Monday, April 19, 2010

Feeling the Pinch

**Vegans, Vegetarians and Mom, if you're reading out right now. Trust me, here.**

We got crabs to eat on Saturday. My husband pulled up to the crab shack, paused to ask me the question of the hour, "red..or blue?" Oh Dear God. Ah! I cannot make this choice. While I love nothing more than a huge hunk of delectable crab meat pushed about in Old Bay salt, I cannot fathom being the one who forces them "into the light" just so we can feast on their bounty.

"RED if they'll give you red. Blue if there's no other choice." Why do I pretend I'm tough enough to have this crustacean holocaust go on in my kitchen? Why am I pretending I want the kids to witness live blue crabs going in and hot steaming deceased crabs coming out? Why don't we just go home to have bean salad and go from there?

Five minutes later the husband returns with the tell tale brown paper bag. That was kind of moving. And hissing a little. Grayson was enthralled. I was appalled. The husband smiling quietly was all too amused with himself. "They gave me blue."

One mile later:

Remorseful Me: I mean, what's the lifespan of a crab, anyway?
Husband: You're not serious.
Pathetic Trying to Rationalize the Situation Me: A few weeks?
Husband: Months probably.
Horrible Crab Killer Me: As in a year or longer?
Husband: Do you want me to stop now so you can throw them over the Bay Bridge?
Hopeful Me: You would do that?
Husband: No.
Defeated Me: It would be a gesture of love.
Husband: It would be asinine.
Me: It would be asinine. We'll wait and let them out in our big silver pot at home. "Hello little crabby crabs. Annnd Goodbye."
Husband: Now you're talkin'.
Me: I'm kidding, obviously I'm going to need therapy after this is all over.

So to make a long story short, let's just say we made it home with the brown paper bag and its wriggling contents. Made it into the kitchen to open the bag. Even made it as far as The Husband using tongs to pull the first one out. And then it happened. The Crab Coup was underway. This last crab standing (aka: The General) reached around its hard blue belly and drove its largest claw deeply into my husband's thumb. My husband yelped. Grayson yipped and jumped four feet backward toward his baby sister who whimpered and clung to the kitchen table. I was extremely helpful and flailed my arms north and south wildly like a big fat dumb goose. Realizing I had no coping skills for this occasion whatsoever, my husband who still had a very angry live crab attached to his thumb, gave me direction. "Get something." Right. Get something to kill the bastard. A mallet, I grabbed a wooden mallet and started to swing. "No!!!" yelled my newly maimed man. "Get a knife."

"A knife."
"Wha?? How am I going to..."

Right. To pry The General's claw and loosen his death grip on my husband's now half purple thumb.

Thirty seconds later I managed to use the knife, THAT ONE IN THE SINK THERE, to wedge The General's claw and release my husband to freedom. Two new holes in his body freedom but still.

"We eat him first," says my Marine.

Then we both fall into hysterical laughter that lasts much longer than the entire debacle that was our first blue crab at-home experience (and undoubtedly our last).

Oh, what happened to The General? The one that tried to take down my husband in his own kitchen? Deeeelicious. No Old Bay necessary.


Tracy G said...


I miss MD blue crabs!!! I'm glad you were able to find the strength to enjoy the little critters!

Cristie Ritz King said...

Did they scream? I hear they scream.

pajama mom said...

they do scream - loudly.
i thought your hubby
was going to tell you
to stab the crab!

old bay is da bomb!

One Sided Momma said...

T - have you ever done this? it's so traumatic that i'm not sure crab can be a favorite of mine anymore.

crk - oh dear god no. do they really scream? thankfully none of these did or if they did they were drowned out by the cacophony (10 pts) of sound coming from the freak show that is our family.

pj - that's where i thought he was going w/the knife idea too. i was like, honey - thanks for believing in me but i'm not that great a shot. :) and you're right...i'd completely put old bay on my waffles if it came down to it.

Crystal D said...

Crab is the number one reason I will never ever go back to being a full vegetarian. YUM.
Although I don't think I have the guts to bring home a live one. Nope, I'll come over after they are all cooked up. Just let me know when. ;-)