Monday, 20 June 2011

Vegetarians eat fish, don't they?

I'm very careful about what I eat, because I'm a vegetarian. I have been since I was about 18 - that's thirty years now. I detest meat: there's just something dead about it that I find disgusting. Being vegetarian was never meant to be like a religion, but that's how it's got.  Now it IS my religion... my only religion.
Anyway, I was in Stockton-on-Tees the other Friday, which is a smallish town in the north east of England close to Middlesborough and in the region of Sunderland and Newcastle but obviously with its own separate identity. I mention that simply because people from Stockton won't even GO to Newcastle or Sunderland because they hate those places.
With two mates Rob and Harry I sat down to eat in a chippy off the main drag that was highly recommended, a place called Barnacles, which had won 'Chippy of the Year' in 2000, according to the plaque on the wall. It was about 730pm on a Friday, so it wasn't too busy. My two friends eat meat and fish, so no problems for them but not so easy for me. Nothing on the menu for veggies apart from vegetable lasagne, which I had enough of in the 1980s to last me a lifetime. The waitress offered her thoughts on my dilemma.
"Vegetarians eat fish, don't they?" she said. "We've got plenty of fish."
I muttered under my breath something about fish-eating vegetarians not being proper vegetarians, and asked if they had curry sauce to have with chips. "But we fry our chips in beef dripping," she said, "so maybe that's no good?"
"Thanks for mentioning that," I said. "In fact, I don't think I'll have anything. Oh.. (realising there weren't any other places open and I would go hungry otherwise)... maybe a cheese salad."
Harry and Rob ate their chips and fish and whatever and we noshed away. "If it's any consolation," Rob said afterwards, "the chips were pretty tasteless."
It's a long time since that award, Barnacles: sort it out....

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