I blame Charlie Pigeon. At least, I think it was his fault. Certainly the menu at The Pony & Trap said it was, because it identified him specifically as the man responsible for gunning down what I was eating.
All I know is that one minute I was greedily scoffing the heart and liver of a bird he shot (along with some mushrooms and a large piece of gravy-soaked bread), and the next my 11-year-old daughter was staring at me in disgust and calling me a vampire.
And as Charlie’s the one who apparently pulled the trigger on the pigeon in the first place, I’m not sure I should have been shouldering all the blame.
In response, I launched into a well-rehearsed argument about how it’s only respectful to an animal that someone (Charlie) has killed to be eaten, to consume as much of it as possible, not just the obvious bits. Plus, it tastes great.
Look, I said, as my argument reached its irresistible conclusion, it’s not totally offal. My wife groaned and gave my daughter permission to roll her eyes at me.
So thanks to Charlie Pigeon, I was officially condemned by my children, not only for being a bloodthirsty demon of the night, but also for having the sense of humour of an embarrassing uncle, not the chilled-out entertainer of a father I aspire to be. And lunch had been going so well.