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Loving unlimited lobster gorging

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I started my day sitting in the dietitian's office having a heart-to-heart chat about me making better decisions about the things I put in my mouth.

The day ended with me drenched in gallons of melted butter as I attempted to consume my own weight in freshly killed, steaming-hot lobster.

I am, of course, deeply ashamed, although, technically speaking, it wasn't my fault.

It was my buddy Bob's fault. Bob invited a bunch of us to join him at Breezy Bend Country Club for their legendary all-you-can-eat lobster night. It would have been rude to decline the invitation, and proper etiquette also demanded that I refrain from eating beforehand to ensure I would be able to stuff chunks of steamed lobster down my gullet at full throttle.

If you have never attended a crustacean-related feast of this nature, what you do is put on an extremely silly-looking bib, grab hold of a plate the size of a manhole cover, then stand in one of three lines containing so many drooling, lobster-loving, bib-wearing patrons it can be seen from space.

At the front of each line, a chef wearing an official chef's hat and protective mesh gloves swings a razor-sharp knife the size of a medieval sword, using it to whack literally hundreds and hundreds of lobsters into bite-sized pieces of deliciousness.

I love lobster. I think of them as BCDs, by which I mean Butter Conveyance Devices. I would be happy to eat anything, including kitchen sponges and dryer lint, provided it had first been dipped in a vat of melted butter. Speaking of which, at the midpoint of each line, there was a cauldron of melted butter, which you ladled into tiny bowls that were precariously balanced on your plate as you waited to get to the front of the line.

When Bob and I reached the front, we watched in awe as the chefs, sweating like Mike Duffy explaining his Senate expenses, cracked their knives down on rock-hard lobster shells. The chefs did not have a moment to relax, so we tried to show our appreciation by making professional culinary remarks.

"Don't cut your finger off!" we chortled loudly, quickly adding "ha ha ha" so the knife-wielding chef would realize we were being supportive in a shellfish manner.

The chefs were too busy to engage in non-lobster-related banter, especially one young guy who spent about five minutes fighting to make a dent in a lobster whose shell was some kind of impervious titanium alloy, which caused the knife to simply bounce off. Everyone in line applauded his efforts -- which stopped just short of jumping up and down on top of the lobster -- but in the end he had to fling it back in the Styrofoam box and select weaker prey.

You will no doubt be pleased to learn I ate only two lobsters. Out of journalistic fairness, I will acknowledge each of these crustaceans was the size of a Winnipeg Blue Bomber offensive lineman, assuming the football player had several hundred legs, gigantic claws and eyeballs dangling from the end of long stalks that stared at you with silent contempt as they wobbled menacingly in a sea of buttery goodness.

Sadly, however, there is a criminal element giving the rest of us a bad name. I base that comment on a shocking story I have just read on describing a brazen daylight lobster heist at a supermarket in the normally sedate seaside community of Gloucester, Mass.

The story states two men with no cash and a craving for lobster were caught on camera fleeing the store last week with a dozen purloined live lobsters. One suspect has been nabbed by the long claw of the law, but the other "is listed as homeless, making him more difficult to track down and arrest."

The story provides a gripping blow-by-blow account, including this tidbit: "There is no self-serve lobster station in the store, which means (the suspects) would have asked an employee to fish the lobsters out of a tank."

You would have thought these lobsters would have been protected by state-of-the-art security, but sadly that was not the case. States the story: "A store manager, Bob Gumbleton, had been working in the gardening section at the front of the store Friday, when police say (the suspects) left the store through the entrance door, carrying the bags of just over $100 worth of lobster."

We can only pray the lobsters are returned unharmed and the culprits feel the full force of the law, which will not be nearly as severe as what my dietitian will do to me after she reads this column.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 21, 2013 A2


Updated on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:05 PM CDT: corrects typo

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