Experience of Brother D and his wife S.
A few years back, S and I decided to go out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary or her birthday, I forget which. But anyway, we decided to go to Spengers in Berkeley, a seafood restaurant. That night, there was a Seafood Special -- lobster for $11.95. I personally thought that lobsters are overrated, but S said that she hasn't had lobster since she was 10 years old, so I recommended that she try it.
After ordering the lobster, the bib and the lobster-shell-cracking-wrench thingie came out. S pointed to the bib and asked me, "What is this?" I told her that it's something that she puts over her head like a bib.
"Yeah right," she said, and she kept on asking me what it really was. I told her it really was a bib, and that although it's unthinkable that a semi-fancy restaurant would give a full-grown adult a bib, that's exactly what it was, because cracking the lobster shells can be messy. After 2 minutes of explanation, she was finally convinced enough to put on the bib. While she put it on, she kept on checking my reaction and the reactions of people around us, as if she still thought that it was a practical joke that I was pulling on her.
When she had put on the bib completely, I momentarily cracked up, and she immediately tried to take off the bib, saying, "Oh I knew it!" And then I told her that I was just kidding, and that it's really a bib. That confused her completely, and made her feel very insecure about wearing the bib. She looked pretty disoriented by that whole experience, looking at me with suspicious eyes, but deep down, I know that she also thought that it was pretty funny.
Finally, when the lobster came out, she asked me how she is supposed to eat this. I just told her to crack the shell with that wrench-looking thing. So she grabbed one of the lobster claws with the wrench and started to squeeze. Well, if you know how things like crab shells crack, you know that you want to squeeze on the sharp ends of the shell rather than the flat side of the shell. Well, on that night, I don't know why... usually my wife S is a lot sharper than this... maybe it was the whole disorienting experience of the bib... but anyway, she grabbed the FLAT side of the lobster claw with the wrench and started to squeeze. Of course, it didn't crack easily, so she started to use both her hands to squeeze harder. I could see the pressure building up inside the shell, about to explode. Seeing what was about to happen, I leaned over across the table a bit to tell her that she shouldn't be squeezing it that way.
Just as I was starting to lean over, the whole claw exploded. I mean, it really exploded. A huge piece of lobster flesh hit my glasses, and I couldn't see out of one eye. About 20 pieces of lobster, along with lobster juice, shot out of our table, and it went all over the tables adjacent to us. Worst of all, one big piece of lobster flesh shot out and hit the head of an elderly gentleman sitting behind us. It must have hit him pretty hard, because he kind of jerked forward in surprise. The only thing within in a 5-foot radius that didn't have any lobster pieces on it was my wife's clothes, thanks to the bib. The gentleman turned around and looked at us, and I knew that I had to be the man and apologize to him on behalf of S... Particularly because S was hiding under the table by this time. So I turned around and said, "I'm so sorry."
Perhaps it's the simplicity of a genuine apology that moved him toward kindness, or maybe it's that piece of lobster flesh stuck on the right lens of my glasses which spoke more eloquently than I ever could. The elderly gentleman just smiled and said that it was fine.
We finished the dinner without any further incident. But after that night, I changed my mind about lobsters. Perhaps it's not overrated, if it can make memories like this.