I have had many firsts working with the group of misfits commonly known as The TEAM. I broke another person’s bone for the first time in a TEAM rehearsal. I performed as a professional actor on an international stage for the first time with The TEAM. And then we went to Las Vegas for a month together and I conquered a number of personal firsts including: my first visit to Las Vegas!, my first trip to a casino, my first time gambling for higher stakes than nickel-ante kitchen table poker, my first (and only) can of FourLoko, my first non-ironic uttering of “it’s hot, but it’s a dry heat”, and my first visit to a strip club (The Library, it was called. It contained shockingly few librarians sexy or otherwise), as well as a few other firsts that I shan’t mention here due to the limits of propriety/legality.
And now as promised, here is the Sardine Post: the photo- and video-documented experience of a boy who grew up 18 years landlocked sampling his first ever tin of sardines.Given the stakes of this adventure, I knew it was important to give myself every advantage. The sardines were purchased at a sardine specialty shop in what appears to be the sardine capital of the world—Lisbon, Portugal.
After exploring the various styles of tinned sardines – smoked!; with lemon!; with tomato!; with spicy tomato! – I decided on a pack of whole sardines nestled in good old dependable olive oil. Once purchased, the guardians of sardine culture carefully wrapped my new prize in a lovely themed paper and tied it off with a bow. They did this not because a gift, but as if to suggest that any opportunity to enjoy sardines or other ugly tinned aquatic life was in itself a gift, an occasion to be celebrated by eating some sardines.Libby also had some knowledge to lend, a recent initiate into the world of sardine enjoyment herself. On the big day, she assembled for me all the necessary accoutrements – freshly sliced bread, a metric ton of lemon slices for squeezing atop the slimy bastards, and a small pile of sea salt in case there wasn’t enough ocean left in their fishy little bodies.
The result? Aside from one mid-chew surprise, thumbs up all around. But don’t take my word for it from the calm, cold light of the day after. Please enjoy this new and improved video, artfully shot and sound mixed by Mikaal Sulaiman, in the living room of our flat in Edinburgh.