Another Fishing Tale

The author of this little gem is not known.

Scotland is a great place for fishing — people travel from all over Britain to take part in the angling competitions held in Fifeshire. To keep the visiting fishermen entertained in the evenings, one of the hotels decided to stage a fish eating competition as well.

A dozen competitors sat at a long table with a supply of grilled fish fresh from the nearby river and their choice of tipple to help wash it down. The winner would be the one who could eat the greatest number of whole fish in 15 minutes.

There were two favourites in the race who had done well in the previous year’s competition. Local man John Hicks was well-known for his appetite, and Steven Coleridge from London was also strongly fancied, although he didn’t have access to the same sort of training facilities during the year.

At first, Hicks surged ahead and had devoured three fish in the first five minutes. But Coleridge was close behind him and finished his third fish after seven minutes. The rest of the field were rank amateurs by comparison and most were only there for the free drinks.

Hicks continued to lead for most of the alloted time, until suddenly there was a loud crunching sound and he cried out in pain. He had bitten a hard piece of bone and dislodged a molar; after consuming eight fish he couldn’t continue. Coleridge was unfazed and kept chewing at his relentless pace. By the end of the fifteen minutes, Coleridge had edged past his rival to win the competition.

The headline in the paper next day read:

“One tooth free for Fife’s Hicks, Steven ate nine tench”

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