Turkeys galore and other fishy tales
Catching happy trout will make this columnist happy
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.
There’s nothing like fish for dinner.