At first, I was a little nervous when I ordered lobster. It was pricey, but I was in Cape Cod, and when in Massachusetts…you know what I mean. Since I like shrimp, crab, and a few other “fishy” items, I thought lobster would be no big deal. After all, lobster bisque is tasty, isn’t it?
My anticipation grew as I hear the snap, crackle, pop of other diners tearing into their bright red shellfish. This was exciting, like being in a movie, where people go out and eat lobster. Usually my idea of a nice dinner out is TGI Friday’s. But here I was in Cape Cod with my best friend enjoying the finer things in life, complete with a glass of free water! Yup, I was living it up.
That is, until my meal actually arrived. I liked my “tool basket” for lobster dissection; it came with bib that read, ‘Time to Get Crackin’.” I tied on my ultra-fashionable bib and got ready to chow down. I looked at my lobster (who I’ve decided to call “Gus”). There were these little black specks that resembled eyes on his lobster face. Hmm, I thought, that’s weird. No self-respecting dining establishment would serve food with eyeballs sill intact, I reasoned, as I poked at the black dot with my fork. All of a sudden Gus’ eyeball—yes, his EYEBALL—shot out of his eye. If there was a sound effect, it would have been, “BOING!” Horrified, I grabbed a piece of lettuce and covered up Gus’ face. I felt as though I might throw up.
I hurriedly began to shovel lobster meat into my mouth. I needed to eat Gus–and fast– before I lost my nerve. Normal people eat lobster dinners (even the eyeballs) all the time, and by golly, I was going to be a normal person. I paused and noticed that Gus’ claws were lying next to him on the plate. It was supposed to have aesthetic appeal I guess. To me, it just seemed cruel to cut off Gus’ arms and then use them as plate décor. I told my best friend, Sarah, as much when she informed me I should eat the claws. Oh. I strengthened my resolve and focused on the task at hand—I had to crack this thing open and eat the meat inside. As I attempted to “get crackin’” on Gus’ claw, his eye inadvertently came uncovered.
There he was, lying on my plate, in a sea of lettuce watching me crack open his claw. I let out a shriek and began to pack stuffing and vegetables around his head. As I threw lettuce onto the pile, I observed Gus’ little lobster legs. OMIGOSH! He has legs! And eyes! And antennas! It was all too real for me. I ripped off my bib and used it to cover my plate, out of respect for Gus.
Other diners happily dismembered their lobsters—even sucking juice from the legs. These weren’t normal people; they were savages. We weren’t trapped in the wilderness; we were at a fine dining establishment! But I was the outsider—the non-lobster lover—who was grateful to pay the bill and leave.
Sarah, who went the safe route with lobster ravioli, thought the entire situation was down-right hilarious. In the midst of my horror, new laughter emerged from the other side of the dinner table. While she wasn’t particularly supportive during the actual event (it’s hard to offer words of encouragement when one is laughing that hard—it sounds insincere), she did buy me a burger on the way back to the hotel.
The burger, by the way, was delicious. And more importantly, it didn’t have eyeballs…at least while I was eating it.