Monday, July 1, 2013

The Tragic And Unlikely Tale Of Herbertina

It was a restless day, which never bodes well when you hang out with Fancy Phil...and then the boys got hungry, and it was all over. We were now about to have an adventure.

No run to the local supermarket for Fancy Phil. We found ourselves trolling around the warehouse district in midtown, looking for seafood wholesalers. At last we found one monolith with a faded silhouette of a crab painted on the side. Reluctantly leaving the safety of the car, we wandered in a side door and found ourselves in a cavernous dimness hung with pipes and thick hoses. The floor was strewn with hip-high vats/above-ground swimming pools full of bristling, dark, nightmarishly large live crabs. A disreputable Eastern European man helped us pick out a crab, make our purchase, and threw in a weird philosophical discussion to boot.

We escaped with our prize, and brought home our new bouncing baby sea monster. We had no idea how to turn it into food yet, so we deposited it in the bathtub with some ice water -- you know, to reinvent its natural environment. They googled ways to kill and cook giant crabs without an appropriately sized pot, and I named it Herbert. Because its mouth fringe looked like a mustache, duh! Then they found out how to sex a crab -- because somehow, part of killing your food is getting to know it better? -- and we amended that to Hebertina.

It was such a distinguished mustache
We couldn't boil her without killing her first, because she was big enough to take us on, so talk turned to how to kill her. It was decided that the most merciful way would be to stab her through the brain before dismantling her into the relevant bits. The only problem with this is that crabs don't have a centralized brain, a thing we learned only moments after my dear sweet darling ran the thing through with a giant kitchen knife.

My effort-intensive Paint skillz
Her time in the bathtub had not been good to Herbertina. Perhaps we'd sprinkled too much Morton's salt into her artificial sea, or perhaps the kitty's hate-stare-daggers were starting to take effect, but Herbertina's continually gesticulating giant jagged limbs had taken on a distinctly more languid motion. It's hard to tell with a giant crusty sea-spider monster, but she seemed to be flagging. So when she became a living kebab on a kitchen knife, she just couldn't seem to muster the energy to care. Her nervous system, such as it was, didn't seem to have communicated the urgency of the situation appropriately. She casually sort of waved it off, with leisurely gestures that lasted a disturbingly long time into the killing process.

Needless to say, I didn't join them for seafood that night; even though they assured me it was delicious. Alaskans are hardcore.


  1. LOL! Now I have images of a crab saying "It's merely a flesh would" in a thick British accent.

  2. Oh gosh. The weird twitch, flail thing her legs did freaked me out. She was delicious though. Giant sea bugs can be quite tasty.

  3. Oh man. I like to think that these things just 'came that way' when I order them in restaurants. Must we remind everyone that they were once living things? I mean, can't we just pretend they were born steamy and red with lemons attached to them?

  4. OH is why I don't eat seafood, especially crabs!

  5. hahaha! Oh, what a great story about . . . just an ordinary day. That's my favorite type of writing (as you probably know!)
    Loved this, Kana, and I also love your new look up there.