This Charmless Man

By Mark Walsh

I had the best intentions for this issue. I said I’d be a good little social diarist, and that I’d go to loads of things. The problem with going to things is that most things are shit. So I chose the one that seemed the easiest and required the least effort: I went to a DU Food and Drink Society sushi-making night. I’ve been watching that Karl Pilkington show, “An Idiot Abroad”, where they send him to places he desperately doesn’t want to be. It’s really good. So I chose a sushi event because I had never eaten sushi before, and I thought it’d be better if I attend things that I’m not entirely comfortable with.

I wasn’t quite sure what sushi actually was. I’d heard it was raw fish, which obviously made me uneasy. I also did not know how to use chopsticks.

Everyone was due to meet in Regent House at 7:00 pm. There was a surprising number of people there. A lot of them seemed to be Erasmus students. I assumed that perhaps they attend a lot of events as a way to meet people. But maybe it’s just that sushi is more popular in other countries. Who knows?

I was waiting to talk to the girl organising the thing, so she could tick my name on the list. I ended up standing uncomfortably close to a girl I didn’t know during this waiting period. I decided to be a nice guy and start a conversation with her – without any sort of sexual motivation. She was a German girl on Erasmus, studying business and something else. I got excited because I do business, so we were probably in some of the same classes. Surely we were. Nope! There are six business options. The three I do were the three she didn’t do. So then my friend arrived, and German girl’s friends arrived, and we never spoke again, and we never will. It’s for the best anyway. I’d only have accidentally done some sort of Basil-Fawlty-style “war” joke and there’d be a huge fight and some form of violence. I know enough people anyway; I’ve too many birthdays to attend as it is.

The sushi night cost five euros. There was fancy soup aplenty: two choices, salty and spicy. Naturally I chose salty, because I really love salt. There was also tofu in it. I was excited at this because I’ve always wanted to try tofu ever since I was a child and watched the cartoon “Doug”, in which there was a song called “Killer Tofu”, sung by “The Beets”.

We were then ushered around a guy who told us all about sushi and how it’s made. It was actually quite interesting. As interesting as a relatively boring subject can be made, anyway.

A few things were passed around for us to examine: a roll of sushi, and a big bowl of wasabi sauce. When the sushi roll made it back to the guy, he remarked how nobody had eaten any of it. Of course we hadn’t eaten any of the thing! It had been passed around and handled by God knows how many people. Did he really expect someone to just bite a chunk out of it before passing it on to the next person? Wasabi sauce is minging. People say it smells awful, but tastes fine when mixed in with the sushi. I’m not sure I buy into that.
After the demonstration, people were asked to go up in groups of four to make their own sushi. There were 60 people there, so it would have taken a long time for everyone to get a go at making their own. Naturally, I left. Going home to watch “The Inbetweeners” is way better than sitting around like a chump in the vain hope of making some of my own sushi.

Overall, it was a nice evening. Probably would have been better if they’d allowed less people, so everyone could have had a turn and it wouldn’t have been so packed. Everyone involved in Food and Drink seems to be really lovely and nice, to the point that it makes me feel guilty about just being a normal amount of nice.

I was also invited to a “Rocky Horror Halloween Party”, by DU Food and Drink and LGBT. I was considering attending, and was reading through the Facebook event page. Then I read the following sentence: “Costume IS compulsory (we will attack you with face paint and worse if you come unadorned in Rocky Horror get-up).” No thanks, mate.

So, instead of dressing up like a bell-end, I stayed at home and wore rubbish old tracksuit bottoms and was really comfortable all night. Living the dream.

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