Tag Archives: weird foods

Raw Oysters and Other Weird Foods

This is, after all, a blog about politics, animals, food, books…and the occasional insect.

The occasion is that my boss came to town this week on Tuesday night, planning to spend Wednesday and Thursday with me, and leave Friday morning.  But on Tuesday night he ate some oysters.  Now there are only certain trustworthy places here where you can eat oysters this far from the coast.  If he had asked me, I would have told him.

Wednesday he showed up in my office about 11:30 A.M. when I was already at another meeting, went to lunch with my client, and my client later said, “He hardly ate anything–I knew something was wrong then”.  That’s a snide remark.  My boss is a really big guy.  And the client is a shrimp (to continue the food theme).  Of course, I am a shrimp too.  We shrimp are a little amazed by the amount of food a person twice our size can put away.  But the client makes it a criticism–as if he is some noble being, and my boss is merely a glutton.

So on Wednesday, I ended up only seeing my boss for an hour, because he was too sick to stay at work.

Thursday morning, when I hadn’t heard from him by 9:30 A.M., I called him, and got voicemail.  He never answered.  At 12:30 P.M., I called again, and got voicemail again.  He also never answered that.  At that point I had a whole rescue plan in place.

I was going to call his hotel and find out if he was still registered. If he was, I was going to go there, speak to Management and ask that they go with me to his room.  I would insist on a response, and if he was too sick to get up or didn’t respond at all, I would ask Management to let me in.  Then if he was there, I would call an ambulance.  I would have them take him to Tallahassee Memorial ER and I would meet them there.  Then I would call his boss.

But at 2:30 P.M. he finally sent me an email, the subject being “Alive but not well”.  He said he was sorry for the inconvenience.  Maybe he went to the ER on his own.  I hope so.

Now that I know he is okay, I want to kill him.  I wasn’t inconvenienced, you…Idiot!  I was scared to death!

The things that can go wrong with raw oysters are legion.  And people who are more sensitive than others can die.  Let me clarify:  DIE.

Whoever it is who inspects the oyster beds in the Gulf (the FDA?) do a very good job, and will temporarily shut down oyster beds where there is a risk.

One of the most common risks is E. coli.  Then, there is Norovirus.  But the worst and scariest is Vibrio vulnificus.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrio_vulnificus

So will I still eat raw oysters?  Probably so.

A brief posting about this on Facebook engendered a lively discussion about who first said, I bet you could eat one of those?  My favorite example has always been lobster.  Who first said, if we can figure out how to kill one of these, I bet we could eat it?  My other favorite is artichoke hearts.  Sea urchin has now been suggested as well.

There are actually quite a few foods that fit that category, as well as foods that someone tried for the first time and died doing it.  Then somebody said, I bet we could still eat it if we cooked it/took off the skin/only ate it during a full moon.  We humans are truly the ultimate omnivores.

Weird News

First, a Fakename health update.  I was suddenly stricken on Wednesday evening with what, according to the doctor, is a stomach virus they are seeing a lot of.  I knew I was in trouble on Wednesday evening when I threw up, because that never happens to me.  Some people can get squeamish and nauseated at the sight of a raw oyster, or of a picture of certain delicacy from the Phillipines (duck embryos) which shall remain unpictured here.  Not me.  I have the classic iron stomach.  I don’t eat much at a time, but I can and will eat almost anything (exceptions:  duck embryos and mountain oysters).  The last time I even felt queasy was over three years ago, and then I turned out to have appendicitis. 

So as I said, I knew this was something out of the ordinary.  Therefore, I went to the doctor on Thursday morning, which I try to avoid unless gangrene seems to be setting in.  The doctor gave me a prescription to control the nausea and vomiting, and basically said, Good luck.  It will take 1-3 days for this to run its course.  It will get worse before it gets better.  Come back if you get a whole lot worse.

By 3:00 P.M. Thursday, I was asleep, and slept off and on until 8:00 A.M. this morning.  During the two short periods I was awake in between these times, I mostly did two things:  a) watched several episodes of the Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel, b) became entranced by weird news on MSN.com. 

A lot of weird news seems to happen in Russia.  There’s this one:  “Feral Girl gets brought up by mongrels in Russia”.  http://www.mosnews.com/weird/2009/07/02/veronika/   She lived in the back yard with her grandmother’s dogs.  The same dogs who killed her brother in that same back yard two years ago.  And this is not the only time this has happened. 

And this one:  “Accident-free crossing crossing built for frogs in Belarus”.  http://www.mosnews.com/weird/2009/06/13/frogtunnel/  Here in Tallahassee, there is a hue and cry over a planned wildlife tunnel costing $3.4 million that is popularly known as the “Turtle Tunnel”.  Some senator from Oklahoma (Oklahoma!) made it his Number Four example of how the stimulus money is going to wasteful projects.  I hear there is a planned “Tea Party” to protest it tomorrow.  Senator Whoever needs to confine himself to Bleeping Oklahoma, and not concern himself with Florida, where it’s possible his only knowledge is confined to Disneyworld, if that. 

And more news from Russia:  a guy who was breaking up with his girlfriend made the mistake of drinking too much and falling asleep in their apartment, which he was moving out of.  Hint:  Never, ever do this unless you’re a very light sleeper.  She attached some firecrackers to his penis, and lit them.  This isn’t really even funny, since he may not live.  http://www.mosnews.com/weird/2009/05/25/1909/  And the question is whether he will even want to live. 

In our own Tallahassee version of weird news, a 14-year old girl was killed on Tuesday while riding north from here on the way to Georgia with her father.  While we’ve been hoping for rain, my limited knowledge of meteorology tells me that the end of a heat wave such as we’ve been having often results in violent storms, and such was the case.  So at the exact moment this young girl was traveling, an oak tree fell, crushing the car and killing her.  It’s almost too strange to comprehend.  If they had been going slower…or faster…or started on the trip a minute later or a minute earlier…I’ts like The Bridge Over The River Kwai. 

Besides being fascinated by things that don’t usually attract my attention, and feeling sick, and possibly being delerious (did I mention I have a fever?), I am disappointed.  I had important plans for this weekend.  Bridge collapses and falling oak trees and viruses just don’t operate on your schedule.