Don Burke hates parsnips. And he hates people who like them. So he hates Donna Hay.
If you're not Australian, none of this means anything to you. Of course, if you are Australian, this still may not mean anything to you.
Don Burke is a well-known radio gardener in Australia. Donna Hay is a well-known TV chef in Australia.
Burke has caused something of an uproar in Australia — mostly because nothing ever seems to happen there — by slamming Hay and the Sydney Daily Telegraph after she published some parsnip recipes in the Sunday Magazine.
"Don Burke lashes out at Donna Hay over parsnips" screamed the headlines.
Burke even described Hay as "wretched" for serving parsnips, saying they weren't fit for pigs.
"I'm outraged, I'm angry, I'm upset, I'm crushed. I'm all of those things and a lot more," Burke said on his program. "If you get that appalling newspaper today, The Sunday Telegraph, and get out Sunday Magazine ... that wretched Donna Hay has got two pages of parsnip recipes. I respect pigs, I like pigs, but I wouldn't give my pet pig parsnips."
Good God, Burke, it's a freaking vegetable. It's a parsnip. It's like a potato and a carrot had sex, found out they couldn't have children, so they adopted a parsnip, and never told it where it came from.
Hay said Burke was out of touch, so she sent him a box of parsnips and recipes, and challenged him to get over himself.
"I was surprised he was having a go. It's just a parsnip," Hay told the Daily Telegraph. "If Don cared to step into a modern restaurant he would find everyone's using parsnips - they're in vogue."
Hay should be careful, since this is tantamount to placing a burning bag of dog poo on Burke's porch
Angeloa Lamattina, an Australian parsnip grower, said Burke was un-Australian for his comments.
"Where does he get off?" he said. "Here's some bloke who had some TV show and reckons he can come out and bag our work."
Yeah! It's like if some bloke had a parsnip farm and reckoned he could bag the work of some TV gardener.
Burke stood by his comments however, and said that the "root cause" (get it? "root cause?" It's funny, because a parsnip is a root vegetable!) — ahem — the root cause of his hatred of all things parsnippy was his mother's cooking, calling her baked parsnips hideous.
Ah, it's all beginning to make sense now. If my psychology classes have taught me anything, it's that Don Burke is in love with Donna Hay.
You heard it here first, folks:
Don and Donna sitting in a tree
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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