Sushi shells containing bacterial bullets have been loaded into my stomach chamber and now I sit and wait to see how this game of e.coli roulette plays out. My father and I have just returned from one of my most unique trips to a sushi restaurant and, while I don't expect Hemet to be a leader in world cuisine, there are certain criteria that I assume are met in such an establishment. First off, the place was a ghost town; at 8:00PM, we were the only customers in the eatery. Believe it or not, however, this didn't make me that nervous as this is Hemet and all of the seniors have already hit the early bird specials, driven their enormous cars into various buildings around town, caught the 6:00PM news and been asleep for an hour by that time. What did make me a little nervous was my ensuing conversations with the "sushi chef" or, more appropriately, the man behind the sushi bar who held my intestinal fate in his hands.
"What's fresh today?"
"We got our order the other day, so there's nothing that's really fresh."
I pretended to focus on the menu, but really I was offering up a little prayer to any benevolent deity that would listen.
"Could we please get an order of salmon nigiri?"
"What's nigiri?" responds the befuddled chef, whose resemblance is much more Karate Kid (replete with gi and bandana) than sushi master.
"Um, just an order of salmon sushi will be fine."
I let a few minutes pass before succumbing to my curiosity, "so, uh, how long have you been doing this?"
"Oh, about three or four months; I started off as a bus boy and the restaurant was short staffed so I started working behind the sushi bar." Isn't becoming a sushi chef something that people train 10 or more years for? Does a couple bottles of sake contain enough alcohol to kill bacteria?
I tried to take my attention off of the food for a moment and glanced over at the big screen TV in the corner. All things sushi immediately left my forethoughts as my eyes transfixed themselves on the couple fucking on screen. Evidently, the stand-up comedian who was being showcased on the TV when we walked in had been replaced by HBO's Real Sex 97 (or whatever number they're up to now). I don't know if I was more surprised that my dad and I were watching porn in a Japanese restaurant or that the people on the show were uncharacteristically attractive.
It was a lot to swallow in one evening.