This Week In Lobsters
Weirdly, there were two stories about lobsters in the news this week. How often does that happen? Not very, I’m certain. I bet it’s a pretty rare phenomenon, a sort of Great Lobster Convergence.
Personally, I thought it was delightful. I like lobsters. I think they’re neat. Lobsters and their ilk, the crustaceans, are the bugs of the sea, crawling around on the ground. Yes, the ocean has a ground and on it, crawling, are bugs, just like with our ground.
Both stories happened in New England, of course, which is Lobster Central for us Americans. In the first, an enormous 21-pound lobster was caught off Nauset Beach in Cape Cod. So large was this lobster that it was as long as the arms and as big as the torso of the fish market manager where it came to be temporarily housed. “It’s giant,” she said.
The fish market raffled this big ol’ lobster off, being a business. I don’t know what they got for it, but I bet it was a pretty penny. The person who won the raffle did not want to eat it. Instead, they donated it to the New England Aquarium in Boston, where tourists could take pictures of it.
To reach that size, 21 pounds, a lobster has to be around 90 years old, meaning it has been down there crawling around on the ocean floor since the 1920s. Now, it will live out its days in a giant glass box full of water, inspiring countless oohs and ahhs. I wonder how long it will live?
The other lobster story happened in Waterford, Connecticut. A man was at a restaurant, planning to eat some lobster, when he spied in the tank a massive specimen. At 17 pounds, this lobster was a bit smaller and younger, being only about 80 years old, but was still impressive. The man planning to eat lobster was certainly impressed and purchased the behemoth there and then. Later, under cover of darkness and at a secret location, he released it back into the sea. This lobster, though smaller, did have a name: Lucky Larry.
With lobsters, clearly, size DOES matter. It’s not just the motion of the ocean. We humans are odd creatures. Generally, we want to eat up lobsters. They are yummy, I hear, especially slathered in butter. If they are really big, however, they get our respect. We are humbled by them. We feel they should either be let go or given a career in show business.
I have never had lobster. I probably never will. For some reason last year BOOM! I turned into a vegetarian. Plus, lobsters aren’t really on my radar. As I write this, I am about 60 miles away from the exact geographical center of the United States. Lobster in these parts is frozen, i.e., crappy, or comically expensive. It’s all about buffalo around here, baby. And nobody discriminates against the larger specimens. They are eaten equally at all sizes, usually by people wearing cowboy hats and pointing out how it’s such a lean meat.
Lobsters, crabs, shrimp, etc., are the bugs of sea. I realize some may have difficulty with this analogy. Likely, they are better tasting than our bugs up here, but that could just be enculturation talking. We have always eaten the bugs of the sea, so it doesn’t seem weird to us. I have never seen a lobster in real life. A 21 pounder, I think, would be disconcerting. Not nearly as disconcerting as a 21 pound cricket, though.
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