once upon a time there was a lobster

lobstersOnce upon a time, I drove to Argyle St (also known as Little Saigon here in Chicago). I could not find a parking spot and parked about 3 blocks away as usual, but it was a nice day.  I walked to Argyle street and then up and down it a few times. Somehow every time I missed the store with the giant tank of lobsters and crabs in the window. (sigh.) Finally with the help of my trusty sidekick, iPhone, I was able to find the seafood shop.

At the front of the shop was a large tank, 1/2 crabs and 1/2 lobsters and a small empty counter, behind which sat a grumpy teenage girl, also consulting her trusty sidekick.  The shop was long and narrow as storefronts tend to be but this made more obvious by the fact that it was empty like a tunnel all the way to the back where there was also a small seafood counter.

The teenager was even more grumpy when I requested 2 lobsters. I know, having to be at work and do work! Life is tough and I’m sorry but this part never changes unless you can marry into the 1% and become a “real housewife of…” The problem then is of course that you have to be a “real housewife of…” but I digress. She grumpily set down her trusty sidekick, grabbed a brown paper bag grocery bag put it in a plastic grocery bag, put on a big glove, stood on a stool and started pulling out flapping-flailing lobsters for me to pass judgement on. A few were spared for the moment but two were sentenced and placed into the paper bag, weighed and paid for…cash of course.

I had luckily brought a bag of my own (that ikea one that looks like it is is made from a blue plastic tarp) because that soggy paper bag in a flimsy plastic bag with two lobsters flapping away in it would have made the 3 block walk back back to my car much more exciting.  To be honest after sentencing they accepted their fate with a respectable dignity.

I got home and started boiling the water. Rob offered to put them in for me but I don’t roll that way. If I can’t do this then I can’t eat it. I’m not going to go get myself a job at an abattoir but I’m not going to shy away from this lobster business either…no way, no how.

The first one went in and died immediately. The second was not so lucky as the water temp had lowered after the first went in and it seemed to take a few seconds for it to go.  But it was done and no one screamed: not the lobsters, not Rob, not even me.

After boiling the lobsters I realized that I had no way to get into them. That’s right it was only after they had been cooked that I realized that I did not own a single “cracker”…nut, seafood or otherwise of any kind. Luckily I live a short distance from a cookware shop. When I returned with an small assortment of crackers and seafood picks, the lobster lunch was able to begin. I think it was all the more delicious because I appreciated the reality and the work required. I realize that I didn’t actually catch the lobsters.   Maybe next time she will let me stand on the stool and wear the big rubber glove.

Prologue: I, of course, used the shells to make copious amounts of lobster broth which has taken over my freezer. Perhaps this calls for a sequel….Lobster Chowder Lunch.

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