne has ever seen. And I make no apologies for that.


Also the mayor died from salmonella poisoning. Go figure.



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