ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A French Quarter man’s afternoon was busy, he says, walking through scrub on the edge of town with a bolt-action .22 and a pocket full of subsonic rounds.

While some enjoy shooting galahs for sport, Jem Mitchell was unlawfully killing a protected species for more ethical reasons.

The 35-year-old teacher was recently gifted a Heston Blumenthal cookbook, known for it’s complex dishes that promise untold flavour profiles of foods you thought didn’t belong together.

Jem told The Advocate that he decided this morning that he’d make Pink Chirpy Chirp Pie, one of Heston’s most challenging recipes.

“I’ve been inspired recently to expand my palate,” he said.

“What really impressed me about this recipe is that it comes with the threat of serious jail time. Galah is one of the nation’s most forbidden meats. Only the platypus and koala would be higher up the forbidden chain. It called for 36 galahs so I took a deep breath and went into Dad’s office to get the guns out,”

“I thought, ‘this better be worth it.'”

“After shooting my first galah, I had a Road to Damascus moment where I suddenly realised that shooting birds out of a tree is actually extremely exciting. I was hooked. Shooting 36 of them took only a few hours. I stuffed them into a Coles bag as to not raise any suspicions.”

On the way back home with a shopping bag of dead birds, Jem said he was tempted to shoot a goanna he say half way up a tree.

“I unloaded the rifle then and threw all the bullets in the creek,” he said.

“I hadn’t felt that type of temptation before.”

As our reporter left Jem in his front yard, feather plucking the gut-shot birds, a growing crowd of neighbours were gathering at the fence.

“I’m making Heston’s Pink Chirpy Chirp Pie! Come on over for tea if you want!” he yelled at them.

More to come.


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