I’m a curious guy
In my house I am known as the guy who will try anything once. Have a bizarre hat to try on, I’m your guy. Maybe a polyester shirt to wear just in case the style is coming back? Say no more. Or maybe a really hot pepper to chew on or something ridiculous on my head?
I pride myself with curiosity and enthusiasm whenever something new crosses my path. But a long time ago I met my match.
My fellow blogger Paul mentioned his dislike for Sushi and when he did it didn’t take long for an old memory to surface.
I hope you enjoy.
Sushi Run amok
I live in Eugene, Oregon. It is a town where things live and thrive. Former hippies, protestors, group hugs, tree hugs, rainbow lovers and the hatred of all things concrete.
But if there is one thing that sadly tops the list of favorites it would be sushi.
Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I get the feeling there’s a sushi bar on every corner and like a cat running from a pack of wild hungry dogs my urge to run for the nearest hill is instant.
But it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when sushi was just another word. But all of that changed in the fall of 1990. It became known as the day sushi ruined my day.
How Could You?
I was attending college in Ashland, Oregon. My best friend and his girlfriend were headed to her parent’s hours for the weekend in San Francisco and they wanted me to come along.
Her family was upper class. Way upper class. They lived in a mansion on a hill. I love San Francisco. I love mansions. I love hills. I also love free food and lodging.
What’s not to love?
We arrived Friday night with plans to leave Sunday afternoon. The house was huge. The tennis court was cool and the indoor and outdoor pools were….well….really neat and it didn’t take long for the maid and I to be on a first name basis.
The trip had a purpose. The Oregon Ducks were playing the California Bears and we had the sweetest seats in town.
Everything was sprouting roses. Life was rolling along at a fine pace. That is until a permanent wrinkle dented my day.
We were told not to eat any lunch. A giant feast awaited us after the game. I nibbled on a little breakfast. Traveled to the game and surrounded myself with the rich and passed on all the snacks.
My appetite grew as the game wore on. When it finished we walked through campus and joined our waiting party on the other side.
This was going to be grand. Steak, barbeque chicken or maybe something sauté. There might be dance and with any luck karaoke.
I once did a mean Billy Idol.
I paid no attention to the sign on the restaurant when we entered. I was way too busy enjoying the drink, the company and the laughs.
I could play the part of the insanely rich, I remembered. Park me on a hill, place me in a mansion. Add a maid and the guy who restrung the tennis court and we’re good.
Being young and available at the time naturally I would replace the pool guy with the pool girl.
The Food has Arrived!!!
By the time we sat down it was a good five or six hours since I last ate. I remember having a beer and a handful of saltine crackers as I eagerly awaited for the yummy first course to arrive.
It didn’t take long for the food to appear and when it did I swore it was still alive.
I remember something raw stuffed with other raw things. Slices of raw fish dipped in something black. Seaweed, lots of seaweed, and things that smelled like vinegar.
What the hell?
I stared at my empty plate and listened to my stomach complain. Not a steak in site, I whispered to my belly as the people around me filled their plates with raw things dipped in black stuff surround by things I tripped over on the beach.
Mind my Manners
I was raised in a home where manners were a high priority. As I accepted the invitation to taste the mysterious objects in front of me I caved in to my grandparents warning and politely swallowed the raw mystery thing whole.
The evening ended with me eating a record number of saltine crackers and a ridiculous high count of beer.
Check that: A whole lot of beer.
When I look back the combination did create a nice blend of salt, dried bread and lots of alcohol.
As expected the evening turned a tad blurry. Apparently I insulted the diners with a handful of homemade sushi jokes. I was told later I was the only one laughing.
My friend cut ties with his girlfriend a few months later. I’m pretty sure I had nothing to do with it. I too had my own ties to cut, that being never to walk past a sushi restaurant again.
But no matter how deep the cut lies the memory of raw fish gliding down my throat is a moment that will last until the end of my days.
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!!!