The short night out with the family ended nicely. Typically during the journey home, the conversation shifted towards hunger and the desire for something to eat. I offered to procure some chips from the first shop en route, which was met with positive agreement.
We stopped at “Bobby’s Fish N’ Chip Emporium” and I went inside to place the order of 3 small bags of chips, 1 large fish and 2 regular sized containers of curry sauce. I’ve often spent way too long contemplating the definition of “regular sized” to the point of tedium! I’m still none the wiser and this is quite irrelevant at this juncture!
My order was taken by a pleasantly enthusiastic lady, who politely asked about the progress of my evening. I replied with reciprocated enthusiasm, dutifully enquiring as to how her shift was going. “Can’t complain, it could be worse. I could be out with the girls…” was the response if you’re interested? I got the impression she was bored with serving chips? I had no idea how to respond with any relevance, so I simply nodded instead.
Although being the only customer present in the shop, I was advised that my order would take a further 10 minutes to be completed. Despite this revelation, I stood there patiently in the hope that it would actually be worth it. Boredom started to take a grip and I found myself zoning out after reading the overly illuminated menu board for the umpteenth time. I was only stirred back to the here and now when a huge fish walked in and began to peruse the same menu. It was a Pike, I think, stood upright on it’s tail, approximately 5 foot tall. I’d imagine that’s pretty huge in Pike terms if not by human standards? The fish walked freely despite the use of a very elegant cane in hand, or fin, I’m not that savvy with piscine anatomy. It clearly appeared not to need the cane to assist mobility, so I presumed it was an image based accessory.
The Pike connected with my gaze and spoke very eloquently, “Good evening Sir. It’s quite cold out isn’t it? Mind you, I don’t have any clothes on, so I’m bound to feel a slight chill am I not?” I didn’t respond other than to nod vaguely in his direction, not wanting to appear rude. The Pike chuckled away happily to itself, whilst muttering about the declining temperature outside. The lady behind the counter, greeted the huge fish customer with the same exuberance offered to me earlier, proceeding to ask it what it wished to order. “Ah, by any chance do you do battered planktonic crustaceans?” enquired the Pike enthusiastically. “No, I’m sorry love we don’t.” came the polite response from the lady behind the counter. “Oh, that is a shame. You should do! They’re awfully good! Never mind though. Good evening to you all.” The Pike then left as elegantly as it had arrived, whilst I stood in wonderment at the somewhat bizarre passing of events.
Moments later, I collected my order and made my way back to the car still somewhat bewildered. Once inside, I began to ask if anyone else had seen a huge Pike enter the chip shop after me. But I gave up quickly given the despairing look I received from the hungry horde. We got home 5 minutes or so later, made straight to the kitchen and unwrapped the now slightly luke warm and soggy package of chips that unfortunately had to be re-heated in the microwave. As the family eventually tucked into the meal, my youngest daughter shouted out with great conviction and frustration, “Dad, you’ve forgotten the fish!”