484 Words

Based, believe it or not, on a R/L incident. All except for the exciting bit



A Small Shower of Sushi

It wouldn't have been my choice of venue, but the CEO always was a sucker for a trend. This was, well, a few years back when sushi restaurants were the latest. Me, I reckoned that as the British Isles had been practically floating on fish for a few thousand years and we'd never previously thought it desirable to eat it raw, there didn't seem to be much point in starting now, trendy or not. Be that as it may, that's where we were headed for lunch: the CEO the new FD, Miranda; the European Operations Director over from HO in Singapore, and me.

Fair enough, it was novel and the little Japanese waitress extremely cute, but I still would have voted for Italian, or Indian. However, there we were, and when it comes down to it I'll eat just about anything. But before the food, there was the drink.

It was the first time I'd encountered saki, and I can't say that I was impressed. Warm and yellowish it reminded me of a former girlfriend with odd tastes, but we won't go there. Still, I'll try anything alcoholic - same imagery - and the little flasks arrived steaming and departed empty and it was all rather jolly - for three of us anyway - Miranda looked less than impressed with the quality of the conversation and humour. Then the food arrived.

Now don't get me wrong, chopsticks hold no fear for me, and I set to: up with the fish, dip it in the green gunky stuff, consume via individual rice bowl. A cinch. Except on this occasion there seemed to be something wrong with mine: maybe they were broken or something. The bloody fish seemed to be spinning out of control on the end of my chopsticks and I became uncomfortably aware that a distinct tide line of stray rice grains was creeping its way towards the EOD. "Your fish appears a little lively," he said inscrutably, brushing some rice off his sleeve.

I caught a cold look from Miranda, but a potentially awkward moment was broken by the CEO deciding to be amusing with a squid. I guess he wasn't too familiar with saki either.

Back in the office, the CEO retired to his inner sanctum and the EOD vanished on the traditional Harrods shopping trip, leaving me with Miranda. "Well that was a dreadful performance," she snapped.

I made some vague placatory noises. Retreating to my office and unplugging the phone for the afternoon was top of my agenda.

"I think you'd better refrain from all drinking at lunch in future," she sniffed. "Consider that an order."

I made a strangulated noise.

"There is an alternative," she said, a little huskily, taking a solid looking hairbrush out of her handbag.

And through the fading warm haze of the saki, snippets of our jolly boys-at-lunchtime conversation came back to haunt me.

Guess which I chose?


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