Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Hunter becomes the Hunted

I'm back to the lobster thing because I feel like we haven't beaten this to death enough. I like to really stomp on a topic until half my readers throw up their hands and slam their laptops closed in frustration. Here is the thing. I have been eating lobster since I was 8 years old, (so for about a decade) and I am really really good at it. I am an expert at picking them. How some people buy a luxury car is how I purchase lobster. I am discerning.

Why?

Because I am a carnivore. Never in my life do I feel more Charles Darwin than I do when I eat lobster. I am the fittest, and I have survived. I feel powerful and raw when I pick it out alive, get it home, cook it and eat it by literally busting into it's body with my bare hands. "But Laurie, don't you feel bad for the lobster?" whines the lady who lives in a tree and eats only bark and I laugh maniacally in her face.

"A lobster? Feelings? Thoughts? AS IF!" I proclaim as I rip through the tail meat.

I spoke too soon......

The hunter became the hunted and I have to say that it was terrifying.

We went to Fishermans Cove to wander around (super cute little town btw and not in anyway responsible for the horrors that resulted that evening) and although you can buy lobster there, plus eat it from different restaurants every three feet, a lady told us about "a guy".

That's how she described it....a guy. A guy that sells lobster out of the back of his truck. Now, in Alberta, this is a horrifically bad idea that will surely land you in the ER within the hour, but here in Halifax, seafood by the side of the road is A-Okay. So the guy sells lobster out of the back of his truck, in the parking lot of Ralph's Strip club. Someone named a strip club "Ralphs". Someone, named Peter, I assume.

With two kids in the car, Trev types 'Ralph's Strip Club' into the GPS, totally acting like he didn't know where it was or how to spell 'strip'.  It came up as 'Ralphs Place - Showbar and Grill' which I think is a name that really classes up the joint. I love the idea of a showbar, like there will be something other than naked snatch. Maybe you'll see a juggler or a magician or Bobby Flay cooking something...you never know at something called a showbar.

So the guy is in the lot and the truck is actually a trailer full of tanks and the lobster are all alive and pissed off and my mouth starts to water. Little did I know that it was within these tanks that the lobster learned tactics for beating humans at their own game. Like in prison where an accountant walks in wearing a three piece suit but walks out with three tear tattoos and a working knowledge of how to make a molitov cocktail. It was a mini underwater terrorist cell.

We, unsuspecting, na├»ve humans, purchase the lobster from the very nice lobster guy, but instead of putting them in a box like at the grocery store, Ralphs Showbar Parking guy puts them in a plastic bag. One that he just ties up at the top. There are three lobsters in one plastic grocery bag so they don't all fit properly - there is a leg of one and a tail of another half sticking out of the top.

 So the moment I put the bag on the floor of the back seat of the truck (with the children), the lobsters start ACTIVELY trying to escape the bag.

I'm not kidding.

Trev and I are trying to brush over this fact with fun comments like "what should we name them?" and "do you want to let them walk around the kitchen when we get home?" but the kids aren't listening. They are staring, legs tucked under them at the consistent slick, plasticy sound of six sets of claws and eighteen legs straining to get out, and free, in my fucking truck.

I know we should get home right away but I still make Trev stop to get wine. Because Momma gots to have her wine.

When I come back to the truck, the plastic bag has moved to the other side of the back seat and my youngest is sobbing. I guess while I was in the liquor store, she asked to see the lobster, I guess the lobster wanted to see her back, this resulted in some sort of of life saving, intervention by my son which consisted of him kicking his converse violently towards the bag.

Daddy wasn't happy, the kids weren't happy, the lobster were pissed - so pissed in fact that I suspect that this is where they started to plot to kill me. I was just happy I had wine.

So we get everything home and I put a huge pot of water on to boil. I put the lobster bag on the counter. Now, this is going to read like fiction but I promise you, it is all true. I went to get something, turned around and the bag was on the other end of the counter. I'm SERIOUS. The little fuckers were doing some sort of leap frog, crawly over thingy atop each other in tandem, forcing the bag to lolly over itself all along the counter.

And they were moving at a fairly solid clip.

I chuckled good naturedly ( as someone who is about to die in a horror film is apt to do) and pulled one of them out. "Are you trying to get away?" I giggled into it's face. This next part is going to both horrify and amaze you. Ralph might even consider it for the showbar, it was so crazy.

 The son of a bitch slapped me.

Reared back it's elasticed up little claw and struck me, like I was a trailer park hooker, across the cheek.

 I swear the little bastard grinned at me and I vowed that he would be the first one to die.

Fucking Degenerate
 Trev usually puts in the lobster, not because I'm squeamish but because I'm not very tall and in order to do it quickly, you have to have a higher vantage point than I can offer. So Trev puts them in and the kids are fascinated. I made him put Ted Bundy in first and I even whispered through gritted teeth, "Who's smiling now fucker?" and Trev looked at me like I was nuts. I put the lid on the pot.

Lobster don't take long to cook and after a few minutes, the kids asked to see what they looked like. So I grab the tongs....now, the next few seconds will go down in history as the most controversial events in the Lyons' family memories. There will be debates, arguments and renactments for years to come as we try to unravel the sequence of events that led to my near death.

 I reach in with my tongs, see a flicker of movement and my truth states that those little fuckers stayed alive long enough to crawl out of the boiling water and throw hot molten-like liquid in my beautiful face. Trying to scar me for life like a soap opera star or the phantom of the opera. Like a driveby shooting, I was a victim of the vicious actions of a monster.

Trev says that the tongs slipped and I splashed myself.

Either way, a millisecond later complete chaos ensued. I am screaming like a banshee because it feels like my skin is melting off my face and a thousand bees are stinging my neck. Julia, who was terrified of the lobster anyway, was screaming, "They got my Mom! She's going to DIE" while jumping up and down on the island because she felt like this was safer. Trev, for some reason, thought that I had burnt my chest, so he kept trying to rip off my shirt and bra so that my clothes wouldn't melt to me and force me to wear an Aero Postale logo branded on my skin for the rest of my life.

 I just thought he was just picking a stupid time to get frisky and kept slapping his hands away. This apparently means that you are going into some kind of shock so the more I slapped him away, the more insistent on my nudity he was. Ethan, being the only sensible one among us, grabbed the hose attached to the sink and sprayed me dead in the face with it. He looked like a little fireman, all intensive and hero-like. But the only thing was, he didn't stop spraying, even when I opened my mouth and raised my hands in protest. He just kept spraying, turning the whole thing into some weird waterboarding incident while his father, ripped off my clothing and his sister cheered him on.

Not a Norman Rockwell family moment.

So, to recap, I am standing, half naked, soaking wet with red streaks on my face and neck and my entire family is in an uproar around me and I hear a tiny little bubbly laugh from the pot.

 Well played motherfucker....well played.

Trev was insistent that I should have gotten some sort of medical attention but I was equally insistent that we eat first. "So we are just going to pretend everything is fine?" he quipped while glaring at me and mopping the floor. He didn't understand that I NEEDED to eat this creature. "Yup, because that motherfucker tried to kill me. And if you try to kill me, I will eat your motherfucking body." I said in my best 'Mob Wives' voice. He rolled his eyes and kept mopping.

So, twenty minutes later, after the trauma counsellors left, with some burn cream and an ice pack taped to my face like I was Rocky, I picked up that lobster and with as much bravado as I could muster while seeing out only one eye, snapped his body in half, ripped it apart and ate every single morsel of it.

 So, you see, I won in the end and I won't scar so I can still be a star of the stage and screen as I was meant to be and that gangster, bad ass, Ted Bundy of a lobster, will never hurt another human again.

I'm a hero and a victim and I live to eat another day.

PS Shortly after finishing this post, I stood up from the table and felt a sharp stab in the bottom of my foot. Wincing and cursing, I gingerly lifted my leg to see a hunk of sharp lobster claw lodged in my skin. The bastard got me in the end.

The battle continues......





Sunday, 7 September 2014

Halifax to the Max

We're here! We're here! We're here!

The Lyons family has arrived in Halifax. We are now Haligonians. That's actually what people who live in Halifax are called, I looked it up. So far, I am so in love with this place, I feel like it's one long first date where I don't have to shave my legs and I can fart. Haligonians fart, I looked it up.

If you are Canadian and haven't been to Halifax, it's like Vancouver and Ottawa had a baby and that baby decided not to be like their snooty, pretentious, egotistical, superior parents. Halifax is iconically beautiful but humble, just like me and Princess Caroline. If you aren't Canadian, I have nothing to compare it to...you just have to come.

I haven't done too much shopping for GF food yet, the baby Daddy got here before us and loaded the kitchen shelves. He says that Superstore has all the same things that I like from the Calgary store (Udi's bread, Glutino pancake mix) and the prices seem the same (vomit inducingly high) so it looks like I'm not going to have too many problems there.

Restaurant wise, things seem okay here. They have several regular chain restaurants that we frequent at home and since we have only been here for a few days, I haven't had a chance to try everything. The first night we got here, the hubby, spawn and I headed downtown to explore. At first, my favorite thing to look at (other than the ocean) was the Citadel.  The Citadel is an old fort that was used to protect Canadian shores from whatever used to attack us before the world realized we are badasses. Not mentioning any names here, but Canada did burn down a certain pale cream colored house once, it was so pale in color that one might even call it a White House, if they wanted to be a jerk, which of course, I don't want to be. The last thing I am is provocative. As you well know. The Citadel is also white, but hasn't been burnt down by anyone, anywhere, just saying.

I digress, down the hill from the Citadel is The Five Fishermen where we promptly headed for some, you know it, lobster. If you don't like lobster, stop reading this and go get yourself a tongue transplant because you are broken. Nothing tastes as good as lobster and there is nothing so scrumptious as eating lobster twenty feet away from where it was caught. At The Five Fishermen, we were greeted by a lovely server with lots of Gluten Free knowledge and lots of love for the spawn. Thank God because I was getting tired of pretending to like them.

I decided against ordering an entire crustacean mainly because I hadn't slept properly in about five days and had so little energy, the lobster, even in it's dead-like state, would have bested me. I thought it was prudent to allow the fine chefs to take care of that for me. I ordered the Lobster Cobb.

Now, normally, when lobster is added to something, anything, like a hat or a craft project or a salad, it is itty bitty pieces that are hardly indistinguishable from the rest of the ingredients. "Is this a cucumber or a piece of lobster? Is that a button on your hat or a piece of lobster?" This is not the case at The Five Fishermen. I honestly thought that they had made some mistake or were giving me special treatment. That's why I didn't take a picture of it because I thought I should eat as much lobster as possible before they realized their mistake and I can't be responsible for something they can't prove is in my stomach (I learnt that the hard way in prison). It occurred to me  that they might have thought I was Sandra Bullock or Angelina Jolie (happens ALL the time) and had therefore, stepped up their lobster portion in the salad.

This was not so, the server (after falling backward in shock to discover that I was not Angelina Jolie) told me that no mistake had been made, this was how much lobster regular people get. There were actual full, claws in there, it was insanity. I devoured it. The boyfriend had the lobster roll because he likes to eat gluten right in front of me like a chump sometimes and he says it was amazing. I don't even know what the spawn had because The Five Fishermen has ten ounce wine pours so the kids could have been playing in traffic for all I remember. It's okay though, because people in Halifax are so kind, that they probably would have taken the kids home, bought them new clothes, taught them algebra and then returned them in back in time for dessert.

I live here now, at least for the next year and if the last four days are any reflection? Being a Haligonian is going to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

This is me at Peggy's Cove where the famous lighthouse is. My kid is taking the picture.

This is my face when he said, "Oh, did you want the lighthouse in the picture too?"  Please note that I am moving threateningly toward the camera.