During these unusual times of an inconvenient global pandemic, our desire to populate local restaurants has become a bit of a challenge.  As tensions eased brave couples had decided enough is enough.  They took the uncomfortable step of making reservations at an eating establishment where a distant memory of a good time overpaying for food at a nicely set table seemed like a long ago lesson from their ancient history class.

One of the popular choices at fine dining restaurants is the shellfish feature.  Ordering lobster seemed like a declaration of normalcy as waves of isolation, shutdowns and quarantines were taking a toll on your dishpan hands.

I will try to keep a tone of balance and objectivity here, as I do not want to offend certain subsections of our current divisive political environment.  This is difficult to do as we each filter biased information, based on our opinions of lobster.

First allow me to acknowledge that there is a legitimate group with shellfish allergies who cannot eat lobster, shrimp, crab or any of the shellfish delicacies that others order without consideration to that small hyper allergic population. 

After an 18-month restaurant avoidance strategy, it was decided that my double vaccinated body could tip toe into the world of human contact and force somebody else to cook my meal.

With proper protocol spacing in a restaurant designed by a cubicle engineer, still feeling sincere border line paranoid reservations,  I made a reservation at a local restaurant.

As I sat at the table reviewing a revised Covid friendly menu, I was lucky as I was sitting just close enough to another table that I could hear their conversation.  This was more than fortunate because the conversation at my table, dominated by me, was causing frequent yawns to my uncaptivated audience.

The couple next to my table were clearly prepared for the evening’s fine dining experience.  The gentleman allowed the lady to order first.  As chivalry was demonstrated, she chose the chicken Ceaser salad.  The man with the crisp, well-ironed white shirt ordered next.  The server than nodded to the man, who spoke with an overconfident tone. 

“I’ll have the lobster” was all he said.  The server repeated both selection to ensure accuracy in their upcoming meal and the couple nodded with agreed clarity of the order.  The server than suggested a lobster bib for the gentleman.

His tone changed to mild aggression as he questioned the suggestion.  He demonstrated great knowledge of his individual rights as he questioned the obtrusive offering of the bib.

“I believe I have the right to decline the bib offering.  You certainly cannot force me to wear a bib, as I believe this bib is an infringement on my God given individual rights, and I do not have to wear protection if I choose.”

The waitress seemed a little confused by this irrational position on the rights to wear a bib, but not the gentleman’s wife.  She looked adoringly at her husband because of the principled noble stand he was taking, as the declaration of individual rights and the core of democracy was playing out at the table.

Well the bib issue ended with victory for the rights of the diner.  Nobody was going to tell the anti-bib population what to do.

How fortunate was I to eavesdrop on a conversation that enlightened and educated my misunderstanding of the rights of our freedoms to choose.  The gentleman’s doting wife’s expression did change at the end of the evening as she examined the 15 butter and 12 lobster sauce stains on that crisp well ironed shirt.  Laundry day came early that week.

I get it that some people can’t order shellfish because of the allergic response they get.  That legitimate reason allows you to avoid seafood restaurants.  Also people on a seefood diet (that is where you see food but can’t eat food), or those on the Karen Carpenter diet, (where you can see food but won’t eat it) are exempt from the discussion for freedom of choice. 

The more interesting factions of the shellfish community are the ones who simply love this seafood offering, and those who simply hate seafood period!  In the end, personal opinions are all that really matter when choosing your food.

This pandemic has exposed a lot of hate and a lot of love in our world.  Opinions are consuming facts these days, like peoples opinions of shellfish, emotions are creating a lot of crabby people in the world.  To honour the diversity of these sHelLfish opinions I will remove the H and the L in sHelLfish to calm down the crusty crustacean zealots. I remove Hate and Love from the discussion to achieve a more balanced approach and try not hurt the feelings of the lobster. 

Without the H and L, Selfish is what you end up with and that brings us back to the bib.  If you ask any person, pet or evergreen tree you know, if they are selfish? the response to that question, will inevitably be “No”.  Very few people see themselves as a selfish person

Selfish is more of a word others use to describe you, even if your recent hospital skeletal x-ray, has shown you don’t have a selfish bone in your body.

This word is being used quite frequently during this pandemic and divisions continue to grow as vaccinations and masks are the lobster bibs for a escalating, conflicting society.

Who are the selfish ones? as variants increase the number of sick, hospitalized or dead people surprisingly rise.  90% of hospitalized are unvaccinated.  In a recent study some vaccinated people are in the hospital, but the average age is 73 and each has at least 3 other diseases to go with their Covid 19 diagnosis.  Yes with Heart disease, diabetes and cancer tagging along with your Covid-19, it is important to understand vaccinations do not cure other diseases.  Smart epidemiologists would suggest those patients would have ended up in the hospital anyway, and Covid-19 was just the body’s internal nudge needed to elevate their unhealthy state.

Allow my selfish thoughts to continue.  I got double vaccinated for me, for you and for alleviating the stress on our highly overworked health care providers.  I wear a mask  not for me but for you.  Because I am double vaccinated, I understand if I get Covid-19 I will not get very sick. I may still be capable of passing it on to you.  If you have other health issues, I may be responsible for you landing in the hospital.  I don’t want to do that as they do not serve lobster in most hospitals.

If you are afraid of needles I get it.  If you are politically motivated I get it.  If you don’t like wearing bibs I get it.  If you feel you are smarter than everyone else in the world I get it. 

If you don’t see yourself as selfish I don’t get it.

What I don’t get is how you don’t see what you are doing is the ultimate act of selfishness.  Me first, why would I do anything for someone else when nobody does anything for me!  “Can’t you see this is a conspiracy to remove all of our freedoms!!”   “My data proves that I am right and your data is written by the the friggin government!”    

Many of us have the feeling of community.  The Three Musketeers approach one for all and all for one.  Or as Mr. Spock said, “The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.”  I suppose that is very old fashioned thinking these days. How can a sense of community, and the sense of individual rights possibly survive during a viral, global pandemic?

Well since nobody sees themselves as being selfish, this has been the ultimate exercise of futility on my part… but I guess I am just that selfish… Pass the Lobster.

Cue the Blong…

Clearly I just don’t understand…

One thought on “Shellfish

  1. Hi Dennis, Bruce & I are just catching up on past blogs…..
    I really liked that song “I just don’t understand”
    Kim tells me you’re loving “Get Back”. I can’t wait to see it!

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