Walking along the waterfront at lunch time is a good way to see and smell what’s good for lunch. If the choice was bad there’s food for the gulls. If the food was good – well – it’s gone. The usual selection is a brown bag from home, sushi, curry, panini, or sometimes a salad. I saw today a girl eating what looked like a lentil and bean salad. I was struck by how like Clarice the girl looked, and my lunchtime stroll began to take a more sinister turn. I could remember how Hannibal had enjoyed liver and fava beans with a good chianti. Shows what a truly godless person he was – fava beans – urgh.
Further around, by the diving board, an elderly oriental gentleman was fishing for spotties. He was doing pretty well – I could see he had 6-8 in a plastic bag. I assumed he was catching them for his cat, but it is possible he was catching them for the table. What I didn’t understand is he was interested in the small fish, not the much larger ones that I could see patroling the mussel covered piles. It occurred to me that taking the younger, smaller fish was probably a good thing. Many closed pond enviroments end up with stunted fish populations because people take the big fish, and leave the small fish chasing after a limited food supply.
Locked into thoughts of fava beans and Hannibal and taking the small ones, and I wondered if the story had been different if it would’ve been published. If Hannibal had been a paedivore, would the book have found a publisher. Cannibalism is scary thing, but I don’t recall ever hearing, reading, seeing anything – was this the ultimate taboo? Apart from fava beans – favavores. Urgh – creepy. By the way, the word: fabian, as in the Fabian Society – the British reformist socialist intellectual movement? Based on the word faba, the other spelling variant of fava. Comes as no surprise.
I wondered if the fat cats, the rich, would be better off if Hannibal had eaten their young. Of course – it would avoid the stunted populations we see amongst the Khandallah and Roseneath set. It would save all those hideous private school fees and expensive clothes. The adults would be free to get bigger and to breed, without the competition from the juveniles. They’d have more resources to get more resources.
The juveniles, tenderly fattened from the fingerling stage. would’ve been spared the indignities of those hideous private schools and the curse of a career as an bean counter in the Reserve Bank, or a country seat for the bean fields of parliament. Or worse – a sporting media celeb has-been. Vile.
I went back to the office. I was glad the big fish were still in the clear harbour waters. I was glad my friend the fisherman had dinner – if not for his cat then for himself. I thought the gulls were blessed because they missed out on the lentils and bean salad. I’d had enough of thinking about paedivores. And I’d had more than enough of fava beans. Any beans for that matter. Over them entirely.
I had a soothing cup of miso soup and got on with the afternoon’s work.