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Squid and bacon did it for me

    Two weeks ago I was sitting peacefully on my rucksack that turns in a split second into a portable armchair, on the quay at Blakeney in North Norfolk.

    A man walked up to me and said: "Forget the bacon."

    Was I suddenly in the middle of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?

    Or was he a secret agent from the Chief Rabbi's office, out to catch Jews using bacon?

    If this really was a secret code, what was my password ?

    'How much SQUID would you like, sir?' the fish lady asked the entire shop

    "The Blakeney seals sleep all day long," I said.

    I must have got it wrong because he carried on gazing out to sea.

    A paranoid thought popped into my mind. Was he a member of the hitherto unknown North Norfolk Nazi Party?

    But how did he know I was Jewish?

    Over the years, in moments of crisis I've discovered I have an uncanny ability to remain totally calm. So I took a long puff on my cigar and said nothing.

    He turned and moved towards me but I still didn't move a muscle. Leaning in, he whispered into my ear: "I'm going to say just one word to you. Squid."

    "Squid?" I said. " Squid? Are you quite sure?"

    He tapped the side of his nose twice.

    "Trust me. It's the killer bait."

    "But I was told that bacon was the bait to use." Even, I thought, for Jews.

    "Bacon? That's so yesterday." he said. "Squid's the new bacon." He walked briskly off.

    "Excuse me", I asked the young family next to me on the quay. "Where's the nearest fish shop?"

    In the tiny shop on the tiny high street I cast a seemingly casual glance over the lobsters, plaice and sole displayed on the ice tray.

    "Got any squid?" I whispered.

    "How much SQUID do you want, sir?" the fish lady asked.

    " Ssssssh NOT so loud!" I said. "About 3 inches should suffice".

    "Right! One bag of squid bait!" she announced to the whole shop.

    50p's worth of squid later I was back on the quay.

    I looked round. Nobody was watching me.

    I lowered the line over the side and waited a couple of minutes.

    I looked over the edge into the dark water below. I couldn't see a thing.

    I slowly wound the line up.

    And that's how I caught six crabs in one go, setting a new, I like to think, world crabbing record.

    For my remaining 4 days in Blakeney I was surrounded by admiring kids and their parents as crab after crab was hauled up.

    I had to buy a second bucket. "How do you do it?" they all asked. "What's your secret?"

    "I'll say just one word," I replied. "Bananas."

    For five days in late August I was the Crabbing King of Blakeney.

    And you know something?

    It's good to be the King.

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