While not being a particularly religious family, we seem to make a point of having fish and chips on a Friday.
It’s funny how one dish can be both relate to one of the most famous Christian stories of all time as well as being the last meal of Jack the Ripper’s first victim, Mary Ann Nichols. It’s a thought that amused me on my way back from the shop while I was distracted marvelling at Orion in the night sky. It’s amazing, that reverence human beings put on the things that in reality have no intrinsic meaning behind them. Would the fish feel any comfort knowing that it’s death has some esoteric spiritual teaching or that perhaps a distant ancestor was eaten by a murder victim?
My cat didn’t seem to care. It tasted good; that was all she needed to know.
Hypothetically: the vegetable oil used to fry the fish and cook the chips is from a farm that used to be a graveyard or was the site of some grand Cromwellian battle. The same raw materials in those bones in the ground helped give life to the corn, sunflower, soy (etc) also just battered a fish. Would the roundhead or cavalier who so valiantly fought and died for a cause feel any better about their death knowing that their sacrifice paved the way for a satisfying Friday night? Okay, sure, it needed a little ketchup – sue me.
I don’t think it’s a morbid thought, I think it’s quite amusing. In fact its rather hopeful that even in death we serve each other, even in the most minor and ridiculous ways possible. Epictetus said:
“You are a soul carrying around a corpse.”
If fish are capable of souls – which I think would be reasonable as sentient organic creatures made of the same stuff as we humans -, I’ve got to give it to this particular cod that it’s corpse was damn tasty. Personally, while I’m not sure about the idea of my corpse being eaten, would I care? In the coming Fallout: New Vegas/Mad Max /Walking Dead/Waterworld apocalypse, I think I’d be rather contented with the idea that some wasteland scavenger has a full belly and a contented disposition. With any luck I’d be as tasty as the cod.
For those wondering, my cat was so pleased herself that she took herself for a post-dinner nap:
I’d like to take this moment to thank the fish for providing me with a fun thought and content for my blog. May God bless your service. Here I should insert a cover of “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid played by a funeral band. “Something in the Way” by Nirvana seems insensitive.