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So we decide to have tea (the meal, not the beverage) at a cafe Uncle B calls Salmonella on Sea, on account of it is down by the water and the authorities occasionally take a legal interest in their kitchen hygiene. But it’s tasty, relatively cheap and open until four (aside: there is a frustrating black hole in the afternoon during which you cannot buy cooked food in the UK. Lunch places are open until three-ish, supper places don’t open until six-ish, and between you can starve. Or hit Mickey D’s, one of which we have not got).

So I was tucking into my ptomaineburger and fries, and Uncle B was reaching over to nick some chips, when he made the shush face.

The man at the next table said, “no, it was definitely a stoat. Bigger than a weasel.”

“Yes,” a woman trilled, “and it was running around all night, stealing the chips right off people’s plates.”

I’ll never live it down.


Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: January 26, 2009, 8:21 pm

Let me get this straight, a stoat is the one that likes chips? (And McDonalds sounds good about 4ish to me.)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 26, 2009, 8:25 pm

I’m surprised. I know they’re dietary opportunists, but I didn’t think they’d go for chips.

Thing is, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: nobody expects restaurants to be open, so nobody goes for a meal in the afternoon. And restaurants which do open don’t see much business, because see a).

Comment from armybrat
Time: January 26, 2009, 8:30 pm

We’re recently back from 2 weeks in Spain where we discovered the whole country (really- the whole country)shuts down from 1:30 to 5:30 ish. Can’t shop, can’t tour. Thank heavens, the bars are open and you can get a plate of that fabulous ham and while away a few hours. Played hell on our touring though as I’m rarely out of bed before 9 am on vacation and rarely leave the breakfast/coffee before 10:30. A little bit of walking around and then I gotta search out a place to hunker down with a few beers for a while…..I coulda gotten used to that!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: January 26, 2009, 8:31 pm

for shame, Weez! For shame!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 26, 2009, 8:34 pm


And (for good measure) another rousing Ha!

The truth about thieving stoats, revealed, at last (it was my t-shirt, last week).

Comment from scubafreak
Time: January 26, 2009, 9:18 pm

That’s ok, stoatie. A guy in Russia tried to rape a raccoon the other day, and the raccoon stole something of his MUCH MORE VALUABLE that some chips…… LOL


Comment from Machinist
Time: January 26, 2009, 10:17 pm


Comment from Jill
Time: January 26, 2009, 11:31 pm

You indiscriminate chip nipper!


Comment from iamfelix
Time: January 27, 2009, 12:14 am

Are you sure it wasn’t Amy? Oh yeah, she was only making off with adult beverages ….

Comment from MCPO Airdale
Time: January 27, 2009, 12:45 am

Weasels are tricksy!!

Comment from Brigette Russell
Time: January 27, 2009, 2:46 am

I realize the stoats and sheep and inglenooks and chips and all the other Brit crap is like Bangers and Mash (or whatever they eat instead of Chicken Soup over there) for the Engaged American Girl’s Soul, but please, aren’t you EVER going to make fun of American politicians again? I’m on a road trip with my ^&*^*$% brat kids and I really, really need a pick-me-up, so how ’bout it?

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: January 27, 2009, 3:34 am

Zounds!!! You have been discovered! FLEE!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 27, 2009, 8:59 am

I will, Brigette. I will. I’m waiting for the gloating to die down. It’s only good sportsmanship to let the other guys have their dance in the end zone before I Photoshop more things coming out of or going into somebody’s butt.

Also, I’m in a strange foreign land, most of my computer stuff is still in storage, I’m doing my best to ignore the global financial Armageddon going on, I’m up to my ass in domestic bliss and I have a wedding coming up. Really, you’re lucky to squeeze a chip-nicking stoat out of me.

Lucky lucky lucky. Don’t you feel lucky?

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: January 27, 2009, 9:56 am

I just noticed that the Weas was eating “fries,” while Uncle B was reaching over to nick “chips.” I am going to picture all of your conversations going like that.

UNCLE B: Let’s go to the first floor, eh wot wot? The lift’s right there.
THE WEAS: No, we need some exercise. Let’s take the stairs to the second floor instead of the elevator.
UNCLE B: Jolly good. Up the apples!
(climbing the stairs)
THE WEAS: Oh, I just remembered – we need to get gas on the way home.
UNCLE B: (adjusting monocle) Quite so. There’s a petrol station just down the street.

Et cetera.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: January 27, 2009, 10:16 am

Mrs. Peel: that reminds me of the monocled, heavily-mustachioed ueber-British hunter in Yogi Bear episodes. If anyone knows what I’m talking about.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: January 27, 2009, 10:51 am

(and yes, I know I mixed several different stereotypes of “Britspeak,” much like putting “y’all” and “fixin’ to” in a Yankee’s mouth. That was part of the joke. In theory, anyway.)

Catch y’all later. I’m fixin’ to git to work.

Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: January 27, 2009, 12:12 pm


Comment from Dawn
Time: January 27, 2009, 3:34 pm

My first husband used to make fun of me for saying fixin. I thought it was because I was dropping the g at the end of the word so I would correct myself by saying “OKAY – I am fixing to go to the store then”. It took me years after I moved from Texas to figure out fixing is not a word.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: January 27, 2009, 4:52 pm

Dawn, fixin is a perfectly cromulent word. There ain’t nothing wrong with y’all saying you’re fixin to do something.

Comment from Mrs. Hill
Time: January 27, 2009, 5:22 pm

My first husband used to make fun of me for saying fixin.


“Fixin'” is so much more economical than “getting ready.” I’d gladly trade an idiom for an . . . but I’ve said too much!

Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: January 27, 2009, 5:28 pm

I’d gladly trade an idiom for an . . . but I’ve said too much!

This is appropriate.

Comment from MCPO Airdale
Time: January 27, 2009, 5:51 pm

In South Georgia,it is pronounced, “fiddina”.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: January 27, 2009, 7:12 pm

I reckon weasels love them french fried pertaters… mmm hmmm

Comment from Mikey NTH
Time: February 2, 2009, 7:40 pm

Sort of reminds me of this little place in Cortez, Florida. It is a fish-place (where fishing boats dock and send their catch in) and they have a little grill and bar where you can get fish, and fish and more fish.

We had the fish.

The gulls, pelicans, and egrets congregate around, and if you leave your table without a garrison, the beggers are in there. Something to see, watching an egret stalk along a few feet away, his beady eye saying ‘So, you gonna finish that?’.

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