Knock, knock, pizza delivery
Get it while it’s hot: Ian Roberts has seen men in drag, been invited in for raucous hen nights and even consoled a newly made bachelor. Picture: TIM HUGHESFORGET Pauly, Bobo and Davo. If you want your pizza big and cheesy then call Ian Roberts.
He may not be the star of a cult SBS television show, but after a couple of hours spent on a Thursday night pizza run, The Sunday Examiner discovered Ian was just as entertaining.
For the past nine years Ian has doorstopped hundreds of Launceston homes to deliver pizzas to the starving masses.
After nine years Ian says not much fazes him any more.
He has seen men in drag, been invited in for raucous hen nights and has even consoled a newly made bachelor. You could say he has seen it all.
With low-slung King Gees, long hair and a tattoo on his forearm, Ian as is Aussie as they come. But he says he fits in well with his Italian colleagues at La Cantina – especially now he has learnt all the swear words.
He tucks his large frame into his tiny delivery van that is little bigger than a Mini Minor.
He says the size of the car can be a hindrance. He once come back out of the shop to find his car in the parking spot but facing the wrong way.
“The cars aren’t very heavy so a group of lads had just picked it up and turned it around,” he says.
Thursday nights are quieter but on weekends Ian can be flat out with over 10 deliveries an hour.
“I’ve taken up to nine deliveries in the one hit in busy times,” Ian says.
As he drives Ian explains that many of his deliveries are to regular customers.
“There was one guy who was getting them about four nights a week before he got a girlfriend,” he says.
“A few of them get to know you by your first name.”
At the first house Ian pulls up and jumps out in what will become a repetitive motion throughout the night.
A face peeps around the curtain before answering the door to Ian’s knock.
On the way back out he has to sidestep a lazy cat that refuses to get out of the way.
He says that dogs can be a problem if they’re not tied up.
“The littler ones are worse than the big ones,” he says.
“I had this maltese run out once and take a bite at me.”
He says another problem is the “sleeper”.
“That’s the one who’s just come home from the pub and orders a pizza then falls asleep,” he says.
This can be remedied with heavy banging on the doors and windows.
“You’ve got to really bash hard sometimes,” he says.
The hoax caller is becoming rare with telephone caller identification but Ian has had his fair share.
“Once I got an address that didn’t exist,” he says.
“It was just an empty block.”
As Ian gets back into the car from another delivery he holds out his large hands cupped with a huge mound of spare change.
“That’s a customer who usually pays like that,” he says.
A customer once paid Ian $30 all in 10c coins lined up behind the door.
“It can get very heavy and you’re glad to get rid of it at the end of the night,” he says.
With so much driving Ian has often been the target of police attention.
It is not unusual for Ian to get pulled up several times in one night to be breath-tested. “They give you a razz because they get to know you,” he says.
And although Ian is driving quite sedately it is not always the case.
“I’ve had about four or five speeding tickets in the last nine years,” he says.
“It’s a hazard of the trade.”
As we pull up to the last house a man answers the door in nothing but a T-shirt and a pair of boxers.
As Ian waits at the door the man walks back and forth a number of times.
As Ian explains when he gets in the car: “He couldn’t find his wallet. No pocket in the boxers.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.