“Back in my day, they were called naughty boxes.” Bob Hawke reflects on the halal snackpack craze

"I had one staffer who lived off the things. He had a minor cardiac episode at work, but the doctors think that was from his drinking," he said.

“Back in my day, they were called naughty boxes.” Bob Hawke reflects on the halal snackpack craze

24 June, 2016. 16:45

ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A NAUGHTY BOX WAS only 50 cents a gobble back when former PM Bob Hawke was just a new kid on the Canberra block in the late 50s.

A small Fyshwick takeaway used to survive on MPs and public servants stumbling out of knock shops and strip joints in the early hours of the evening – and every single one of them needed to glue their soul back together with a Halal Snack Pack.

The famous eatery, however, was burned to the ground in 1998 after then-senator Natasha Stott-Despoja let off a bag of fireworks inside it. A small memorial was placed on the site, which is now the Newcastle St McDonalds.

“Back in my day, we called them naughty boxes,” said Hawke. “There’s nothing new about them,”

“We’d all spill out of these bars go-go clubs with a gut full of piss with a great hunger. More often than not, we’d suck the marrow out of a few naughty boxes and we’d be writhing around in bed before the sun came up. That was how things were done back then,”

“These Halal snack packsĀ or whatever they’re called are just a cheap imitation of what we had back in the 50s. The bloody first wave of Turks and Greeks to come down here changed the game. Before that, we’d have to eat corned beef out of the fridge upon arriving home at 4am. Crook.”

Hawke reveals that he and wife Blanche still enjoy a naughty box from time to time, for old times sake.

“They’re just not the same.”

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