Turkeys galore and other fishy tales

Catch­ing happy trout will make this colum­nist happy

Cape Breton Post - - WEEKEND - Mike Fini­gan Mike Fini­gan, from Glace Bay, is a free­lance writer and a for­mer teacher, taxi driver, and rail­roader, now liv­ing in Syd­ney River. His col­umn ap­pears monthly in the Cape Bre­ton Post. He can be con­tacted at cbloosechange@gmail.com.

There’s no short­age of places to get good seafood around here.

Pretty much any­where you pull over on the is­land you’ll likely find a fish mar­ket. From Bay St. Lawrence to Arichat to Louis­bourg, North Syd­ney and tons of places in be­tween. Hit the wharf in Glace Bay at the right time and you could come home with any­thing from mack­erel to sword­fish.

Or, for that mat­ter chicken of the sea, pork loin of the sea, roast beef of the sea, Cor­nish hen of the sea. Bud­weiser and Jim Beam of the sea… Toy­ota Corolla of the sea.

Lit­tle story. One hot sum­mer in the early 80s, a sup­ply ship headed for Ice­land from the USA sank not too far off our coast and all the sup­plies, in pig­gy­back train cars, bobbed up for a tour around the At­lantic, free for the tow­ing and sal­vaging.

I was strolling down Main St., near McKeen, in the Bay, when my hair sud­denly stood on end. There was a rush in the air, even without a breath of wind. A gen­eral feel­ing that some­thing was up. A dead calm, just be­fore the pan­de­mo­nium.

Then my buddy Dave came stag­ger­ing up the road un­der the in­flu­ence of two frozen 25 lb. turkeys that hung un­der his arms like un­ruly tod­dlers. He was happy and out of breath and told me the story in gasps. Then he had to bolt. Get the turkeys home and get back to the wharf pronto.

It was like life turned into an as­ter­oid movie. Peo­ple were run­ning past me with chick­ens and boxes of wings and boxes of sliced ham and salami. Run­ning home or to their cars to un­load and head back for more.

Ten min­utes later I was wharf-side, in­side one of the cars, wad­ing in greasy, an­kle deep sea­wa­ter, with a crowd of oth­ers, with pack­ages of ba­con and salamis fly­ing through the air. And some­how I emerged with two bone-in pork loins. An­other buddy of mine scored a box of Cor­nish hens. Oh happy day! They said that in New Waterford a cou­ple of cars were towed in full of roast beefs and ham­burger. One came in with a new car in­side. One came into the Bay full of booze they said, but that one went up the road un­der armed guard. Whose guards was a source of lively dis­cus­sion. Any­way. End of story. Gen­er­ally, you can ex­pect just fish.

And for me, the more fish in my diet the bet­ter.

This is where I am now in the rag­ing, weari­some de­bates of what to eat, how much to drink, how to live, walk or drive or ride, who to vote for and what to think.

Why fish? It makes me cheer­ful. Happy.

I know, it’s not the Aris­totelian hap­pi­ness whereby one looks back on life from the deathbed and judges by his or her ac­tions through­out if he or she did the right thing, was a good per­son, thought of oth­ers, etc, to sum up a log­i­cal, sternly happy life of stead­fast­ness and re­spon­si­bil­ity. A life lived for the com­mon good.

No, in this case, it’s chem­i­cal, and let’s face it, a lot of our UN­hap­pi­ness is chem­i­cal lately too, so why not? Yes, it’s the Omega 3 fatty acids that every doc­tor in the land will tell you are, hey! Guess what? Good for you. Good for your body AND your mind.

When I eat fish, I feel glad to be alive. Tick­led trout pink.

In fact, come April, I’m get­ting a li­cense and a rod and reel.

I think catch­ing them will make me even hap­pier. Find my­self a nice lit­tle brook full of nice lit­tle happy speck­led trout who have lived good lives, crammed to the eye­balls with Omega 3 fatty acids.

And if I come home in a new Toy­ota full of Cor­nish hens, all the bet­ter.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

There’s noth­ing like fish for din­ner.

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