It's a travesty of justice that we don't give out OAMs for services to dishwasher stacking because I have an uncle who would win it in a walk.
On that same thought, my grandmother's mother ought to be posthumously awarded her long-deserved Michelin stars for managing to feed a table of 12 on a single home-cooked chicken every weekend. At Nan's famous Sunday lunches, all were welcome and there was never a soul that went hungry (and there was always gravy leftover).
And, without question, my mum would win the energy conservationist award for dedication to systematically turning off the kettle, toaster, lamp, and every phone and electric toothbrush charger she can find at the wall socket every time she comes to visit.
(She claims it will save me money on the power bill. I maintain that having a working electric toothbrush is worth the cost. Call me crazy.)
We all have unsung champions like these scattered throughout the family tree - mid-level superheroes with astounding and uncanny domestic superpowers that tend to go criminally under-awarded and under-appreciated. They're the Florence Nightingale aunts who can solve any ailment with a spoonful of cod liver oil. The uncles who can somehow manage to burn a sausage sizzle even on an unlit barbecue. And that one genius 10-year-old we all know who can actually solve the Rubik's cube.
IN THE NEWS:
Karen Milner of Merewether is one of those superheroes, and her superpower is prawn peeling. Karen - now officially the fastest prawn-peeling gun in the land - blitzed the competition of around 100 of the Hunter's most ambitious peelers in a two-day prawn peeling contest at the first Newcastle Seafood Festival over the weekend.
During her heat on Sunday, Karen tore through 12 of the Newcastle Commercial Fishermen's Co-op's large king prawns in a matter of seconds to claim the first prawn-peeling championship title in what organisers hope will become an annual festival celebrating the Hunter's abundant seafood market.
The art of speedily de-shelling prawns, Karen explains, is not about their size but about their quality - the fresher the prawn, the faster to peel.
The freshest catch at the weekend was provided by the Newcastle Co-Op, which Karen had masterfully peeled and ready for dunking in cocktail sauce in a blistering 74 seconds, beating out the second-placed peeler by an astounding seven second margin.
"It was a bit of a laugh and a bit of fun," Karen tells Topics, after collecting her championship trophy yesterday.
Karen's close friend turned prawn-peeling champ manager, Jane, who entered her name in the competition after seeing Karen's superpowers in action while on holidays, now reportedly has eyes on an international competition at Las Vegas and an entry in the annals of the Guinness World Records.
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