Saturday, July 31, 2010

Allegory With a Side of Drawn Butter

Eventually, it would appear on television...a commercial for Red Lobster. Close-up views of succulent meat, rosy-pink, speared lightly on the end of a fork, the money shot of butter, glistening and dripping off the sweet morsel...

Anyway, the commercial would work it's magic, and as if I hadn't given lobster a thought in all my years on earth, I would become enamored, I mean hungry for lobster. Why Red Lobster? It's an unpretentious circus. I fit in well with its faux Cape Cod design.

The idea of lobster would gnaw at me for weeks, the texture, the sweet flavor, the salty butter a perfect foil, until I would find myself at the source. There I would be waiting to be seated, watching the lazy crustaceans lumber around the bottom of the tank. Most of them most likely die of boredom before ending up on a patron's plate, I am sure. After a few minutes of contemplating the lobsters' fates, I would be seated by the perky hostess, then asked by an equally perky waitress, "And what will you like this evening"?

"Coconut shrimp," I reply.

Was that the sound of a needle screeching across an album I heard? Coconut shrimp? Wasn't I there for lobster? Didn't I just hear myself say last week, "Next time I go to Red Lobster, I am having the lobster", which sounds a lot like "Next time I come to Red Lobster, I am having the lobster"? Why don't I order the lobster when that is clearly what I want? In that split second between where the waitress asks for my order and I make my choice, I tell myself:

"I don't have to eat lobster."
"Lobster is a want, not a need."
"I have went 'x' amount of days-weeks-months-years without lobster, I can go longer without lobster."
"Lobster is for other people, not for me."
"I don't deserve my heart's desire, um, I mean lobster."

Somewhere else in my brain, a small voice is telling me, "Order the damn lobster, will you?"

Well, what am I waiting for?