Saturday, January 2, 2010


Okay now it’s all over. Dennis and Noel’s “Day After” party always makes me feel like I’m starting the New Year on a positive note.

This year we even had a designated driver. Although I’m not sure William Stage was in any better condition than Valerie and I were. He did make sure we got out before all Hell broke loose. Unfortunately we missed Noel singing Funny Valentine.

Dennis got me to shuck an oyster. It’s been more than 20 years and I took about 4 times as long as everyone else.

As I was shucking, Dennis and I remembered one of my first oysters. I thought maybe I’d posted this story before but I can’t find it anywhere.

It was probably 1982 and we’d just moved the kitchen of the Oyster Bar from upstairs to the back of the first floor. We used to shuck oysters at the sink behind the bar. Now we were doing it in the back.

I got a really tough one. I worked on it forever. Dennis handed me an oyster anvil. That’s a big solid hunk of iron you put an oyster on. You do kind of look like a blacksmith when you use it. I still couldn’t get that damn oyster open. In frustration I put the oyster on the concrete floor and slammed the anvil on it. It exploded and thousands of roly polys writhed, twisted and scurried across the floor like some kind of Hellish fever dream. Apparently they had created a vacuum inside the shell which made it impossible to open.

When I became a vegetarian in 1979 I almost made an exception for shellfish. I always figured they had about the same level of consciousness as plants. I sure hope that’s true. Being eaten alive by roly polys has got to be a grisly way to go.

I just realized I must have gotten to my particular level of drunken obnoxiousness last night. I seem to remember telling people they were being awfully shellfish.


...Sharon said...

Was this picture taken at this year's party? Dennis looks great! You know, he has a birthday coming up too. Is he still working?

Lenny once shucked an oyster that was nearly impossible to pry open. It contained a dead fish. No oyster. And it smelled awful too. We figured a survival of the fittest battle took place inside that shell but in the end no one won.

Doggie said...

Yes, this year. He's great. You should see his wine operation. One of his large vats is ready for bottling.