Taking some time off work recently, I got myself some short stories by PG Wodehouse, the brilliant english satirist - who incidentally spread nazi propaganda as a prisoner of the Germans during WWII. Useless trivia and abysmally incomplete if you think about the fact that I haven't given you any context whatsoever. But go look it up on wikipedia or something! Anyway, to continue.. An amazing book called "Three men and a maid". And no, you dirty minded perverts - maid here represents a gentle young woman who has the affections of three men at the same time. Eh, that didn't quite convey what I meant to, but you get the picture. The *right* one, hopefully.
I thought a passage from it would be rather humorous - and portray the brilliant which PGW put forth in his books..
The thing in the way of modern progress is more remarkable than the manner in which the attitude of your run of the mill lover has changed concerning proposals of marriage. When Samuel Marlowe's grandfather had convinced himself, after about a year and a half of respectful aloofness, that the emotion which he felt towards Samuel Marlowe's grandmother-to-be was love, the fashion of the period compelled him to approach the matter in a roundabout way. First, he spent an evening or two singing sentimental ballads, she accompanying him on the piano and the rest of the family sitting on the side-lines to see that no rough stuff was pulled. Having noted that she drooped her eyelashes and turned faintly pink when he came to the "Thee--only thee!" bit, he felt a mild sense of encouragement, strong enough to justify him in taking her sister aside next day and asking if the object of his affections ever happened to mention his name in the course of conversation. Further _pour-parlers_ having passed with her aunt, two more sisters, and her little brother, he felt that the moment had arrived when he might send her a volume of Shelley, with some of the passages marked in pencil. A few weeks later, he interviewed her father and obtained his consent to the paying of his addresses. And finally, after writing her a letter which began "Madam! you will not have been insensible to the fact that for some time past you have inspired in my bosom feelings deeper than those of ordinary friendship...." he waylaid her in the rose-garden and brought the thing off.
How different is the behaviour of the modern young man. His courtship can hardly be called a courtship at all. His methods are those of Sir W. S. Gilbert's Alphonso.
"Alphonso, who for cool assurance all creation licks,
He up and said to Emily who has cheek enough for six:
'Miss Emily, I love you. Will you marry? Say the word!'
And Emily said: 'Certainly, Alphonso, like a bird!'"
Its stuff like this which brings about those bouts of laughter when not in conversation with wierd people about wierder things..
Which brings me to the point of Sushi. Uhm. It does? It does. I have no idea why I suddenly thought of this. It might have something to do with an article I read earlier in the day about pufferfish and other kinds of potentially dangerous sushi where you put your life in the hands of someone you don't know. Namely the su-chef. Short for sushi chef of course! no? :)
I'm always surprised at the yuppie behavior which accompanies this very exotic dish. Fugu as its also known as, is just the pinnacle of what sushi connoisseurs love to eat. But first, let me expound my own views on Sushi. So you've got this great sushi bar in town which has fancy stuff lined up on ice in its picture glass windows. Enter, and you shall find, of all things, a *conveyor belt* on which food rotates around a common, bar like area. So far not so bad. After all, technology is the future, especially with the japanese and their raw fish. So be it. You adjust. Your oath of never eating food which moves is down the drain of course?
Behold, gummy gelatinous rice which not only sticks together, but is mixed up with half a dozen toppings you or no one else actually recognizes. Exotic, you think - and don't make a huff about it. Apart from having thrown in a lot of detritus from the bottom of the sea - namely seaweed on it, for apparent nutritional purposes and to enhance the taste of the dish. Or to cover up the other piquances which go with it, I'm sure. The only problem - its slimy texture coupled with its lack of any flavor make seaweed a bad candidate to mask another taste. Or you might be luck enough to have some fish spawn in its crunch goodness smeared across it. Or if you're REALLY lucky (and have a lot of money to spend), a raw squid pseudop
Swanky chefs will now come out, and parlay their expertise in the art of sushi making - toss together some of the above goodness with pieces of bulgy eyed fish roughly lifted from platters of (not-so-hygenic) ice. And I guess it must be against rules in sushi-dom to wear gloves when doing this. Add a pair of sweaty hands as the chef tries his best to make something which doesn't quite look half eaten, and doesn't kill you while its at it. Now don't even get me started on fish - which are nothing but filthy creatures swimming in their own filth and are best friends with barnacles, algae and other non-entities in the aquatic foodchain. (Yes, plankton too!).
And now, the defining moment. As the plate of freshly constructed sushi-art crawls towards of you, the fish lying there - beseeching you to eat it, to get it off that slimy weed and rice combo, and salvage it from the ignominous fate that is its end.. Bliss. It tastes so damn good! And when combined with the platters of good cholestrols and white, fat free meat which you're ingesting, the vinegary goodness of pickled seaweed offset by salty rice - you think, what could possibly be wrong with the world?
Enter the Fugu. Spelled as its rhymed with Cthulhu. A type of pufferfish which is so poisonous that it kills you within a few minutes of having eaten it. Unless of course, the sushi chef has done his magic with the fish and cut it in one go SUCH THAT the posion has been cleanly chopped off. Would I trust my chef to have done this properly? Without comprehensive medical backup, and the utmost confidence in my fellow human being, I personally, would gently lay the ghost of fugu to rest. And move on to things which actually exist to be eaten - like a chocolate truffle, or one of those burgers from Rudy's. With their gourmet frites and an excellent collection of gourmet sauces and maybe a Red Stripe or Long trail to accompany the whols shebang.
Posted by That Armchair Philosopher at 3:18 PM