SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

I’m Starving

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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.

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. 

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HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!!!

21 thoughts on “SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

  1. HAHA! You are a hoot! Sashimi is the rage and has been for a while but like you, I dislike raw fish and will eat sushi only. Japanese food is dainty and refined in portions and i could picture your look of disdain when no steaks or sausages LOL! Happy Friday Bryan and you are a fun person.

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  2. Hilarious and I too would have expected a huge meatsaurus feast. Being from Texas when someone say’s “There’s a HUGE feast waiting” we expect meat. A t-bone, ribeye hell even a grilled, very well seasoned chicken breast or an entire roast chicken. I can honestly see your disappointment, even though I love sushi. You made my Friday, thanks Bryan!

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  3. Bryan – I’ve never had sushi before and don’t wish to try it, but I must share this story. While vacationing in Spain back in 1974, I stayed with friends of the family at her childhood home in Madrid. The week we spent in Madrid, during the heat of the day when most places closed down, we went into town and visited a “shrimp and eel bar” and had a little glass of wine. It was kind of a dive, no A/C and the door was propped open, with no screen in it. I could not deal with this place, which they thought was a big treat. The bar had appetizers, not pretzels or peanuts, but skinny black eels about the size of pencils, that were laid out straight in long dishes up and down this bar (no ice on them and it was August). As to the shrimp, you got a handful on a plate. The barkeep reached into a barrel, and pulled out a handful of raw shrimp, shells still on, not deveined and tossed them onto the grill. I’ve always been a bit of a germaphobe, and the entire procedure repulsed me … on top of all that, you were handed a little plateful of shrimp and expected to pull off their shells, then dip them into a community bowl where the occasional fly buzzed about. I could see the shrimps’ digestive tracts and felt ill. The parents made us bouillabaisse as a special treat one night for dinner- OMG. I’m all for “when in Roman, do as the Romans do” but I had to draw the line.

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    1. You need to do a full blown post on this. Give us all the insight, emotional turmoil, you name it. I’ll be with you all the way. I swear I can see this place you’re talking about. Give me more!!!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha – I was just beside myself Bryan. I used to travel a lot and I was game to try new things, but this was way out of my league. I was 18 years old at the time. How about I do this post on a Friday during Lent and I’ll reference your post that triggered this most-unhappy memory? I also got tricked into sampling octopus stew – it was when I saw the suckers on the tentacles that I nearly lost my lunch!

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  4. You poor thing! And you don’t even have my excuse: “I’m sorry–if I eat that, I will die.” I have a severe shellfish allergy–I could have just slammed my epipen on the table and demanded that the waiter bring me a steak:-)

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