Jim, Keith, the Land Rover and the Chicken Salt Sign

This is Jim: travelling man, passionate environmentalist, rocknroller, footballer, and Devotee of Chicken Salt. Enough said. Jim photo-messaged me the other day from Keith, South Australia, on his way to the Oval for the Port-Roos clash. He had just sprinkled chicken salt all over the bench – the bag of hot chips hovering somewhere nearby – and he’d thought of me.

Legend. Long live the salt.

Now that he’s back in Melbourne, I have to ask, “is Keith the name of the owner of the Keith Roadhouse?” His burning gaze seers my nerves. “Stop bullshitting me just cause I’m South Australian. This is no laughing matter. I’ll have you know that Keith is the home of Australia’s greatest roadside icon, the Big Land Rover on a Pole! Leave Keith alone!!”

Shut. the. Freakin’. gate.

Someone put a Land Rover on a Pole? As a tourist attraction? Seriously? Jim explains: “Mate, this beats the Big Banana, the Big Prawn, the Big Koala, any of it. Keith have The Big Land Rover on a Pole!”

Forward thinking, I offer, wouldn’t expect anything less. Jim agrees: “Mate, these people are so ahead of the curve that the curve’s not catching up any time soon. Get a Land Rover, get a pole, Ruprecht’s your Vater’s Bruder. Build it, they will come!”

Google it people: Keith Land Rover Pole. You will not believe your eyes. These good townsfolk may celebrate Chicken Salt, but they also stab Land Rovers with rockets, hoist ’em, place a couple of huts either side, and then argue blue that it doesn’t look like a cock ‘n balls monument. I’m instinctively opposed to dichotomy, but then, I really love Chicken Salt. Go figure. And (never thought I’d say this…) I really love Keith.

I also have to ask: Did you find out what brand of Chicken Salt Keith uses? “Oh yeah, went into great depths with him about that. Sorry to sound sarcastic but I haven’t forgiven you for the cock ‘n balls jibe. Mate, they put a Land Rover. On a pole. What more do you need to know? And anyway, whaddya think of the sign?”

The Big Question.

Jim had later messaged me from The Oval on game day. The news was shocking, and had nothing to do with Port’s Roo-cull. Rather, a hot-off-the-press bulletin announcing that the heritage Chicken Salt sign on the Riverbank Stand – the one advertising Chicken Salt chicken salt, the one with the target over the ‘e’ in chicken – that very sign had been removed. I received photographic evidence to confirm it.

But das is verboten?! I cry. Jim fires up too: “Mate, do you think I’m German or something? Is this another one of your “aren’t South Australian’s funny” gags? Well Fritz you mate. They put a Land Rover. On a pole. Write a letter to someone. Get over it.”

So I’ve written a letter.


To: [email protected]

CC: [email protected] ; Jim; Swish; Mickey’s Tales


Dear Mr Weatherill,

Great job, love your work, moving right along: someone’s taken down the Chicken Salt sign from The Oval. As a proud member of the Victorians for South Australian Heritage Association, I implore you to resurrect this monument to our faith, the heart of our beating religion. Did someone knock it off? Or did someone physically knock it off – did they actually hit the target over the ‘e’? If so, just tell us. Was it Tex? Great! Love the Tex! Just don’t keep us in the dark. Is there a Senate committee being assembled? An inquiry? Why not? There are only two heritage Chicken Salt signs on the planet and one of them has been lost! On your watch! Was it SACA? Ask questions. Find out. I always thought that SACA stood for Salt And Chicken Association. Clearly I was wrong. This act will hurt all Australians, not just your mob. Please fix it now. And if you can’t, just please – for Jim’s sake – make sure no one touches Keith’s Land Rover on a Pole. We’ll never hear the end of it if that disappears.

Regards, Nick

Secretary of the VSAHA


On 17th July <Jim> replied all:

That’s right people: They put a Land Rover. On a pole.


About nick w

Sports Tragic Writer (put the comma where ya wanna)


  1. Rabid Dog says

    The loss of the chicken salt form the shops around the ground needs to be looked into too; however, the main problem now is the ridiculous idea of only allowing credit card use for purchase of beer (no cash allowed anywhere i can find in the members), and VERY limited cash purchases for food and non-booze drinks. Very poor Adelaide oval.

  2. Joe De Petro says

    We drove through Keith on a trip last year. I was really hoping that the next town was named Trevor.

  3. Dave Brown says

    Someone noted on twitter the other day (I think) that the Crows’ set shot accuracy has improved dramatically since the Chicken Salt target has gone to the great advertising hoarding in the sky. Hopefully they put it in the SA footy history collection and keep it as far away from Adelaide Oval as possible.

    If you’re after said substance get thyself to a local footy ground in Adelaide, where it is still readily accessible in large self-service shakers. As a result each counter top is dusted with a delightful orange hue. Just as the footy gods intended.

  4. Rabid Dog, you’re freaking me out. I’ve just found out that the signs have gone, and you’re telling me the product has gone too? Seriously? What is going on over there. Jim’s pinning it squarely on SACA, and I can’t blame him. I’ll reach them for comment when i can, and report back.

    Dave B, I know you’re a Crows fan, but think of the kids. They’re not gonna remember Adelaide’s accuracy percentage increasing from 89% to 91%, but they are gonna remember going to the footy to eat Chicken Salted hot chips whilst hoping one day they could be the player that hits that target. Seasons come and go Dave B, this is generational.

    JDP, I hear you. I’ve got a post specially prepared for this very thing…

  5. Is it acceptable or even expected that chicken salt is applied to a pie-floater?

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’ve found that it also does wonders for a Balfours custard tart Mickey

  7. I’ve just written to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure asking that “SA: The Chicken Salt State” be added to number plate options.

  8. Swish, if chicken salt does wonders for a Balfours, it sounds like Balfours is coming off a big handicap. Is there a story in this?

    And Mickey, i pray this succeeds. I’d do anything to have plates like that on my Kia Mitani CS.

    Cheers gents.

  9. I ofund the chicken salt in the canteen on Friday, but it’s a differnet brand now.

  10. Well, at least you can still acquire The Salt (phew!) but this news poses more questions: What brand? How does it rate? How does it compare to Mitani? Are they sachets or is it provided in an all-you-can-shake tin? Yes, these are questions only I may want the answer too, but they’re valid questions nonetheless. Thanks for the update Rabid Dog. Nice to know people can still cluck-dust their potato-based purchases one way or another.

  11. All you can use shake-a-tin.

Leave a Comment