Almanac Life: My Kingdom for a Maxibon!

There was so much to be grateful for growing up as a kid in WA in the ’60s and ’70s.


Our lives in Kwinana were almost Huckleberry Finn-like. Acres of virgin bush and the then pristine waters of Cockburn Sound were our playgrounds.


Kwinana Beach with its old wreck the SS Kwinana and the T-shaped jetty were a child’s heaven. We spent hours perfecting our ‘bombies’ and inventing new diving styles in searing heat.


There were a couple of platforms in the deeper water used for swimming lessons, crabs to catch in the rocks where the wreck sat and an abundant grass picnic area to play footy or cricket.


On a weekend we would sneak onto the enormous jetties owned by CBH, BP and CSBP, avoid security flashlights and fish for tailor and snapper with hand lines. It was exhilarating, then we’d follow it up by sleeping in the sand dunes.


Over the road and usually on the way home was the general store and bottle shop. The bottle shop was owned by an old Italian guy at one stage and we would trade him left over yellowtail for free games on his Evil Knievel pinball machine.


After throwing around the un-tiltable Evil Knievel for a couple of hours we’d head home via the concrete floored general store for what was always the number one priority, ice-cream.


Western Australia, like most states, has its own iconic brands of milk drinks: think Big M in Victoria or Farmers Union in SA. I can honestly say having tried every other state and regional dairies’ iced coffees in Australia, still nothing comes close to the Masters and Brownes brands.


On the rare chance I get to go home, my desire to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ overcomes me and after two weeks my tummy looks eight months’ pregnant whilst my younger brother Glen’s recycling bin explodes with discarded drink cartons.


Another WA icon was an ice cream called the Giant Sandwich. Soft chocolate biscuit on the outside that sandwiched perfect Peters vanilla.


I will say at this point that I’ve always been a Peters lover with one exception (also a WA icon), The Hazelnut Roll from Pauls (now Streets). Not sure if it still exists but highly recommended if you’re visiting the west.


Now unfortunately, like my short term memory, the Giant Sandwich these days has shrunk beyond recognition. It’s now a small, hard biscuit and barely enough ice-cream to inhale. It’s frankly a disaster.


This change occurred about ten years ago and Glen delivered the news to me when he picked me up from the airport.


He always thoughtfully brings me a small esky full of iced coffees for the trip to his home, a couple of hours south of Perth. On this particular occasion he said, ‘sorry bro but the Giant Sandwich is gone’, like it was a family member.


I was shattered.


Back in Melbourne and not long after the demise of my childhood favourite, Peters released the Maxibon. It has half a traditional Giant Sandwich and half crisp chocolate, both of which covered the vanilla ice cream.


I could barely contain my excitement. Enter my new obsession and guilty pleasure.


What’s impressive about the Maxibon is its generous size. That’s exactly what the original Giant Sandwich was like. Good value for money.


So around this time I was going through a divorce – which is nothing to make light of – but needless to say I had to leave my ex-wife and kids two hours from Melbourne and reset back in Melbourne with a new job and a haemorrhaging debt.


The only economically viable place I could find was a bungalow out the back of a wonderful retired couple’s house in Melbourne’s east; normally rented out to international students, not middle aged numbskulls.


It was survival time living in a residence the size of a shoebox but it had to be done.


After two years and things on the improve I thought I’d do something for my own self development before I turned into the Unabomber.


I enrolled in a Diploma of Coaching, mainly life coaching but included in it was NLP (Neuro linguistic programming). It was a private college run by a messianic, Anthony Robbins-type character and classes were held face to face on weekends.


Being the sceptic I am, when I realised NLP was unscientific I immediately had my guard up. NLP is used in many ways but usually for fighting addictions like cigarettes. By using questioning and language you ideally can adjust a person’s thinking.


The books that we were given had different scripts to use with a client but when we practised during the course I couldn’t even change a classmate’s thoughts to go from two sugars to one in a cup of coffee.


Unperturbed I returned to my bunker knowing I’ll never use that process ever again in my life.


A few days after the course I got a call from a fellow student who requested if he could practice NLP on me over the phone. It wasn’t like I had anything else on, so I agreed to help him out.


He asked if I had any addictions to which I replied that I didn’t anymore. I was an alcoholic and smoker but that I was four years clean at that stage. He couldn’t believe I didn’t have any issues then asked me to think again.


I told him that the only thing I could think of was that every night I would walk to my local servo and buy a Maxibon, because they were the greatest invention since the Hills Hoist.


He asked if I wanted to give them up. Despite how bad a daily Maxibon was to my health I couldn’t bear the thought of losing them so I lied, knowing too well that this ice-cream was the only pleasure I had left in my pathetic and meaningless existence. ‘Yes, I want to give them up.’


He then proceeded to deliver one of those scripts I mentioned. It was a sort of replacement therapy. He would ask me to think about the Maxibon and its features and benefits then would ask me to think about what might be the worst thing you could ever imagine eating.


Still thinking this was a load of hocus pocus, I said ‘dog poo’. He then asked me to imagine the smell, texture and taste…


To cut a long story short, I haven’t had a Maxibon for eight years. I can’t even touch a packet in a milk bar freezer. Drumsticks are now my staple.


To this day I have no idea who that prick was that rang me but if you’re reading this, I want that spell unbroken! Let’s hope you’re using your powers for good and not evil these days!




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About Ian Wilson

Former army aircraft mechanic, sales manager, VFA footballer and coach. Now mental health worker and blogger. Lifelong St Kilda FC tragic and father to 2 x girls.

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