When out to dinner, the host orders for the guests.If the host does not order for the table, the guests order what the host orders. The guests eat what is ordered. Period.
Spouse and I visited Japan to have a “look see.” During this visit, we were taken out to the finest sushi restaurant in Tokyo. This particular sushi chef buys the first tuna of the season and pays about $500,000 for the privilege. We were three of 15 people at the sushi bar. Our host, Emporer, ordered on our behalf. The first course was exceptional. Sushi in Japan has no equal.
The second course was served. It came on the beautiful pottery for which Japan is famous. On one side was a small cup. On the other, a snail. I go for the snail first. Not bad. The sushi chef motions that we should drink what is in the cup. I lifted the cup to my mouth to drink. Normally I don’t look in to my glass, however, I couldn’t help but notice the thousands of eyeballs looking up at me as I raised my glass. I decided to dispatch the eyeballs in one swallow. The gelatinous mass refused to go down. I was forced to bite this unblinking ball in half. A cacophony of explosions made me feel that everything in my stomach was now on its way up. In a panic I was afraid I would start the hysterical laughter I’m famous for at the most inappropriate times. I couldn’t look at spouse. He of course had the advantage of being able to open his throat and dump the entire contents in one motion. Years of college beer training had prepared him for this moment. I forced it down. I managed to get the second half down – imagining that all the eyeballs are yelling “no!!!!!” on their way. I was sweating- my face was the color of the tuna sushi by time this ordeal was completed.
The Emporer was a gracious host. He explained many customs that night. A few minutes after he asked- “hey- is there anything you don’t eat?”— well yea- eyeball shooters.