In an attempt at a successful catch and release program, the Captain and I went out for sushi last night. I don’t mind telling you that the release came quite soon after the catch and was, by itself, a splendid success.
We’d been whiling away the afternoon watching the local canines compete for obedience honors at the city dog show. It’s amazing what a human will do with a liver treat to coerce three pounds of fluff and drool to run after a glove they’d give mad chase for at home getting ready for an evening out.
Such a display of sterling cooperation between man and beastie is hungry work, so we stopped afterwards at the nearest restaurant, whose façade smacked of Japanese food of the non-slimy kind.
The menu came—I am not kidding—in a three ring binder. I didn’t know whether to order dinner or study for a test on rice. I made notes of several key items on the palm of my hand in soy sauce in case I was quizzed on condiments later in the evening.
I’d never come across any of the notebooks’s offerings at church potlucks, but I found an annotated item at the bottom of page three that mentioned ingredients I had heard of previously. I selected the annotated chicken teriyaki on the theory that at least chickens draw heat from global warming. All of the rest of the selections looked to be bottom dwellers.
The Captain of my heart and Master of the bill gestured boldly at an item that began with the letter N. N apparently stands for “Nothing I Would Let the Children Eat.” Or perhaps, “Never mind, just bring the check.”
In a land where we deep fry dessert items to make sure the shortbread is not capable of brandishing a butcher knife behind our back, a plate full of uncooked sea creatures the color of sunburn on parts that should never see daylight can be a bit unsettling. Each piece perched on a small hill of rice, resembling an anthill when the worker types are trying to fit a juicy earthworm down the chimney. One morsel looked alarmingly like a flesh wound.
Finding no weaponry but a damp napkin and a pair of wooden stakes, the Captain gave a fairly convincing impression of a man about to eat dinner. If I had the savoir faire he has, I could eat in a dozen languages.
“Are you going to eat that?”
“No, I’m going to hold it over the candle until it gives me its name, rank, and expected date of demise.”
I watched in shock and awe as he dipped a shrimp fillet in a lovely green dip known to sushi professionals as “Wasabi”.
A secret among sushi professionals is that “Wasabi” is a Japanese word meaning “the devil is dancing the hotfoot rumba in your underpants.”
“I guess it’s hot.”
“What makes you think so?”
You drained the wishing well in the lobby.
“You’re exaggerating,” he retorted, spitting out a quarter.
“If you sneeze, we’ll have enough for the tip.”
While the Captain fished for minnows, I consumed a lovely helping of teriyaki chicken. Teriyaki is a Japanese word that means “not eating bait.”
The waiter appeared at the table. “Would you care for dessert?”
“I guess not,” I said, surreptitiously checking my palm for data. “I passed the test. I'm afraid to try for extra credit.”