The assumption that is made (in my imagination) that eating and appearing to enjoy certain types of food makes you look sophisticated or assume the mantle of being knowledgeable and cultured dogs me like some badly behaved and sociable dog that I’ve encouraged with pats, praise and tit-bits. I can’t shake it off, it has adopted me. Top of the list is the anchovy and/or white bait eating experience. Scoffing the whole, strong salty fish with it's oily texture and mouth stinging pickled flavours is more of a trial of strength than any kind of measure of social mobility and worldly wisdom, it’s pain. The culinary equivalent of swimming with jelly fish whilst urinating. Perversely it’s a pain I’ve come to enjoy. The challenge that lies beyond the bland, the easy or dare I say it the pleasant. The strange experimental pact that you may from time to time (when bored with modern life) make with yourself just to test your limits (and when you are of a certain age it’s not about American motorcycles, parachutes or bungee chords), it’s just about consumption, pain and pushing against some stubborn physical tolerance. It’s taking a risk, often a stupid one. I know where I am in this now in this universe of botulism and I am comfortable peering over the event horizon and into the black hole, even if the trip is powered by a tasty but fatal dose of scallops rather than a pristine bit of Cheddar.
It’s the same as voting yes in the referendum. A yes vote equals a revolutionary outlook; a no vote equals a reactionary view. The issues on both sides are totally irrelevant; there is no proper debate, no meaningful information, nothing found in those exhausting sound bites or repetitive tweets matters. There is no credible evidence for a certain future outcome either way. It’s just risky v risk averse; and there is nothing wrong with that. All people want is some validation for their cherished views and, when the majority look they always find what they want to find nothing changes the dark/sepia human heart easily, not even sea-food dislikes. Had both sides realised that a while ago they could’ve done away with the flyers, films and trumped up publicity and donated the money to worthwhile charities and noble causes and just left us all to vote from the heart. This is exactly what we will all do on the 18th, albeit most folks will completely deny it if asked. Put it to the test, think of the Yes and No people you now know – how do they measure up? Anchovies or cheese?