The menu on late night TV serves up enough romance sex and rock-n-roll to satisfy the nation. But it’s rare that we get the opportunity to peek through mother nature’s keyhole and watch the mating habits of sea creatures. None is more fascinating than the amorous lobster. He loves the nightlife. At sunset, his eyes turn red and he scavenges the ocean floor, lusting for food and sex. When a blue, green and black stud casts his 10,000 tiny eyes on a fetching female of the species he begins to dance in time to a tune he hears with his legs. The music really rocks in summer. When females release a sex pheromone it subdues the aggressive male and makes him feel all lovey-dovey. She takes the lead, caressing him with her antennae. They click their claws like castanets. Enough with the foreplay. The male shows extreme gentleness during his eight second, flagrant-delecto flurry. The deed done, he bunks off. If they meet in the some briny enclave in the future, it’s not likely they’ll exchange greetings.
Lobsters have been around since the Stone Age, so they must be doing something right. The best specimens come from the icy waters off the Atlantic coast. A rare, golden blonde female, one in about 5 million, on exhibit at the New York Aquarium, was chased around the tank by the male lobsters. “Must have been the first blonde they’d ever seen,” said the marine biologist.
And what of our primal cravings to rip the claws off and eat those low-carb, low-cal crustaceans? I inquire at Legal Sea Foods of Boston. That evening, a crate containing a huge blue enamel pot filled with eight lively lobsters packed in seaweed arrives, fresh from Legal’s 50,000 pound lobster tank.
I call six friends who come right over. They look at the table spread with the Boston Globe newspapers and sets with nutcrackers, forks, paper plates and chilled bottles of white wine. They expound on the lushness of lobster Newberg, lobster Thermidor, lobster in black bean and garlic sauce. Then they look at me. I am elected executioner. With a heavy heart, I drop the lobsters one by one into the boiling pot and clamp the lid shut. Twelve minutes later two of us carry a steaming tray of brilliant red lobsters to the table. After the feast we roll up the mountains of shells in the newspapers and take it all to the bin. No shred of carnage is visible, no vestige of guilt remains.
I reject American humorist Art Buckwald’s suggested Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Lobsters. I prefer to consider the wonderful scene in the 1963 classic film, Tom Jones in which Mrs. Waters and Tom voraciously work themselves into a sexual frenzy by sucking on lobster claws. I believe a lobster would consider that a glorious way to go.