My mistake seemed to be going home after work and settling down with a glass of wine. When it came time to set off I just couldn't be bothered. Note to future self: either go straight to the venue from work or get more than one ticket so you fear letting someone down by binning it at the last minute.
Safely ensconced in the crib, I returned to my Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Netflix binge and got up to Season 2: Episode 5 Sicily.
In this our hero realises his local fixer isn’t showing him the real Sicily, and is instead creating a faux experience for him and the show.
“We were supposed to go off with an artisanal octopus fisherman and obviously nothing living had ever been near the site in Sicily. It was heavily trafficked by tourists and pleasure boats. Something snapped in me, and a big mistake with the producer at the time, was he put me in a café to calm down until the next take and I began pounding negronis, 18 of them. I was blackout drunk for the next scene, which was good because the artisanal fisherman was going to take us back to his 'traditional' restaurant. I go back and it’s a square plate with a metal ring full of tuna tartar with an avocado on top and squeeze bottle designs. (As I saw later on film, because I don’t remember the scene at all.) It was a low point. I am snake bit as far as Sicily. You cannot make great TV in Sicily. It’s a fantastic location, the food is awesome, the people and everywhere you look is great, but for some reason both times I have made shows in Sicily everything has gone wrong.”He goes off the rails. My indolent sulking is a small thing in comparison. It is a difficult watch now we have discovered how troubled a man he must actually have been.
“It’s become a hideous, funny failure. But it wasn’t funny to me down there where those dead octopi were splashing down behind my head. I felt like I was speaking in manic, double speed for the next week. I couldn’t breathe, my crew was very concerned and there were some personnel changes afterwards. I'm still pissed about it. This is sort of a dangerous paradox about the shows over the years where the producers understand that when things go really, really badly, its comedy gold sometimes, but its not fun for me. I don’t go out there looking to make a funny show mocking this well-meaning but thoroughly corrupt fisherman who was just trying to make things entertaining.”