Monday, September 19, 2011

Lobster Litany

I might have eaten Lobster off of someone else’s fork ONCE before in my life. It might have been at a Red Lobster.

I ate Caviar when I was 11. I was at a fancy brunch with my friend. We were getting food from the buffet and the “blackberry” jam on hard toast looked really yummy. My first acting lesson happened when I put the jam covered toast in my mouth and quickly discovered there was no sweet explosion of berry taste happening in my mouth. I made it through the chew and swallow ordeal by squeezing my legs together under the table so hard I had bruises later and tears in my eyes then. I told them it was fantastic.

I grew to like bleu cheese, brie, portabellas, sushi and a few other delicacies but living in the middle of Amish country, I tend to eat your standard fare on a regular basis. So I was excited to be invited to my first clam bake and order one Lobster for myself.
On Friday someone at work said, “Oh you will love the Lobster tail – have fun!”

So of course I was picturing yummy Lobster tail.

I’m not stupid; I have seen live lobsters in the tank at the grocery store. You have to keep them alive to be fresh, I get it. I know what I am eating. I know they have to dump them in boiling water to kill/cook them. I just didn’t THINK or KNOW that at a clam bake, there is a cardboard box sitting on the deck filled with live lobsters awaiting their death. I didn’t KNOW or THINK the lid would be removed and the kids and men would be lifting the lobsters out of the box to touch them, talk to them, ohhh and awww over them. I didn’t plan on seeing those 10? Little back legs moving all about…..

I left the scene when I was pretty sure they were going to be cooked. I heard the men talking about the screaming to scare the kids. I broke the news to MY kids what was going to happen and that I did order one of their tails to eat and the tail would be at our table.

So when someone called me over and plopped a whole red lobster on my plate, I knew my old acting lessons were being called to action.

I took that plate which was much heavier than I planned like a champ. The tentacles were dipping into my salad and stabbing the skin of my baked potato, and the beady little eyes were aimed my way, but I took that plate and walked through the crowd like I owned it.

Inside, I was screaming:

Thinking quickly, I knew I couldn’t go back to my table just yet. I needed to figure out what to do. I felt like I had a few moments earlier when I was in the bathroom and there was no toilet paper left. I McGyver-ed my way out of that one, I could MacGyver my way out of this too.

I followed the guy in front of me who had two full plates of lobsters. Unfortunately he was sitting pretty far from where my table was. His table was inside, so through the crowd I went staring at the back of his Polo Jacket all the way and NOT at the beady eyes of my soon to be dinner partner. The guy was greeted with cheers at his table when they saw the lobsters. I quickly looked around and found a spot to rest my plate in an inconspicuous corner (On top of a pinball machine) and watched the action. Once I saw how they ripped the lobster apart, I left my post with complete and utter dread. I walked heavily back to my table outside knowing what I was going to have to do. I passed two garbage cans and I am telling you I would have dumped that dead cockroach right in there if those garbage cans were not being watched.

I know you are all yelling at me right now. I am sorry. I do eat meat. I love red meat. I do. I know animals die/are killed in order for me to eat them. But they do not get dumped into boiling water and then immediately put onto my plate for me to do the ripping apart of. I do not purchase them with legs, eyes and antennae intact. There is a difference. If I go to a pig roast, I see the pig, but my final plate does not come with the pig’s nose on it.

So I sat at my table. The picnic table where I had to elegantly place myself into the middle of, one leg at a time while holding my lobster laden plate so as not to let it fall on the head of my child.
The hubby glanced over while eating his CHICKEN and I knew not to look into those eyes. I picked up that lobster and gave it all I got; I pulled the tail right off while clutching the little shriveled up legs and head, its eyes squishing into my palm. The tail came off pretty easy but there was liquid pouring out. I put the remaining body on the table in front of me and felt at this point I could deal with the tail. UNTIL the guy across from me said – “Hey, you can eat the claws too – pull those off.” I smiled at him.

Thanks buddy, got it.

I think I was able to get three teeny tiny bites out of that Lobster. I scraped and dug and worked it like an expert but all I could get were these measly pieces. I was like an ice princess with my Lobster body. Calm, Cool and Collected. I offered the claws to the other men at the table and played it like I was one of those girls who are too full after two bites of dinner. Meanwhile, everyone else was eating like champs.

Later in the night someone got hungry and starting eating clams and I had one of those moments where the words came out of my mouth but I wanted to Hoover them back in: “I’ve never had clams”, so I was given a piece of clam and I have to say, it beat the heck out of lobster. Despite the mouthful of sand.

I will never eat Lobster again. Lobster and Caviar and Venison. Not happening. No way. No how.



Kimmie said...

My feeling is that I should never have to work that hard to eat something. LOL

Lobster in a nice salad....on a roll....with mayo....and a little onion.

Sarah G said...

I'm with you on the lobster, shrimp, clams, caviar, and all things fishy but venison?!? How can you not like venison? :)

Kate said...

I don't like any seafood, and even if I did, your experience would've put me off it forever.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

i've never had whole lobster before. i've seen them in the tanks at red lobster and at wal-mart but have never ordered one. at our local grocery store, they sell the lobsters already steamed but with the heads and claws attached. i've never been able to talk myself into buying one.

but, i love lobster tails - if that's all i see on my plate. can't eat crayfish for the same reason. beady eyes.

i like venison, too. and rabbit. and squirrel. and frog legs.

That gentleman's lady said...

A couple of boys in my sister's class went to walmart, bought a lobster, put it on a leash and walked it all around town. They then took it to Taco Bell and asked if they would cook it for them.

I'm sure lobster is yummy, but I stick to prawns :)

Amy Cappelli said...

I have only had lobster on a few occasions (not a whole lobster) and I wasn't impressed. My younger cousin used to have lobster with his buddies all the time. But, before they would boil the lobsters they would give them one last hurrah. They would race the lobsters in a bathtub filled with water. They would race them on the kitchen floor. The winner was really the loser because he got boiled first:-( You are very brave. I would have sat, rocking in a corner with my plate crying- overcome with anxiety about how to approach tearing into a whole lobster.

Doria said...

Werd! I refuse to eat any of those either. You are braver than me! :)

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Shudder. I have a mega carcass issue. I love meat, but I can't deal when it's in the form it was when it was alive. Lobster is the worst offender. Can't deal. I was queasy reading this entire post.