Monday, April 14, 2008
ONE OF US...ONE OF US....
This is my personal nightmare on a plate. I once started hyperventilating and crying at a restaurant when the "seafood tower" my friends ordered arrived and I was visually assaulted by giant cockroach like bug creatures staring at me at eye level only inches from my face.
Apparently this is what I ordered for dinner last night.
I found myself at a large dinner with 15 French people in the Brittany area of France. I got my first glimpse of the French side of the Atlantic Ocean and was very excited to eat at the seafood restaurant we went to. I've gotten used to the surprise element when ordering food in a foreign language. I never get what I think it will be. It's actually best that I DON'T understand because I doubt I would end up ordering half the things I do if I really knew what they were. Half the time I just take the easy route and order whatever FB has. "Oui moi aussi" (me too) has become a popular phrase of mine.
Dinner went something like this....
FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH waitress asks for drink orders FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH FB says "one" FRENCH FRENCH guy next to FB says "two" FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH I naturally say "three" FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH three giant gallon tumblers of beer arrived FRENCH FRENCH i don't even like beer that much FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH oh well FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH waitress asks for dinner orders FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH i say "uh, yea i'd like le panaché" FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH pretend I understand FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH
Bugs on a plate arrive.
ME: (whispered to JB) I don't know what to do here, I'm about to flip out.
FB: (picks up crab and moves it in my direction) eek eek eek eek, look, he likes you.
ME: (crazed whisper) Get that the hell away from me! Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT make it pretend move. I DON'T find it funny and I am going to seriously scream and you will be mortified by my loud American meltdown in front of EVERYONE. DO NOT MAKE THE FOOD PRETEND MOVE. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!
FB: ok, ok. (pause) But you know the oysters are alive.
ME: THEY ARE NOT ALIVE.
FB: Yes, they are. You don't eat dead oysters. (he goes to move one)
ME: DON'T TOUCH IT!
FB: but watch, if you pour this vinegar on them and..
ME: DO NOT MAKE IT MOVE. I SWEAR.....TO......GOD.....DO...NOT....MOVE...IT.
FB: ok, fine!
I quickly summed up the situation and realized that I was in the middle of the table and there was simply no escaping this one. I took a deep breath and decided for once, the sea bugs were NOT going to send me running. I decided to cross my eyes a little bit so everything went blurry. Better to look slightly retarded than to lose it crying on the floor in front of strangers. My best plan of attack would be to remove all the heads and the eyes as quickly as possible. Shrieking inside, one by one I tore off the heads while trying to think of happpy thoughts like rainbows and gummy bears. After strangling all the shrimp, I arranged them in a circle like the Pathmark generic shrimp cocktail circles. Uncrossed eyes a little. There. Much better. Crossing my eyes again, I moved on to the pretend alive oysters and just slurped them all down without looking to see if they were actually moving. DIE OYSTER, DIE!
After my eye crossing headache began to take it's toll, I focused my eyes for a moment to really take in the plate of destroyed bugs I had effectively disemboweled and sucked the guts out of.
I did it.
One step closer to actually eating frog legs....(cue the gag reflex)...baby steps, baby steps....