I don't believe in coincidence. The following happened for a reason. I just don't know what the reason is.
On Thursday, a friend sent me to an on-line video called "I'm On a Boat." I'll give you the link in a minute, but stay with the story line here. The friend is a big-shot lawyer at what used to be a white-shoe law firm in Hartford, back when lawyers wore white shoes with their summer seersuckers. Now the same lawyers wear combat boots scuffed up with ass prints. Anyway, the law firm is a place where you don't say "shit" or, if you do, you close the door first. I have a special place in my seersucker heart for this firm. So when I tracked down the link, I was somewhat jolted to find that the video is a full-on, in-ya-face rap tune whose lyrics consist almost entirely of "I'm on a BOAT, muthaf**ka, on a BOAT." That's right, he sent me to the bleeped out version.
I'm as rap-a-phobic as most pale males of my age, but this video is an irresistible masterpiece of overstatement with a catchy beat. Well, actually, it's pretty much the same beat as every other rap song, but this one's gut-thumping insistence is somehow - well - nearly tolerable. The song follows the story of two nerdy white boys who win a ride "on a BOAT, muthaf**ka, on a BOAT." Transformed into tuxedoed masters of cool, the no-longer-nerdy rappers rap on the front deck of a speeding 80-foot white yacht, impliedly, and probably actually, owned by an overdressed black rap star named T-Pain, who sings rather demurely in the background. It's fun to watch and is probably laced with lots of socially and racially significant metaphors and the like, all of which were wasted on me.
But I came to write about sushi.
Thursdays are Bingo night here in Sugar Creek. Judy takes her mom to sit amidst a sea of white-haired ladies waiting for their number to be called. Bingo takes place in the building next to the shuffleboard courts. People take being over 55 seriously here in Florida, and they are good at it. Me, being mired deep in denial, I still tear up the AARP solicitations that come daily in the mail. But enough on the philosophy of aging. On Thursdays, I'm on my own. When I'm not spending my Thursday evenings in church or in the Badda Bing Club down the street, I generally take myself out for food that Judy won't eat. I like sushi.
My local sushi favorite has followed the economy to hell recently, so I punched up the next sushi place listed on my GPS - sort of a culinary roulette wheel - and landed at Sushi Fune, about 2 miles away. Nice spot. The hostess and waitresses wear spectacular kimonos and the sushi is fresh and nicely prepared.
But actually, I came to write about sushi on a boat.
I sit at the U-shaped sushi bar, a 40-foot-long affair surrounding the chef and his usual counters laden with iced sushi ingredients, soy sauce and those clever wooden serving trays. Sushi Fune, however, also sports a moat. The moat is maybe a foot wide. It emerges at counter level through a curtain from the kitchen, circles the arena clockwise just in front of me and my sushi bar-mates, and wanders back behind the curtain and into the kitchen. I stick my finger in the moat water, and it's cold. This means it is refrigerated, since tap water in Florida is not cold. In fact, faucets here are labeled "Hot" and "Tepid." Drifting along with the flow of the moat, bow to stern, gunwales to the rail, gyring and gimbling in the wabe, are 30 or so ceramic boats. On the promenade deck of each boat is a little dish of something good to eat: edamame, iced octopus salad, California rolls, cold Soba noodles. It's Japanese fare, standard but well prepared and curiously presented.
Wait for it...
Your dinner at Sushi Fune is served on a BOAT, on a muthaf**king BOAT. You take what you like, or at least what you can identify, off the boat as it floats past, sampling whatever looks good - and it all looks good, except to Judy. Remember her? She's playing Bingo. As plundered boats return to the kitchen, the kitchen gnomes restock them with more foods that you don't recognize, but which you eat anyway, and they, too, are good. At the end of your meal, the waitress counts up the empty dishes, performs some calculations that lie beyond the ken of the western mind, and you pay the BILL, the muthaf**king BILL. I never said it was cheap.
This is where I should close with some profound statement about the role in our lives played by juxtaposition and the feng shui of serendipity. But you'll settle for the address for "I'm On a Boat," the unbleeped version. (You'll have to cut and paste, since I haven't found the "link" widget on this machine.) Crank up the speakers, but make sure there aren't any kids or adults around.
If you are so inclined, check out the tag line at the end of the page for Sushi Fune: http://www.sushifune.com/home/
I'm not making this stuff up.