our trip to new hampshire marked my first personal lobster. as it turns out i am incredibly vain, and i refused to wear the bib. it was delicious. the lobster, not the bib. i don't think i'm going to be springing for any here in the city at $30 a pop, but my $13 chick was well worth the wad.
anyway, on our way out of town we picked up a couple of lobster for some friends in the city and we ran into this guy...
you see that box next to him. there are two chicks in that one box and it's dwarfed by him. he weighed 20 lbs, and the girl that was helping us said that it was probably 70 years old. It's hard to grasp the size of it from the photo, but his claw alone was the size of one of a one and a half pounders.
i've thought about this guy a lot since that trip. not just what might have happened to him, but why.
first off, i can't believe that anyone would want to eat him or that the lobster fishermen wouldn't have tossed him back out of respect for his age and size. i know i certainly would have. i know my dad would have. you throw back the babies and the big boys. it's good for future fishing and good for the gene pool. the girl even said that they don't really taste that great at that size. i've speculated that he likely became a sort of conquest meal to some guy with major confidence issues who was seriously lacking something in his everyday life to cook for a date, and it pains me to know that i can never know how that date went.
my second thought, what crazy survival skills this guy must have had. seventy years of dodging traps in the ocean, of not being lured in by the delicious stink of fish heads. seventy years he was out there, every day not being eaten by whatever it is that eats lobsters. i can't imagine that these slow creatures are at the top of their food chain. every day for seventy years he survived changes in water temperatures, salinity, toxins, with his little brain he dodged fast sinking refrigerators, he didn't bite fishing lures, and didn't do a myriad of other hazzardous things that kill lesser lobster. he must be a genius! imagine the stories he's telling all the other lobster in the tank around him.
which leads me directly to my final question
what happened? did he just give up? was this a suicide? why did he give up? is he like a whale, beaching itself because he's sick and doesn't want to slow down it's mates? or did he just slip? did he get spun around by a rudder and dizzy slip into a net? how after all this time did he let his guard down?
it bugs me. if he just got snatched up, it's too sad to contemplate. it's like thinking of myself making it to seventy only to leave my iron on, and burn down my house with me in it.
i prefer to think that he was sick. that he made that pathetic excuse for a man and his date very ill with some lobster borne bacterial infection and she thought he was stupid and ugly and never went out with him again.