Growing up in Rural New Zealand I can still recall the small dairy/fuel station that serviced the valley, I can remember riding the horse, or cycling the 10 or so Kilometres there on a Saturday morning and filling up on lollies, chips and pies.
But the main fun was the owner, one Harry Irwin, who was always up for a laugh or a joke, and playing jokes and pranks was part and parcel of the Kopuriki Store.
Harry’s jokes were as well known as his real steak pies and one day when one of his mates came in and ordered two pies only to return a couple of minutes later with one of the pies in the brown paper bag that it was sold in, saying “nah mate, my eyes were bigger than my belly” Harry duly put the pie back in the warmer, thinking nothing more of it.
Only a few minutes had passed when a large truck hauling a load of pine tree logs pulled up, it was Tama, a local Maori truck driver, who stopped at Harry’s store for a pie and coke nearly every day.
Harry gave him the pie and a coke and Tama flicked his eyebrows (common kiwi salute) and steamed off in the truck. One could only think of the surprise when Tama’s truck screeched to a halt outside the store and Tama walked in with grease smeared across his chin.
“Hey Harry,” he said, “So you run outta cows and filled my pie up with axel grease???”
Luckily Tama could see the fun side and probably got free pies for the rest of the year.
That was the great thing growing up in a small valley, no one was immune to a bit of tomfoolery.