Name: Fish and chips.
Age: About 160. Jewish people in the East End started opening fried fish shops in the 1860s, while chips were making an appearance in northern England. It’s unclear which genius united the two.
Appearance: Brown and crispy.
Like all the best foods! I could inflict serious damage on a jumbo haddock right now. How old are you?
What an impertinent question. Why? I feel your use of the word “impertinent” answers my question. I ask because you might be showing your age: a new YouGov poll reports that only one in 14 under-25s would choose fish and chips as their favourite takeaway, compared with 36% of over-65s.
What are the kids eating instead? Top-rated takeaways for that age group are Chinese and pizza.
Disappointing. You don’t get reading matter with your xiao long bao, do you? Newspaper chip wrapping was outlawed in the 1980s, daddio. When did you last actually buy fish and chips?
I’ve got high cholesterol, but young people don’t have that excuse. No, but they want to look good in the “Y2K vintage” crop tops they’re buying on Depop: deep-fried fish isn’t very #fitspo.
Honestly, what happened to “hope I die before I get old”? I don’t think the Who were talking about cardiovascular disease. Anyway, this is another blow for beleaguered chippies: spiralling energy and cooking oil costs means many are threatened with closure.
That’s terrible. We need to make fish and chips cool for Gen Z! What are you thinking – FishTok? The kids are ahead of you: in May, the Binley Mega Chippy in Coventry became famous after a catchy TikTok song created by a fan led to huge queues. “I’m not normally a fish and chip person, but for Binley Mega Chippy I had to have some,” one 16-year-old said. “It’s all the youngsters,” said the owner, Kamal Ghandi, of the unprecedented crowd clamouring for chips.
That’s promising. How about a range of chippy vapes: mushy peas, pickled egg, curry sauce … Hmm, neither bacon nor roast chicken vapes have proved popular.
Or a cool celebrity endorsement? Leo Burdock’s chippy in Dublin (“We like to think of Bruce Springsteen as a regular”) is on to this, with its hall of fame. Snoop Dogg has eaten there!
He’s 50. How about Saoirse Ronan (28) or Post Malone (27)? Or even Rod Stewart (77, but so youthful, possibly thanks to all those fishy omega-3s)? They’ve all graced the long-running Irish institution.
We’re really scraping the drip tray here. Isn’t that where the best crispy bits are?
Do say: “He/she’s a 10, but he/she hasn’t been to Binley Mega Chippy.”
Don’t say: “Cod has bare protein, fam.”