"The British have been called a nation of shopkeepers. In my opinion we Americans are on the road to becoming a nation of short-order cooks.
Take my old friend Fred Ogilvie: mature, sophisticated, a delightful companion—before the culinary bug hit him. Now....
"We were anchored off Clemente," I was telling Fred over a schnapps one night at the Idle Hour, "when bango! this baby struck. Felt like the grand-daddy of all rock bass."
"Rock bass, hmmm," Fred said. "You know, a good trick with rock bass is to soak it in a white wine for 24 hours—"
"I was afraid to start reeling in for fear of snapping my line," I went on. "So the skipper said he'd cruise along in the monster's wake—"
"Did you fillet it?" Fred asked.
"Did I what?"
"Fillet it. Cut away the skin and bones before placing it in the pan."
"Look, Fred," I said, "I haven't landed the fish yet and already you're cooking it. Let me tell my story."
"Sorry. Go on."