Eltham mother-of-four, Belinda Cambridge, has controversially removed beetroot from her famous garden salad due to her husband Pete’s incessant use of the phrase “you can’t beat a good root” at every social gathering in which the salad appears. While she concedes that it was funny the first one or two times he said it, as she enters the 17th year of listening to his tired attempts at humour she has finally put her foot down.

Belinda said “It’s not like I haven’t warned him, I’ve been telling him for years that it’s not funny any more, but he just keeps wheeling it out, especially when any of the kids bring a new boyfriend or girlfriend to dinner and he gets all excited about having a new audience. The poor things always give him a bit of an awkward chuckle ‘cos they’re trying to make a good impression on the family, but you can tell it just makes them feel uncomfortable.”

The decision has rocked the Cambridges’ large network of friends, with many finding her salad a bit bland without the generous sprinkling of cubed beetroot. Long time family friend, Janis Stone, went as far as to say “Pete’s got a lot to bloody answer for the silly old fart. That salad is an absolute institution. In some ways it’s the only reason I keep inviting the Cambridges to dinner parties and barbeques. What with Pete’s tired and uncomfortable jokes, plus Belinda’s inability to deliver honest and constructive feedback.”

Pete wouldn’t return any calls to The Watsonia Bugle, and friends say he has gone into hiding since Belinda’s stand became public.