My Meat Cards
January 02, 2017
In the early '90s my fellow children were collecting footy cards and I was repeatedly asked who I supported. My child brain didn't question that everyone had a team so I was forced to choose between Cronulla Sharks (I was in their jurisdiction?) or nearby St. George Dragons (less popular, for people who 'knew their footy'). I don't remember which I chose and they were both crap as far as I understand but we were all very proud of whoever it was.
Trading mostly occurred on the bus and I had to pretend that I left my estimable collection at home but was desperate to trade this Mal Meninga card I definitely had two of (had found on the ground). No one needed Mal Meninga so that one card kept my cover for some months, though I did eventually find a couple more on the ground including a Newcastle Knight which inspired mild awe.
ANYWAY I'm here to introduce you to my Meat Cards. These were a low cost alternative to footy cards. You could just walk into Coles and take them out of the meat section! I think the only person I managed to convince to collect and trade with me was Sam Hall but that was enough. It was a niche pursuit conducted more or less in the shadows away from the lamestream footy carders.
And I still have them. Here is card #1, the Steak Parmigiana. It may not have really been #1 but my mild synaesthesia always linked Steak Parmigiana with the number '1' and for around 24 years it has been placed at the beginning of the pack.
It looks more beautiful than ever now that it's backlit on a screen for perhaps the very first time anywhere in the world. I will be posting them all on Instagram at @meatcards and my secret dream is that one day I'll be the guest of honour at a gallery exhibition where someone is showing extremely large prints of each.
Your most pressing question: have you cooked any of these meals? No, and I won't be becoming This Man Cooked Every Meal From The Meat Cards. The meals themselves, presented in very matter-of-fact photographs, can at best be described as 'neat' and rarely as 'appetising'. While it's refreshing that the cards lack branding of any sort and are barely aspirational, they evoke a time in which we were blown away by leaving the skin on thick-cut potato chips dipped in both sour cream AND sweet chilli sauce.
Previously: Existence first, essence much much later