Greg is from Maine, which means a great many things, but among them is that he is hard-wired to lust after lobster. He was raised eating lobster the way the rest of the world grew up with Mac N’ Cheese. And he eats lobster with a vigor reserved for a lion who has just taken down a lame gazelle.
I once watched a show about gang members who rapidly strip parked cars of parts that they later sell on the black market. The owner of the car would step into a store to grab a newspaper only to return to find his car reduced to a license plate and cup holder clattering on the ground. Greg goes about his lobster in much the same way. Except the gang members didn’t actually drink the transmission fluid whereas he slurps parts of the lobster I think are really best left in the shell and deep on the ocean floor.
Greg also loves to torture the household with the live version of the lobster before he plunges it into its sauna of death. He usually shouts, “Guys, come check this out!” Like a ship of fools, we sail into the kitchen wondering what we’re going to see. Then he’ll chase the kids around the house with warnings of lobster claw injuries.
One weekend in New Jersey, though, was a different story altogether. He beckoned to us and we entered, but he unveiled a crustacean unlike any I have ever seen.
It was a 10-pound lobster. It was like the Jersey Shore of lobsters. This lobster was more juiced and red than the whole cast of that show on Labor Day Weekend. He couldn’t even chase us because he could barely hoist it out of the pot. It was actually pitiful to see this lobster contained to the boiling pot once it was time. Occasionally the PETA part of my brain talks very loudly and makes me shudder at the sight of animals being cooked, but then it quiets down when a platter of lobster rolls is placed before me.
Something about his stomach triumphing over the world’s largest lobster brought out Greg’s inner Man vs. Food. There was a lot of grunting and adjusting his position in the chair. I recall him even doing some stretching and light aerobic activity to free up more intestinal space in the midst of eating the tail. While I waited for him to barf into a house plant, I realized there was nothing to commemorate his gustatory feat. A restaurant would have awarded him a T-shirt, or a plaque, or his name scrawled on the bathroom wall for his endeavor. I knew that Greg was going to want this day to live on in infamy.
What I could not have predicted is that the plaque would come in the form of two giant claws mounted on the wall of the back porch.
Every time I emerge onto my back porch, I startle at the sight of those claws. I feel like I’m in “Jaws” during that scene in which Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider are timidly walking around Quint’s garage, mouths agape at the intimidating sets of shark teeth hanging on the walls.
And like those men once ruminated, I too thought, we’re going to need a bigger boat.
Erin Donovan moved with her family to the Midcoast where she constantly is told she says the word “scallops” incorrectly. She performs live and produces Web sketches derived from her popular humor blog “I’m Gonna Kill Him.” Follow her misadventures at imgonnakillhim.bangordailynews.com and on Twitter @gonnakillhim.