Fish Perverts

(This article was written for Dinnercraft and is cross-posted because I’m too lazy to produce original content tonight.)

I have a massive deficiency as a foodie.

I do not eat fish.

I loathe being even in proximity of cooked or cooking fish.

As a child, my father – who is a sport fishing enthusiast and has mad fish hunting skills – would perpetually bring home gargantuan salmon, fresh from the river. He’d process it on the lawn at the side of the house, and it would either be sent to the smoker, or it would be cut into steaks and move on to the freezer. Occasionally he’d pull a frozen salmon steak from the freezer, and stick it in the microwave to cook. The whole house would immediately take on the very cloying bouquet of nuked fish, and I’d have to stuff toilet paper up my nose to keep from vomiting every time I caught a whiff of it. It was a completely involuntary reaction, and hasn’t improved much to this day.

For most of my life, I’d completely rejected seafood as a whole. It kept me from enjoying going out to restaurants, especially since I’m always surrounded by seafood fiends, and they would always want to go to a seafood joint. There is nothing lamer than going to Kettle of Fish and being the only dingus that orders the free-range chicken breast, believe me. I decided it was prudent to teach myself to appreciate some manner of dead sea animal, and eventually managed to work my way up to eating shrimp and prawns. That was good enough for me! I consider being able to eat a shrimp cocktail without gagging a real triumph. Over the past year and a half, I even broadened my horizons, and learned that I like lobster, can tolerate crab, will chomp through a crawfish, and can even nibble at calamari.

Just. Not. Fish.

Sadly for me, The Fish Eaters are never satisfied with this. They constantly want to force me into fish consumption. Fish Eaters always sit next to me in a lunch room, breathing their deviant tuna breath at me. They strive to make me complicit in the acts of their fish perversion.

They say to me, mockingly:

“Oh! It’s all in your head!”

“It doesn’t have a taste!”

“You haven’t tried it THIS way!”

“White fish isn’t like salmon. Try it! You might like halibut/sole/flounder! How do you know if you don’t try it!”

“You can’t taste it if it’s smoked/raw/smothered in wasabi/poached/deep fried!”

“Tastes like chicken!”

LIARS! LIARS!

All of you!

How can you eat something that smells like the rotting crotches of the dead? That has the relative texture of microwaved styrofoam?  A “food” that, when raw, looks not unlike a mucus plug recently expelled from a pre-laboring woman?

*Shudder*

My husband is one of THEM.

My aversion forces him to eat his fish on the sly, sneaking it when he’s out for dinner with clients, or at other fish killing homes. From time to time, he channels his inner de Sade, and slooooooooowly cracks open a can of tuna or salmon, and drains it into the sink without rinsing. Unsuspecting, I’ll walk into the room, and gag as the odour infiltrates my nostrils, making me heave. As I run for the toilet, he laughs, taking joy in my misery and suffering. He feeds my children hunks of the slimy horror, and then sends them to kiss me on the mouth.

Sometimes I wonder if this is grounds for an expedited divorce.

Yet, the biggest source of Accidental Unwanted Seafood Contamination in my life isn’t via my husband or father.

Nay.

It’s the purveyors of sushi who do not fully disclose the contents of their rolls.

You see, I like Japanese food.

I like ordering “safe” rolls, mostly vegetarian in nature. I will gladly eat ones that contain prawns. That’s about as far as it goes.

When trying a sushi place for the first time, I will scan the menu for non-seafood options. I will make note of what I can handle. The server will slide up to the table, and this is ALWAYS how the interaction unfolds:

Me:  The Ebi Roll, #29. The menu says it has shrimp in it. IS THERE ANY OTHER SEAFOOD IN OR ON IT?

Waitress: Ebi Roll?  No. Only shrimp.

Me:  NO OTHER SEAFOOD? No crab? No fish eggs?

Waitress: No. Ebi roll have just shrimp, seaweed, rice, cucumber.

Me: So, there is nothing else in the roll?

Waitress: No.  Says on menu “shrimp.”

Me: Can you please check with the chef?

{waitress departs and has conversation with the fish mutilator behind the counter and returns}

Waitress:  Ah, only shrimp in Ebi Roll.

Me: Okay. I’ll have an order of Ebi Roll, a kappa maki, a yam roll and an order of gyoza.

Waitress: Okay!

*10 minutes goes by*

Waitress: Here is Ebi Roll!

Me:  *reels in horror* What is THAT?

Waitress: Ebi Roll!

The roll that was simply shrimp + rice + seaweed + cucumber?

6″ high, a foot long, covered in salmon flakes + fish roe + shredded crab + mayo AND stuffed with piles of crab. There is a stray piece of prawn and cucumber, dwarfed by the crab monstrosity.

How is this, in any way, what I had previously verified with the waitress?

It steals my joy, and becomes a very expensive waste of food. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Not only can I not scrape off the offending layers because the poison is also inside the roll, but some Fish Horker will be sitting across from me, and will inevitably bellow at me:

“You shouldn’t GO to Japanese restaurants if you don’t want to eat the eel smothered in salmon sauce! What did you expect?”

Well, frankly, I expected that I wouldn’t be served something I didn’t want and confirmed wasn’t.

I don’t see how that is unreasonable.

Perhaps it is.

Perhaps when one opens their life up to eating Things That Come From The Sea, they need to accept that anything and everything that Comes from the Sea may randomly appear on a plate, and they should be willing and ready to eagerly accept it. Sea urchins? Yay! Starfish tartare? Goody! Shark gizzard kebabs? Please, may I have another?

There is just no pleasing you Fish Perverts.

Some things a girl just can’t win.

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6 thoughts on “Fish Perverts

  1. I don’t like fish either. Actually to be more precise I don’t like anything that comes from the water with the exception of seaweed and canned sundried-tomato tuna fish (which isn’t completely water-related I am aware). I like to consider myself a bit of a foodie too but I’ve just never been able to make that jump to creatures from the water.

  2. Ickles. No, I draw the line at eating living things on purpose (can’t promise I won’t accidentally ingest a gnat or something).

    Horse sashimi isn’t bad. Not fish. You know you want to eat raw Mr. Ed with me.

    • I don’t know that I’m completely adverse to trying horse sashimi. I’m not going to go out of my way to locate it, but if I were in, say, Japan, and it were rude to refuse, I’d give it a go.

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