Monday, March 20, 2006

Lobster Dinner in Maine
by D. Bowden Oct 2005
Ink Drawing by: D Bowden 1983
While vacationing in Maine many years ago in early summer when our children were small, one of the things my husband wanted was a lobster dinner fresh from the coastal waters. We knew from past travels that the small, privately-owned crabshacks serve the best seafood, even better than the fancy restaurants. The place where we chose to stop was right on the shores of the Atlantic. It was a place with peeling yellow paint with white trim on the windows. Inside we found large tanks that contained live lobsters with plastic clamps on their claws. The kids were fascinated, for this is the first time they had seen live lobsters. The man behind the counter took a few out and let them crawl around the slippery, metal countertop. This proved to delight the children even further, and they laughed and clapped their hands with glee. The man then asked my husband, "Which one?" My husband hesitated, for he was not used to choosing his food while it was still walking around. Randomly, he pointed at one of them, since he didn't know what constituted a "better" lobster. The man dropped all but one back into the holding tanks and then took the one my husband condemned to death and much to our children's dismay, plopped the wriggling creature into a waiting pot of boiling water. What sounded like squeals came from the bubbling water, (which is really the sound of air escaping the shell, but try explaining that to three children under age six) and sounded to the kids as if Mr. Lobster were in sheer agony. That's when we realized we had made a terrible mistake by allowing the kids to witness this execution no matter if it was a mere crustacean. To a child, life is life, killing is killing, and killing is BAD. My husband sat there alone eating his twelve dollar lobster while I consoled three sobbing children.

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