Friday, March 21, 2008

The "Shellfish Are Like Oxygen Masks on an Airplane" Rule

There is, as I see it, precisely one downside to raising children in Southern Louisiana: peeling their shellfish. Until they arrive at the Age of Shellfish Knowledge, we poor parents are consigned to peeling their shrimp, pinching their crawfish, and cracking their crabs, then handing over our hard-won morsels to the youngsters who devour them in seconds, with no appreciation of the effort involved.

It can't be helped. Children must be fed. And they must be fed shellfish. But some consideration should be granted to the diligent parents. Certainly, we can't be expected to waste away, passing along all the fruits of our labors to our pint-sized overlords while our own stomachs rumble.

So I propose the "Shellfish Are Like Oxygen Masks on an Airplane" Rule:
"In the event of shellfish, please satisfy your own desperate shellfish craving before assisting your children."
Now, I don't mean gorging yourself to full parental capacity before attending to the poor dears. I just mean, get that initial shellfish fix; then you're better prepared to help them with theirs* (and less likely to grumble bitter things like "You're four, goddammit. Can't you figure out how to properly crack an exoskeleton? Kids today... When I was coming up we peeled them ourselves or we went hungry. And we were lucky if they were even cooked. Had to fight 'em 'fore we ate 'em. Kids today...").

Can we agree on this? Please?

* When presented with a table full of crawfish, I generally won't leave until it's littered with empty carcasses and every viable morsel has been consumed. So I alternate: a dozen or so for me, a dozen or so for them, a couple of dozen for me, a dozen or so for them, a couple dozen more for me... oh thank God, they've lost interest... a couple of dozen for me, a couple of dozen for me...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:52 PM

    I have such fond memories of my grandfather peeling crabs for me! I am happy enough to peel for children (mine and others). Maybe you need to invite me to your boils?!