“Complain all you want, you’ll eat that lobster and like it.”
~American Prison Guards, 19th century
As the America Fun Fact of the Day offices have previously established, very little is more American than American food. Hamburgers and Hot Dogs form delicious links on our obesity food chain, but they also allow us to show off our gastronomical creativity. Hot Dogs by themselves can’t totally destroy a bun during the course of consumption, so Chicago-Style toppings were invented. Hamburgers felt too healthy when they were just patties of ground beef on a bun, so someone decided to put cheese, bacon, and, fuck it, a fried egg on top of it.
Hey, stop licking the screen. We said stop it!
America is the nation that discovered bologna, and then decided to fry it and put it in sandwiches. America is the nation that, when they found out they arrived too late to discover the recipe for mayonnaise, decided the next best thing was to figure out a way to combine it with potato chips. America is a nation that realized that a butter churn can be used not only to make delicious, fattening butter, but can also be an easy way to make sexual jokes when the women of the house used it. We have a rich history with unhealthy, inexpensive foods, though we do try to forget that year long stretch back in ’07 when Rachel Ray was culturally relevant with that whole “30 Minute Meals” nonsense.
And that’s why today’s America Fun Fact of the Day is about Lobster. Nature’s accidentally delicious mistake.
When we speak glowingly of this fine nation, a nation that found a way to deep-fry a Cadbury egg, a nation which said, “Sure, why the fuck not,” to a three-layered-grilled-cheese-birthday-cake, and, hell, a nation that invented a GODDAMN PIZZA BURGER (were you thinking “oh, so a giant giant beef patty with two pizzas as the buns”? Good, because that’s exactly what a goddamn pizza burger is), the casual observer might have a hard time comparing all these goddamn American meals with the Lobster, which is more associated with expensive dinners at fancy restaurants than with American overeating. But that’s where you’d be mistaken. Lobsters are far more American than you could possibly imagine.
For starters, Lobsters don’t age, which means that they are theoretically immortal. Eating a lobster is like taking a hunk out of a goddamn Highlander. If you eat a 2 pound lobster tail at a steakhouse, apart from the fact that you’re probably dropping a good 80 bucks, you’re probably eating something older than your parents.
So, to recap, America discovered a monster that typically can live to be 150 years old in the bottom of the sea. It is the color of the devil, kills and eats crabs, fish and sea urchins, and has been known to resort to cannibalism while in traps. It crawls at the bottom of the sea, with the largest one found on record being 44 pounds and 3 and a half fucking feet long. America (eventually) decided, “Hey, why don’t we take these Sea Spawns of Satan and boil them alive, and then we can break it open like a goddamn coconut, and dip the meat in melted butter.” How is that not American?
If your initial reaction to this picture is , “That looks delicious I want to eat the shit out of that,” instead of, “OH JESUS CHRIST RUN!” then you are truly American
Lobsters are not only consumed when they demand to be feared, lobster meat is a billion dollar industry. Lobster meat is so valuable that Lobster fishermen often carry guns to shoot people trying to steal their traps, which means that Lobster is literally good enough to kill for. Many of the world’s most badass Americans count Lobster as one of their favorite extravagant meals. Once he became the highest paid actor in the world, Steve McQueen’s daily routine involved eating a lobster off the back of a naked women, shortly before participating in an underground drag race. Humphrey Bogart ate lobster at least once a week, which he prepared himself by grabbing the Crustacean and saying, “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,” before dropping it into the pot. In one of the original Ian Fleming James Bond novels, James Bond not only ate Lobster, he ate a fucking raw and living Lobster. Seriously.
To avoid food poisoning, Lobsters are cooked while still alive. The most common method of cooking them is to boil a pot of water and drop the live Lobster into the churning maw of doom. Animal rights activists feel that this is cruel, and that the Lobster needlessly suffers, which is why some advocate stabbing the bastards in the brain before boiling them. Only, the jokes on them, because that doesn’t even kill the damn Lobster, and it still feels everything, including that whole “getting stabbed in the brain thing.” Some are unsettled by the high pitch noise that emits from the Lobster as it boils, and many assume that this is the sound of the Lobster screaming. If that’s your concern when eating Lobster, you can rest easy. That is just the sound of steam escaping from the gaps in their shell, and Lobsters are unable to scream since they lack vocal chords. But if they could scream they totally would, which is why Americans enjoy cooking the damn things themselves. It’s the closest thing we can get to legally murdering and devouring an immortal. If you chop down a Redwood, you get arrested, if you boil a Lobster that can conceivably live just as long, you get a delicious meal.
Lobsters are so secretly American they are served at every CIA function. Since Lobsters are low in fat, we compensate by dipping them in butter and justify it by saying it “enhances the sweetness of the meat.” It’s no coincidence that the one meat Lobster is most commonly pair with is steak.
But, much like many of the greatest Americans, Lobster’s origins are humble. The first recorded lobster catch occurred in 1605, where, once they were brought up, the fisherman who caught them was on the record as saying, “JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS THAT BURN IT BURN IT ALIVE!” This reaction turned to be fortuitous, since, when the exoskeleton turned a bright red in the boiling water, it was realized that the flesh inside was quite delicious. Still, despite the clear and evident awesomeness of Lobster meat, Lobster was considered a pauper’s meal. The meat was canned, and was considered to be only useful as fertilizer and bait. Indentured servants demanded that their contracts stipulate they could not be fed Lobster more than twice a week, which is sort of like a blowjob inspector complaining about the length of his lunch break. Hearing someone complain about having to eat “too much” lobster is like hearing a Lamborghini owner complain about how hard it is to find parking. People that have to be forced against their will to eat free Lobster can only climax while watching their partner stuff filet mignons down a garbage disposal.
Eventually, commercial fishing of Lobster became more common on the East Coast, and specialized Lobster catching vessels were created. These boats were called “Lobster Smacks” which sounds less like a boat name and more like something a pimp lobster would give to one of his lobst-ho’s when she gets out of line. AFFotD cannot verify the existence of Lobster pimps and Lobst-ho’s, but it makes too much sense to be a myth.
By this point, though a living could be made catching Lobsters, they were still primarily served in cans and considered, “cheap, low quality” food, and were served to prisoners, much to their dismay. It wasn’t until the 20th century, when America had rediscovered their blood lust through World War I and World War II that the concept of paying a lot of money for the privilege of boiling a demon fish alive became a popular one. Now, Lobster sales have skyrocketed, as Americans everywhere has realized how American Lobsters really are.
Not all Lobsters are created equal, however. There are many species of Lobsters, which have existed in one form or another for over 140 million years. These Lobsters are listed below, in rank of their Americanness. And yes, as you no doubt are assuming, they range from “AMERICAN” to “sort…sort of American” to a whole slew of, “Of course they eat that in Asia.”
1. American (Maine) Lobster
It’s right there in the fucking name people. American Lobster. It’s even in the goddamn Latin name- “Homarus Americanus” which we’re pretty sure means “Homosexual American,” which doesn’t make a lot of sense to us, but we also know that the Greeks were into some shit. When you sit down to eat a quality Lobster meal, you eat this fucker. I mean look at him. Fill that potato up with bacon bits, sour cream, cheese, butter, and chives, and replace those carrots with Cheetos, and that is America on a fucking plate. We don’t know what’s in that cup, but we’d have to assume that, since it is brown, it is bourbon. And look! They put the lemon pieces in its claws! To make it look like the lobster is holding them! It thinks it’s people!
When you eat a Maine Lobster on a date, it is a guaranteed fact that you will get laid. According to this site, Lobster is not an aphrodisiac, but according to this site, money is. And nothing says you got money like buying a Lobster for yourself or for your date. If you pay for a Lobster at a restaurant, it’ll cost you, though you can also go to Maine and get one for surprisingly cheap- they’ll even serve it on a paper plate for you. But since the only worthwhile thing in the whole state of Maine is Murder She Wrote, we’re not going to do that. We’ll just let the Maine Lobster remain a shallow indicator of feigned status. Which is the most American food of all.
Oh, and did we mention that, though before cooking they are generally primarily a brownish green hue, there are occasional Mutations that cause American Lobsters to have different colored shells? And guess what some of those colors are. Exactly. Red. White. And Blue. We’ll wait for your head to grow back so you can wipe the remnants of your blown mind off the computer screen.
2. European (common) Lobster
Yes, it has “Europe” right in its damned dirty French name, but it is a close relative to the American Lobster, much like how after each President is elected into office they’re able to figure out how distantly related they are to the Queen of England. But look at that poor little guy, he clearly is dying to be an American, with his blue tail and his red antennae. It’s a damn shame, he shares an ocean with the Maine Lobster, but can’t ever be with him. Though, they are close enough that if an American Lobster and a European Lobster did the underwater horizontal egg shuffle, they’d make a baby Lobster. And if that happened, then the kids would technically be American. So that’s good enough for us. Besides, from here, shit just gets…weird.
3. Spiny Lobster
Um…what the fuck is this? No, seriously, we want to know. What is that? It looks like a Lobster’s retarded cousin that wants to be Megatron when he grows up in the picture on the left, and a mustachioed sea rapist in the one on the right. Jesus Christ nature, are you going to try to take a perfectly awesome thing like Lobsters and fuck it up? You are? Seriously?
This technically is a “Rock Lobster,” which proves that the B-52’s must have been on a lot of coke because, well it was the 80’s, but more importantly only a Len-Bias-killing amount of Cocaine could make anyone get excited about this genetic mistake. Wikipedia at least has the decency to let us know that these are not closely related to American Lobsters, since they have no claws, but apparently, “Like all Lobsters, they are edible.” Apparently they are the biggest food export out of the Bahamas, which means that they must be running out of lead paint and nightmares to ship out. Ugh.
4. Slipper Lobster
WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT!? KILL IT KILL IT WHAT THE FUCK!? It looks like Godzilla fucked a cockroach. If that thing could talk it, the only thing it would be able to say is, “HELLO PANTS I LIKE MONDAYS THANK YOU.” If this thing were turned into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Henchman for a video game, it would be the Boss of the first level, and it would commit suicide the second you hold up a mirror. If you caught this while going fishing, you’d set your boat on fire because the end of days are finally upon us. These apparently don’t get much bigger than two inches, which means that we’re pretty sure we found the inspiration for those Star Trek bugs that burrow into your ear to drive you insane. Except for the one species of Slipper Lobster that grows to be almost two feet long, which is why evolution hinted to us that we should invent sledgehammers.
5,000 tonnes of these Andy-Dick-Sex-Nightmares were fished last year, which is thankfully exponentially less than the amount of American Lobsters we stuff down our gullets. And have no fear, you won’t find this in American restaurants. The majority of this is consumed in Asia. Of course it is. We’re just thankful that the only true, widely fished Lobster remains the American Lobster, otherwise we might lose faith in the whole lot of them. Unfortunately, there is one more “Thank God it’s not technically related to Maine Lobsters” entry out there.
5. Squat Lobster
Fucking A, we’re done. We’re done with this shit. No. That is not a lobster, that’s a crab with a racing stripe. No, no Wikipedia, we don’t care if it has a tail that’s just tucked under its body right now, that’s a spider crab, and it’s poisonous and evil and it has to die. No, we don’t care if it’s called “Langostino Lobster” and is sold at restaurants, it is poisonous and it’s only on this Earth to piss us the fuck off. Okay, happy thoughts. Happy thoughts…Lobster thoughts…..
Yes… that’s right. Those other Lobsters aren’t real, this is the real deal. That just looks delicious. De-lish-ous. And that’s the Lobster we know, and that is the Lobster that is America. Because this dirty damned seamonster isn’t going to boil itself, it’s going to need a little help. From America.