I took Iris uber Alles down to the Aquarium of the Bay the other day. We had the misfortune of being there at the same time as an exceptionally loud little boy of about nine years old, who was not only exceptional in decibels but also in monotony. Over and frigging over again, with no change in his sense of wonder, this little monomaniac kept shouting, "I WANT TO BARBECUE THAT FISH THERE! WHAT IF WE BARBECUED ALL THESE FISH? SEE THAT FISH? I WANT TO BARBECUE THAT FISH!"
This went on, louder and louder, for half an hour, as Iris and I marveled at all sorts, shapes, and sizes of fish. "My God, Iris, will he ever stop?" I complained. Iris laughed. We agreed that this young fellow seemed rather simple, as he bellowed out his one thought over and over and over again, and his mother made no effort to get him to either lower his voice or change up his conversation.
By the time we got to the sharks, a European tourist snapped and very loudly told this boy off. "FEESH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD!" she lectured. The boy's mother was just as passive in the face of this Euro-activism as she was with all that shouting about barbecuing. Iris and I choked back our giggles.
Although Iris had held her vegetarian stridency in during all that time we'd spent enduring the "I WANT TO BARBECUE ALL THESE FISH" shouting, she let loose on her mother when we walked to the car. "You eat fish!" she said accusingly.
"I do not!"
"I saw you eat a tuna when we were in Panama!"
"That wasn't a tuna, and that was YEARS ago. Why are you nagging me? Why don't you nag your father? God only knows what he eats! He had three hundred dollars worth of sushi a couple weeks ago!" (It always drives me crazy that Iris uber Alles nags me incessantly about my less-than-satisfactory level of vegetarianness and lets her meat-eating father off the hook).
Iris uber Alles was silent for a moment, knocked off stride. "Wait -- that wasn't vegetarian sushi?"
"Iris," I said wearily, "they don't charge hundreds of dollars for cucumber sushi."
Iris took a moment to take that in. Soon restored to her customary aplomb, she resumed her digging at me. "You eat crab!"
i can not imagine not eating fish. and not eating crab is just shameful.
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