The caviar incident

We are almost ready to leave what has been a lovely area in which to live. Nice, but not posh. Those of our neighbours (not us, I’m afraid) who have comfortable incomes, are generally not the kind who consider themselves better than others, or anything. Our grandest neighbour was a baronet, but he lived in a semi. The rest are pretty normal.

Swedes eat caviar on a daily basis. Not the expensive Russian kind, which is no longer allowed to be called caviar, but instead has to be described as cod roe paste, or some such unromantic word. But us old ones grew up on caviar, so caviar it is. Salty, fishy muck that you eat, whether for millionnaires or comes out of a tube from the supermarket.

Son used to eat it, before he went off most things fishy. When he was six, we were invited to a garden party next door. It was a buffet, so I talked him through what was available to eat. I pointed to the little black grains and explained it was another type of caviar.

Later on, Mr R, the nice man who had married the woman we bought our house from, and who just might have been feeling like an outsider (the party was for neighbours, and strictly speaking he wasn’t one), chatted to Son, and hoping to freak him out by mentioning fish eggs, asked Son if he knew what the little black grains were.

‘Yeah, caviar,’ said Son, matter of factly.

Kalles Kaviar

Poor Mr R went away convinced we were so posh that every small child in the neighbourhood knew about caviar. (The fish eggs would have worked on any other little boy. Just not the Son of a Kalles Kaviar-eater.)


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