1st Day Issue: Ron Bizer's faux stamp for Bob's Birthday
a Bob's Birthday faux postage stamp from my old -- well, I guess he has to be exactly as old, or exactly as young, as Bob -- Army buddy who lives in the USA state shaped like the palm of a right-hand mitten, so you can point to the palm of your right hand to show where you live or had a car accident.
On Bob's Birthday, Bob went to a great old seafood restaurant on the Connecticut River, Webster's Fish Hook, which began decades ago as a seafood truck filled with Boston Harbor seafood drove each day to sell it in Northampton. Eventually they built a simple, straightforward dining structure with booths and tables for about 75 happy folks at a time. You don't go to Webster's for ambience and a chi-chi froo-froo dining experience. You go to Webster's for delicious superfresh New England seafood, with few, if any, pretentions. I don't think there's a single non-English word or phrase on their menu, but there are a few local New England words for ocean things that others call by other names.
Something seasonal must be up -- or down -- with the American Atlantic Lobster (Homarus americanus) supply, because they weren't selling a whole lobster at any price. (In scarce lobster times, the menu subtly says: Market Price, Inquire.)
So I had a Lazy Person's Lobster -- already de-shelled and de-clawed, just lobster meat in a swell butter sauce. Birthday Bob can live with that -- although one of the great delights of my life is to spend 30 or 40 minutes ripping apart the exoskeleton of my broiled or boiled Homarus americanus in ferociously savage infra-hominid style -- your lobster comes with a big plastic bib to protect your torso from The Dreadful Carnage which is about to ensue. This is not dainty dining, nor dining for the faint-of-heart. Chesapeake Bay Crab (Callinectes sapidus) eating is even more savage -- shell-smashing wooden mallets are supplied with the red hot cayenne-drenched things.
It is a mystery of Natural Selection to me why these creatures taste so wonderfully delicious. That can't possibly help them stay ahead of extinction.
Another mystery is why -- according to some Biblical scholars and casual observers of religious traditions and beliefs -- God chose one particular group of people as His sort of Specially Close Folks and scribes of His Laws. And then forbade them ever to eat lobsters, or crabs, or oysters or clams, or crawfish. I have a feeling we're also forbidden conch and mussels, and cockles, whatever cockles are. Bottom-feeders like catfish are also verboten. Thanks for choosing us!