Even with Jack Hargreaves’ weekly invitation to do something “Out of town” I was never going to become the world’s greatest fisherman. The fear of maggots (I’m sure there’s a long word ending in “phobia” for that) being the reason.
I had several ponds nearby on Wandsworth, Clapham and Tooting Bec Commons where I could have pursued an angling hobby.
I had a mate who invited me to go fishing. This sounded good and so, armed with a bucket and net I’d bought a decade earlier with “Bognor” emblazoned all over them, I called round.
We entered his kitchen; he went to the fridge, opened the door and pulled out a tub. Would we be taking some raspberry ripple with us, or some haddock paste sandwiches to eat as we sat on the banks of Wandsworth Common ponds looking for stingrays? No, these contained maggots.
I thought of the culinary errors which could occur having a tub of maggots in among foodstuffs: the tub containing mince could remain in the fridge as the errant tub was used to create a shepherd’s pie; mistaking it for Neapolitan meant the addition of hundreds and thousands would create utter chaos in the bowl. Plus, going round to a mate’s house, their mums never asked “have you a maggot allergy?”
I assume, if you do this far out to sea, where the fish are much larger, the conversation is going to be: “I think we’re going to need a bigger maggot!”