“Are you sure I have to eat these?” The minister said through the side of his mouth. Before him were three plates. Two with fish heads, the other with a fish tail. There were about a hundred journalists in the press room, twenty cameras staring straight at him. They were all waiting.
His chief aide whispered from his right, the movement of her mouth barely shifting her smile, “Sir you agreed to this. Most of the toxins from the spill ended up in those parts of the fish. If you eat them publicly, maybe you persuade people to still eat our fish.”
He smiled again at the cameras and looked at the plate again. Christ! He thought, They don’t even look like they have been cooked. The cook could have covered them up, made them looks as little like what they were as possible. But then; wasn’t that the point.
“Minister!” The aide again, “They’re waiting!”
He thought of eating the fish heads and thought of another meeting with the fishermen’s union, he could not really figure out which one was more unpleasant. Best not hold it off any longer. He skewered a fish head on his fork. Held it up next to the big fat smile on his face, and took a great big bite out of it.
He chewed, expecting the flavour to be horrid but the juices flowed down the back of his palate and… It was not too bad. He swallowed and finished the other head with one big bite. The tail, though boney, likewise went down easy.
The Press seemed vaguely disappointed when the minster gave a short speech how everyone should have “confidence in our fish” and left the podium. As he walked out he got a quick word with his aide, “That was Gastón’s work, wasn’t it?”
“Yes Minster.” She said “He’s a miracle worker isn’t he?”
He looked back at the Cameramen and a thought passed through his head. “Hey.” He turned to address the press “Since I enjoyed my quick snack so much. I think it is only fair to invite the CEO of Diagon Chemicals for the same meal. Say, this time tomorrow.”
There was a some murmurs from the journalist and more than one chuckle. “He’ll have to take up your offer now.” His aide remarked, “I’ll tell Gastón to make more of the same for him.”
“Oh no!” The minister said with a glint in his eye, “No need to trouble him. Regular fish heads and tails will do.”