What greater pleasure in life is there than enjoying a succulent, buttery steamed lobster? YUMM! I was introduced to the preparation of this luxurious entrée one Christmas Eve. Our family tradition always included shellfish for our Christmas Eve feast and this year was to be my first time preparing this rare treat for us to enjoy.
An astoundingly large Christmas dinner was to take place the next day which included around 23 guests and various drop in visitors. But tonight was just for us. Well except for Bobo the cat and Chomper the dog. They were determined to never leave us alone for such moments as they felt they were entitled to be privy to every aspect of our lives. No place was sacred, every activity must be witnessed. Participation was mandatory whether we liked it or not.
This seafood banquet was a romantic dinner for just the two of us to enjoy before the chaos of family encroached on our home. We had planned candles, music and the exchange of our precious gifts expressing our love and affection for one another. Yet, as they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!
We began our adventure with a trip to the nearest town that had a grocery store that carried live lobster. We selected two large, feisty and determined lobsters for our repast. The lobsters were packed in boxes filled with wet seaweed. We began the hour long drive back to our country home trying to hurry for fear that the lobster would not survive the long trip.
During the drive I listened with growing trepidation as I heard the clicking and movement coming from the box. I wondered if they knew what was coming their way. My resolve began to slowly fail. At last we made it home and the clicking noises still poured forth. I placed the box on the kitchen table as we started the preparations for our romantic, wonderful evening.
“Pop!” Out came the cork as the wine was poured. The salad was prepared and the bread was toasted. The vegetables were roasting and the water was set to boil. As the wine started working its magic, a few kisses were quickly stolen then returned with increasing heat. Bobo and Chomper ignored us as they had witnessed this disgusting human behavior many times. However, their ears and eyes were transfixed on this strange smelling and odd sounding box. Whatever could be in there?
Bobo kept jumping onto the table with a withering look towards Chomper that seemed to say “Ha! You could never get away with this you mangy mongrel!” He would creep to the box and begin sniffing the contents in and extraordinary show of curiosity while Chomper sat on his hind legs peering over the edge of the table egging on Bobo to finally unmask that unusual, unknown odor.
Bobo would hiss in disgust every time we removed her with a tsk telling her the box was not for her. Chomper would bounce around Bobo asking her in his doggy enthusiasm, “What is it huh? Did you see it? What is it? Can we eat it?” Bobo merely licked herself while planning her next assault.
Finally the moment of truth came. The water was boiling rapidly and it was time to end the lobsters wait for entrance to the next phase of the cycle of life. I grabbed the lobster with a pair of tongs while the rubber bands on the claws were clipped off. Bobo and Chomper observed all of this in a state of excited anticipation and fear. What was that thing?
Both animals began circling my every movement in an attempt to get a better look and smell of this strange exotic creature. As I slowly made my way to the roiling pot of water I asked Ray, “Is it true they make a screeching noise when you drop them in the water?” I was rather nervous about his response.
But he just laughed and replied “No, that’s an old wives tale!”
With a little more courage I maneuvered through the increasingly more demanding encroachment of Bobo and Chomper and made my way to the pot of waiting water. Slowly I raised my arm to drop the lobster in when Ray screeched.
“NOOOO! Don’t kill me!”
I was so startled I jumped backwards and threw my arm to the side releasing the lobster in a tail-over-claw spiral through the air. I remember the slow motion movement as this lobster flew through the air into the living room. It slammed into the sofa and bounced repeatedly onto the cushions before one final rousing bounce onto the floor.
Bobo saw his prey escaping and made a majestic leap towards the lobster. Cat’s claws have little effect on a lobster. A lobster claw however, can, and did, clamp onto Bobo’s tail for dear life and refused to let go. Chomper ran to protect his feline friend as Bobo screeched and hissed and ran rampant throughout the room with the lobster super glued to his tail. Chomper chased Bobo in an attempt to remove the offending crustacean but to little avail.
As we stood there watching with our mouths wide and astounded a miniature tornado attacked our living room. The Christmas tree was the first casualty as Bobo tried to lose the horrific alien creature attached to her tail. Chomper, stomped, bit and attacked anything that moved yet was never quite fast enough to stomp, bite, or attack the lobster. It was the remnants left behind in the flurry of fur and seaweed that paid the price.
Ornaments and Christmas presents were destroyed but not with the expected joy and pleasure of Christmas morning. This was a carnage of humor and fur that quickly rendered us helpless in this display of mayhem. The laughter finally erupted as we watched helplessly as the lamps began to crash onto the floor and the paper and ribbons began to fly.
Eventually our shock was replaced by concern and we finally moved into the fray.
We did enjoy lobster that Christmas Eve. But alas it was after the many cuts, scratches and bites were attended to. When we had finally managed to remove the lobster from Bobo’s tail I believe I heard it whisper, “Please, kill me now!” After being smashed into every surface in our living room I think the release from Bobo’s manically swinging tail seemed more akin to release from torture. I have no doubt this was a mercy killing.
Bandaged, laughing and pulling out broken bits of lobster shell we did have our feast. Chomper seemed disappointed that he never got ahold of the invading sea creature, yet I wonder if he was really just laughing that the cat finally got what was coming to him. Bobo merely looked at us as if to say,
“I won! Now feed me human servants!”
One of these days I might actually prepare lobster again. But the cat and dog are going outside!