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Columns September 3, 2013  RSS feed

Tales from WannaBea Farm


Joyce Stark Joyce Stark Crawfish

“Hey Honey”. Mr. Macho called everybody either Honey or Bubba, that way he didn’t have to remember names. I’m not sure what that said for me. I sometimes wondered if he remembered my name.

“Git your boot scooting’ rags on, Bubba just called and we’re gonna go eat crawfish at this new place he found and then we’ll go dancing.”

We met the others at an old country style building out in the boon docks but the parking lot was crammed full of cars. The wonderful smells wafting across the parking lot made me almost drool. “The food must be good.” I thought.

Inside it was one large room with a concrete floor, plastic, checkered tablecloths and rustic décor. A large blackboard on an easel just inside the door announced that tonight’s special was, “All you can eat crawfish.”

There wasn’t an empty table, but our friends were already there and had saved two seats for us.

“Oh no. No, no, no.” I thought.

There were ten of us in our party and the only seat available for me was next to Claudia, AKA to the rest of our group as Ms. Betterthanthou. She was the one person in our group that I did not like. Not even a little bit. Of course the reason that seat was vacant was because nobody else liked her either.

Well except for her husband, but he was drunk so often he probably didn’t even know she was his wife. Then again, maybe that was why he drank.

This woman, in her own opinion, was prettier, better educated, smarter, more well read, talented and better at just everything. And she wasn’t bashful about telling everybody about it as she looked down her nose at you. In fact that was her favorite subject. And I was the one that she seemed to prefer to sit by most of the time. I couldn’t seem to avoid her.

Everybody at the table ordered crawfish except for Ms. Betterthanthou. She ordered a baked chicken breast, green beans and a salad without dressing. “After all,” she announced with a little wiggle and giggle, “I like to watch my weight.”

“Nobody else wants to watch your weight either,” I thought. Several people around the table made faces and rolled their eyes, but she didn’t notice.

But aloud, I told her, “Crawfish are a zero calorie food. It takes more calories to peel and chew them than the calories you take in.”

“You are being facetious, aren’t you?” She asked with a superior smile.

“Of course,” I answered, thinking wildly, “What the heck does that mean?” I was determined to look it up as soon as I got home.

The waitress brought out trays, each loaded with 5 lbs of crawfish, sitting a tray in front of each of us. Except for Ms. Betterthanthou. Sitting in front of her was a large plate with a tiny chicken breast, a spoonful of green beans along with a very small, dry salad.

She looked around the table, as well as she could while looking down her nose, and asked, “How can y’all eat those vile looking creatures?”

We all just laughed and several of the men very exaggeratedly snapped the heads off and sucked the fat out of the heads, smacking loudly. Ms. Betterthanthou’s face went pale.

“Hey Joyce, you’re from Louisiana, don’t you suck the heads?” somebody asked.

“You mean like this?” I asked as I turned towards him, and also towards Ms. Betterthanthou, as I snapped off a head and slurped the fat from it.

Ms. Betterthanthou went a couple of shades paler if possible.

“Hoo Haa, this is going to be fun.” I thought as I picked up another one. I snapped off the head, looked at Ms. Betterthanthou, smiled and said. “Watch it’s eyes disappear.” I sucked at the head while she ducked her head and made a gagging sound.

Of course the eyes didn’t really disappear but she didn’t know that because she had her head hanging so low that she couldn’t’ see anything but her plate.

This woman had made so many of us miserable that they were enjoying getting back at her through me and they egged me on while doing their own bits towards annoying her.

I was enjoying this as I was the one she had targeted the most.

Sucking, slurping, chewing and twisting the heads off right under her nose was such fun that I became oblivious to everything else as I made obscene noises at the same time.

Wow, I was having fun.

Until Mr. Macho poked me in the ribs and nodded his head at the rest of the room.

Nearly everybody at the other tables had left, leaving their food untouched.

Omigod. I was worse than my sons when they got into their “gross out contests”.

I was so embarrassed and ashamed even while everybody later was patting me on the back and thanking me for my performance.

But it did accomplish what I thought was impossible. Ms. Betterthanthou stayed as far away from me as possible after that.


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