One Fish, Two Fish

I really need to move on from all this deep-fried stuff. I still have to do Wedding Part III from seven months ago, and there’s a post from Lithuania 2004 to finish. But it’s this bloody Mobile Chip Van!

It keeps coming back every Saturday night and further endearing itself to me. Like instead of playing Greensleeves like Mr Whippy, this dude just drives up and down the streets honking the horn over and over until the customers come forth.

At the first toot last night, Gareth and I ran to the window to observe.

“Ohhh yes,” he sighed as they opened up the serving hatch. “Go and get us a single fish?”

“You’re not really wanting a single fish?”

“No. Not really.”

“Why do you call it a single fish, anyway? Why don’t you just say, Can I have a piece of fish?

“Because it’s a Single Fish. That’s just how it is.”

There is still much to learn about the way of the world here. You don’t ask for “fish and chips” either. Fish and chips is called a Fish Supper. Deep-fried black pudding and chips is a Black Pudding Supper. If you asked for a Sausage Supper And A Tin Of Juice Thanks Pal, you’d get a deep-fried battered sausage of questionable origin, chips and a can of Irn-Bru.

“So is it only fish that comes in a single format?”

“Oh no. You can get a single sausage or a single pudding. Don’t think you get a single pie though. You’d just ask for a pie.”

“And if I wanted two bits of fish, I’d say Double Fish?”

Gareth snorted. “Don’t be preposterous! There’s no such thing as a Double Fish!”

“Why not?”

“Because there isn’t! You’d ask for two Single Fish!”

“That makes no sense at all.”

“It makes sense if you’re Scottish.”


About Shauna Reid

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15 thoughts on “One Fish, Two Fish

  1. I’ve always wondered what Irn-Bru tasted like. Rebus is always drinking it (when he’s not pissed) in the Ian Rankin books.

    I think you’re a riot.

  2. My local chippy does single fish (one piece and chips) and fish supper (two pieces – plus – and chips) But then again it has salt, sauce *and* vinegar, so I think they make it up as they go along anyway.

  3. this is mad, ever since i got married and moved to bradford, i just knew i’d get sucked in by the takeaways that line the main road nearby. fish and chips, donner kebabs, lamb mince *and* tandoori chicken all on one pizza, and all the foreign coke you can drink. i remember one of the sister in laws offered me a chip burger once, opening a box to reveal a huge pile of fries and the top of a burger bun sitting on it. gah.

  4. wait. that’s donner, lamb and chicken on the pizza. not the fish and chips. though i’m sure can make something up.

  5. In Bombay, if you want to get half a glass of hot tea from your friendly roadside establishment, you ask for a “cutting chai”. This is the usual serving size. If you’re radical enough to want a whole glass, it’s a “double cutting chai”. And we supposedly invented math.

  6. “A tin of juice”? I’ve never heard of that, and I’m very old and have lived in Scotland for a long long time. A can, yes (but then, you have to remember that cans are relatively recent inventions. The more traditional ask is “A bottle of juice”, pronounced “A bo’ly jooce”, and even then you’d need to specify which kind. Such as red, green or lemonade).

    Still, it makes a very good story. You are, indeed, a riot.

  7. We got an icecream van in Woy Woy that sounds like a lonely goose and has nice choc chip but is pretty boring compared to the Fryer Truck.

    BTW, if you want a Scottish dinner that’ll make you want to sit on the lounge for a week, try a chip butty with brown sauce.

  8. Tin o’ juice?

    must be another one of those Glasgow?Edinburgh divide things.

    Only 42 miles apart and seem to speak a different language.

    “A can o’ Ginger” is how it was in the G.

    Other than that and the unfortunate obsession with Ketchup in Edinburh chippies the two cities have always enjoyed a mutual respect.

    oops that shuld have read “think each other are bastards”.

    “Salt and sauce” ? I ask you? C’mon it’s gotta be salt and vinegar!

    I stress that I am only teasing.

    Mind, the deep fried unpleasentness is exactly the same, god bless em.

  9. Very funny and dead true. Did you forget to mention a single haggis?

    Signed, a Scots exile.

    Isabelle – when I was a lad, another way to order fizzy drink was “a bo’ly ginger,” then you’d be asked what colour, so you’d say “green ginger” (limeade), or “red ginger” or just “ginger” (lemonade).

  10. it may be a fife thing. as usual i don’t claim to speak for the whole of scotland…

  11. We know Shauny, it’s just we scots share a lovely trait with out Jewish amigos.

    As the old Yiddisher phrase has it,

    “Two Jews, Three opinions”

    as it is with us Scots. We enjoy few things as much as a wee disagreement, possibly correcting each other, and definitely fighting with each other.

    You can never be considered a true king of scotland unless you are killed by your followers.

    Oh and post 10 was me.

    Pol x

  12. Irn Bru is way too horribly sweet in the normal course of things, but is the best hang-over cure I have ever come across.

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