Friday, July 5, 2013

23rd New Thing ~ We're Gonna Need A Bigger Margarita

Most of the New Thing blog posts begin with me thinking,
"Oh, this post is going to be easy. Not much writing for this New Thing. Woo hoo!"  
This is immediately followed by the

*Happy Blog Dance!*

Don't get me wrong; it's not that I don't like the writing. I love the writing. But I'm behind.
And it's funny but it turns out that it's the writing that takes the most time, and often, the most energy and investment. I wouldn't have guessed this.

I would have thought it'd be the actual New-Thing-doing, the planning and prep for the New Things that would take the most time and involvement. But rarely has this been true.

Plus it's infuriatingly easy to let other parts of life crowd the writing right out of the center. Then it begins to feel like the 'telling' of the Things is an obligatory clerical task. The dreaded 'paperwork.' But the story telling is where my heart lives. So the posts are never as quick and snappy as I think they're going to be when I start the first sentence. By the second paragraph, my soul is pouring out.

In the end, I'm good with this.

However, it's also nice to have a little break and a bit less writing for a change. And I think I'm onto something with this particular New Thing post.

In this post, I'm counting on that picture-worth-a-thousand-words thing.

I've never eaten a raw oyster off the beach.

And honestly. My never having eaten an oyster off the beach? That was a specific and deliberate decision. You know those things that you intend to get to...someday? This was not one of those for me. 

Even so, I'd never done it. And it felt brave to try it. So I did. 

23rd New Thing Plan
#1 : Assemble essential tools: 

  • Fat Tire Six-pack Bribe
  • Margarita; on the rocks, no salt 
  • Contraband cocktail forks 
  • Lemon 
  • Hot sauce.

#2 : Transfer essential tools down to the beach. 

#3 : Find an oyster.
#4 : Locate the hinge of the shell. Thank you, Oyster Expert.

#5 : Keep the oyster level so the liquid doesn't spill out. 
(I learned there is a 'top' and 'bottom' of an oyster. 
I had no idea. And don't quiz me on it later because I still have no idea.)

#6 : Insert oyster knife. 

#6 : INSERT oyster knife

"Do you want me to help get it started?"
"No! I want to do it myself...."
*Grunt, grumble, growl...*



#7 : Twist the knife to pop the hinge 
#8: Use the blade to sever the muscle attached along the inside, then the shell should open easily.

Whew, that's done. 
Can opening an oyster be a New Thing? Because that was frickin' hard.
Turns out, oysters are fiercely determined to remain closed.

Ta da! 
Are you cheering? I said "Ta da!"

I'd like to have a little chat with the brave, clearly diagnosable and starving soul who very first looked at a raw oyster and said, "Wow, this looks tasty."

Do you see the size of this oyster? 
It's like the size of my palm. Bigger, even. 
All we could find were the big ones.

This felt like such a good idea when I first thought of it.

I originally imaged swallowing an oyster whole, like an oyster shooter. 
But this is way too big and my gag reflex kicks in just thinking about it. 

To make it more manageable, I cut it into thirds. 
At first thinking, with a cringe, "Eww, oyster internal organs." 
But then realize that oysters are pretty much one big internal organ.

Okay, oyster sliced and ready to consume.....


Like a 5 year old, playing with her food....
delaying the inevitable.

Thinking, "This New Thing thing is over-rated! Can we be done now?"

Okay, ready?  

Here goes.....

#9: Swallow the raw oyster.


Maybe I can't do this?

Too much nervous giggling.
I try slurping it up out of the shell but this does not work. 
And I don't want to tip the shell up and tilt my head back 
because all 3 sections will slide into my mouth. 
In which case, I'll throw up on the beach. 
An event that would not be a New Thing for me. 
(Tequila shots on Sunnyside Beach.....not my friend.)

Slurping sucks.

Give me one of those fancy forks.

Going, going....

Paralyzed with raw oyster in my mouth....

Raw, lukewarm, dissected, slimy mollusk parts sitting on my tongue....

# 9 : Swallow the raw oyster...

#10 : Drink! Give me something to drink. Something strong. 

This time, tequila on the beach is my friend.

Okay, that was completely disgusting. 

1/3 of a New Thing doesn't feel bona fide. 
So I'll see if a little lemon squirt and Cholula makes it any better.


Nope.   Still nasty. 

Really close to throwing up. 
A margarita has never tasted so good.

I'm such a light weight. It feels like I've swallowed a monumental amount of oyster flesh
but there's still at least a third of an oyster left. 

My accomplice shows off. Eating a few big daddy sized oysters. 
Each in one gulp. 
No dissecting. No shuddering. 
No margarita required. 
Yeah, whatever.

Then I spotted an oyster that was WAY more my size.

In the picture above, there are two oysters. 
The big, obvious, obnoxious, over-compensating one to the left.
And the petite, quiet, unassuming, nothing-to-prove one on the right.

This little bitty oyster feels like my chance to conduct the New Thing as I'd originally imaged. Swallowing raw oyster whole.

Go back to #6 : Insert oyster knife.

#6 : Insert oyster knife.

#6 : Insert oyster knife!! 
You know, you'd think these little, cutie pie oysters would be easier to open. 
But you'd be wrong.

Okay, got it! 
Now, a little lemon. Isn't it sweet, so tiny? 
This is going to be easy! 

Kneeling right here, I'll just lean back and....


...fall on my butt.

Third time is supposed to be a charm, but I'm just getting worse at this.
(Must be the Margarita.)

One more time.....

Okay, I think I need to be done now.
I'm a light-weight; it takes exactly one and one half cocktails before I'm saying some very interesting things.
Two drinks and I'm laying down with my eyes closed.

Alcohol is not a big part of my life, thank goodness. 
But it turned out to be a big part of this specific New Thing. Again, thank goodness. 
I couldn't have done it without the tequila. (Never said those words before.)

Time to stumble back up to the house. My reward await! 

Some New Things do not allow for much photo documentation, with this one I'm quite fortunate. 
And (as long as I don't die from some mollusk toxin) I'm quite grateful to my New Thing Nature Guide-slash- Photographer!

Here's a real question or two: 
The first oyster, I sliced into pieces. 
The second oyster, I popped open and slurped it down. So was is alive as I swallowed it? Was it alive inside me? Wiggling in there during the movie later? 

Can I count that as another New Thing? 


  1. Very funny. I, however, do not feel compelled to chew or even swallow a raw oyster. Definitely not for me. You are a good sport.

  2. Barbie, I admire you! I could not do it. When we first moved out here in '87' we went up in the Space Needle. My sample plate had an oster on it. I love smoked osters so I took the shell and popped it in my mouth, never dreaming it was raw!!! I tried to swallow it 3 times and then started to gag and decided it would be best to spit it out into my napkin BEFORE i threw up! Which, thank The Lord, it did not happen. You are very brave but, would you ever do it again?

    1. I will probably never eat one off the beach again.
      (But if I do, next time before popping the shell, I'll walk down to the water and rinse off the sand.)

      However, it's good to know that if I ever have to live off the land (or shore), I can add this to the list of things I know how to find and harvest. The list now includes raw oysters and ..... and.....
      Well, I guess living off the land would be the ultimate New Thing.

      I wonder what wild brownies look like.