Snakes on a Plate

I’ll usually try anything once, unless it’s heroin, murder, or a post plane crash Lynyrd Skynyrd album.

I went to a restaurant for dinner tonight. The village where I live only has three restaurants, and two of them are kebab shops. The place I went was a newly opened steak house just up the road. It used to be a pub, but it went out of business because the other pub in the village is closer to the kebab shops.

Anyway, I sat down with my family and perused the menu. Obviously I was going to have steak, because it was a steak house. But the starter options were a bit limited. I decided to have the garlic mushrooms because I don’t have any imagination.

But then the waitress told us about the specials. Most of them were intriguing but mostly in sausage form. I’d had reindeer before, and reindeer is delicious. However, our lovely waitress then said ‘oh, I forgot… we also have python as a starter.’

If someone offers you the chance to eat a python, you should take it— even if it is just so you can say you have. Also, you probably get all kinds of respect from pythons you encounter in future. There is something inherently flavoursome about chomping down on an animal that could kill you with ease were it still in one piece.

And, whilst it looks a bit disgusting, python tastes wonderful. It comes in little white chunks that reminded me of the episode of The Simpsons where Marge serves Mr Burns the three-eyed fish. The meat is very tough, but the trick is to cut small bites. It tastes quite a bit like fish, with a dry oily texture that is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. Except fish, obviously.

I don’t know if it’s right to eat python. I suppose they’re not endangered, and it’s not like everyone goes around eating them, but still… I’ve become a little conflicted. I’m not vegetarian, and don’t have a problem with killing animals (although I prefer to leave it to professionals/industrialized warehouses). But most animals I consume are sort of bred specifically for that purpose— for consumption, because we need to eat to survive.

But we don’t need to eat python to survive, at least not in this country. I’ve only ever seen one live python, and that was at a zoo. The python I ate probably wasn’t bred on a python farm for consumption. He was probably just hanging out, minding his own snakey business when BAM, he gets caught and through no fault of his own ends up marinaded in lemon infused oil and devoured by a pathetic human.

If I’d been in a country where pythons lived naturally, and python is what people sometimes ate because that was the cultural norm I don’t think I’d have any problem or moral conflict at all. I probably wouldn’t have had the garlic mayo either, so it’s not all win-win.

This leads me to a more worrying thought that I might be turning into a hippy. I don’t know… and now all I can think about is Barry White urging the residents of Springfield to leave all the snakes alone…

Maybe we should though… maybe like, not eat every animal on the planet. Show a little restraint, unlike the guy who attempted to eat the 72oz steak. It’s kind of depressing seeing that much food go to waste, because nobody can eat that much steak. My steak was 10oz. I couldn’t eat seven and a fifth.

Also a bit depressing in the restaurant were tables surrounded by people, and most of them playing with mobile phones. And not in a sneering ‘I’m so much better than these tech obsessed cretins’ way. It’s just rude. More so when you start playing MP3s loud enough to compete with the music already playing.

Then again it’s rude to refuse when your hosts offer you monkey brains served fresh from the skull just like Temple of Doom. Social ettiquette can be hard to master.

It’s probably okay to eat python, as long as we don’t make a regular thing of it. It’s definitely not okay to be on your phone in a restaurant though. It shouldn’t really be on. Eating with friends and family at a restaurant should be joyous and fun and full of conversation, laughter, and alcohol. It’s brilliant, trust me. A meal is more satisfying when you’re not Tweeting every moment of it.

If you really want strangers on the internet you ate something cool just write about it on a blog later…

On a unrelated note, saw The Dark Knight Rises yesterday on an IMAX screen. IMAX screens take a bit of getting used to, and it probably isn’t worth the extra money but they are pretty awesome.

The Dark Knight Rises is probably the best of the trilogy. It is outrageously good. Michael Caine is outstanding, and somehow Anne Hathaway comes away as the best Catwoman of all time. Bane is terrifying, and there is nothing wrong with his voice. You can hear everything he says. Of course it sounds distorted/synthed— he’s talking through a mask. He sounds a bit like the Hedonismbot from Futurama doing a Sean Connery impression, and at one point actually accidentally quotes the Hedonismbot.

If you only do two things this week, make it a plate of python and a viewing of Batman…

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About James D. Irwin

James D. Irwin is a writer/comedian.
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4 Responses to Snakes on a Plate

  1. Brendan says:

    Have no comments r.e. snake n’ steak (incidentally a *great* restaurant name), but happy to say I’ve seen ‘Dark Knight Rises’. I think, although it’s good (endless speculation about cast and plot kinda ruined a lot of it for me despite my best efforts to avoid most of the publicity), ‘Dark Knight’ is the smarter, and for my money, better film. For sheer threat, for me, Joker has the edge over Bane even though they present two very different types of evil (i.e. terror VS muscles/mushroom cloud).

    P.S. Loving the blog posts so far. Hope all is well…

    • To be honest it’s a while since I saw The Dark Knight, but it wasn’t as epic as the last film. I’m a bit of a sucker for stories like TDKR though, and most of what I enjoyed were links back to the first in the trilogy and other bits of the Batman legend.

      I spoilt it for myself a bit because I kept hearing/seeing the ’60s TV series in it. At the very end all I could hear in my head was Adam West saying ‘some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb…’ and then after that the sort of voice over you ALWAYS get at the end of the first half of an episode (is this the end of the Caped Crusader?!…)

      TDK might be a better film, but TDKR is more awesome and epic. I really, really like Bane. I can do a very good Bane impression now, which is causes much amusement. Planning on re-watching TDK as soon as possible. I remember being a bit underwhelmed, but then I saw that after all the hype whereas this was the day it opened. Also, Bane has a slightly cooler coat.

      All is well. I think I sent you an e-mail last night. I forget things.

  2. Lesley says:

    I get mad about people on phones in restaurants as well, especially if it’s someone I’m with. It’s just plain rude. I tell Travis off about this ALL THE TIME.

    I didn’t really like DKR. Apparently I am now in a minority which just has one member, but I was really unimpressed by it.

    • The phone thing in restaurants is a bit of a dilemma, at least with actual phone calls, because it IS very rude if you’re with someone, but then it is also a little impolite to reject a phone call. However, it does seem fairly obvious that the person you’re with takes priority unless it’s an absolute emergency.

      But any other phone stuff— texting, music, facebook, twitter, whatever else the damn things do… that’s just out and out rude, and kind of troubling.

      I like TDKR less than I did. I’ve just re-watched Batman Begins, and I think as a film it is probably the best. TDKR was a hell of a lot of fun though, and it was very, very cool. I enjoyed it more than the others on a purely entertainment level. It was quite the spectacle.

      I think I’ve heard of other people being unimpressed. I didn’t really rate The Dark Knight when I went to see that. Heath Ledger was awesome, but the rest was a bit bloated…

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