You know, when I was first asked to write about National Lobster Day I was excited. I said to myself–and yes, even my internal voice is this white–”Lobsters? I love Lobsters! It’ll be super fun to learn more about such a delicious and well beloved creature.” Never was I afraid. Never did I consider that I would learn facts so horrid, so absurdly disgusting that it would ruin and demonize such a wonderful animal. I mean what could ruin the lobster? A simple beast with a beautiful red sheen when cooked, an ungodly delicious taste, a propensity for well harmonized songs about sea life, and for some reason a delightful Jamaican accent–despite mainly being from the waters of the Northern Atlantic.
How wrong I was. It turns out Sebastian from The Little Mermaid was a crab. Also, the lobster–to put it mildly–is a disgusting bug monster forged from the fires of hell. And that may be its most likable quality. I urge you, if you ever want to look at a lobster the same way–as a delicate and delicious sea creature, an animal that fills your stomach with happiness and ups your chances of getting laid by 530% if served to a female–you may not want to press on.
Or just have a really short memory, or realize that all things are relative, and none of this really changes anything. I guess any of those three things would work.
Lobsters Are a Delicacy, So They’re Really Rare. Right?
Wrong. In the Northern Atlantic–the primary habitat of the type of lobster we refer to as “lobster”–these little suckers are more common than boat shoes, flipped up polos, and discussions about how good a band Vampire Weekend is. And that’s saying something. In 2010 alone, 93 million pounds of lobster were caught just off the coast of Maine. That’s almost the weight of 3.5 Val Kilmers. And that’s just off the coast of Maine. Worldwide, over 560 million pounds (21.1 Kilms) were caught. Those numbers don’t exactly speak to paying up to $35.95 a pound for the animals meat.
If we look at things historically, Lobsters we’re once the food of slaves and peasants. Prior to the mid nineteenth century–when improved shipping vessels and a popularity with royal families made them a more sought after commodity–lobsters were so abundant and easily caught in the Northeastern United States that they were considered chum. When they weren’t being used as garden fertilizer, they were the food of the gutter palette, of those members of society who were so low-class (i.e. widows, the homeless, slaves, prisoners, Chris Brown) they had little choice of what they ate. In fact they were so common and disgusting that Massachusetts had a law that prevented slaves or prisoners from being fed lobster meals more than twice a week. But, as I’m sure you’re non-chalantly scoffing at your monitors, “That was a thing of the past… they aren’t a low class food now…”
They Serve it Where?!?
McDonald’s. They serve lobster at Mcdonald’s. A take off of the lobster roll, the “McLobster” is a seasonal menu item found in numerous McDonald’ses off the coast of Northern New England and Eastern Canada. It is also somewhere in the top five “words that just sound disgusting,” and top three “names that definitely had to be a villian on Power Rangers at some point.” The McLobster contains real lobster meat–a point worth noting as this is the same place that serves McNuggets–celery, and “McLobster Sauce”: a combination of mayonnaise, salad dressing, and tartar sauce.
For those interested, “McLobster sauce” is also in the top three of the previously aforementioned “words that sound disgusting” list, and top one on the all-too long “Andrew’s amazing list of seafood-themed band names that are also bodily fluid jokes”–and probably not the fluid you think it is. It just slightly edged out “New England Man Chowder.” Slightly.
And This is Where it Starts to get Weird
Okay, I hear you though. Who cares how much they cost, or how many there are in the sea? Lobsters are freaking delicious! You will find absolutely no argument there. My contention is, that before they hit the sweet embrace of boiling death, they are bottom-feeding demon monsters. Case in point: everything about their insides. Scientifically speaking, they are just freaking weird. None of the parts inside a lobster make any real sense. It has two different stomachs (one of which houses its teeth), no real “brain” (in the terms of an organ, just a centralized group of nerve endings, which by the way is in its throat…cause why not), its gills AND auditory systems are in its legs, it has blue blood, its pancrease-y organ is bright green, and it navigates by smell. This is all not withstanding that it has ten legs, the first three pairs of which have claws. Of course the first set is massively disproportionate to the rest, and is used to maul, catch, and kill prey. Now quickly, was I talking about the aliens from Half-Life, or a delicious sea food dinner? I REST MY CASE.
OH, they do that too?!?
I request permission to re-open my lobsters are monsters case (granted–via the virtue that this is maritime law now, there are no rules). I forgot to mention that they can also THROW A CLAW at their prey. Okay, maybe not “throw,” in the most aggressive sense of the word, but “throw” in the “3 year old girl playing tee-ball” sense. Lets say “casually pass.” Lobsters have the unique–and highly disturbing–ability to amputate their limbs and regrow them whenever, wherever. It’s normally used as a defense mechanism–it can maul an attacker, disconnect the claw, then escape–but it’s not difficult to see the villainous applications here. You’re sitting at Red Lobster, enjoying a nice meal with a random girl you want to have sex with (because God help you if that’s where you take a wife or girlfriend. You’re doing life wrong) when all of a sudden… CLAW TO THE HEART. Clean shot through the back window–the lobster over 500 yards away. Turns out that $14.99 plate of “excuses to dip things into butter” was somebody in the lobster community: somebody you shouldn’t have messed with.
Also They Want to Take Over the World
Or at least eat it all away. Lobsters are one of the world’s most awful gluttons–able to grow throughout the entirety of theirlives. There is no max weight, no size at which point a lobster will say “oh God these cottage cheese thighs are hideous!” (or.. something of the like). Allocated with the right resources and protection, there is no stopping point. The largest lobster in the world was found in 1977 off the coast of Nova Scotia and was over 3 and a half feet long; weighing in at over 44 pounds. 44 freaking pounds. That’s the weight of a small child, or almost one-and-a-half full grown Los Angeles teenage girls (It’s also 1.75^e-6 Kilms, in case anyone was still wondering). And the only reason it stopped growing? Because we caught it. Had we not, that thing would probably have eaten Greenland by now. And it only would be a matter of time before it ate a country someone cared about, and then the world. Lobsters are such gluttons that they molt (or shed their shell in order to increase in mass–another HUGE monster selling point) 4 to 6 times before they even are hatched. They can’t stop expanding, demolishing , and growing. They’re like One Direction, but less scary.
And They Want to Kill Batman
I mean check out this guy; the half and half lobster. Do I need to go any further? Or is Mr. Lobster Dent here enough to make you see the point? Okay, how about his reverse doppelganger, who shows up on Halloween sporting orange and black? We have an entire holiday dedicated to fear, and the lobsters decided to issue a limited release reminding us of our really terrifying day of observance. Watch your back people. These things are evil.
Andrew Slafta is a “hopeful comedic writer” with an emphasis on the “dic.” He can be searched in the annals of Google, or insulted at Twitter via @andrewslafta.