After we went sailing, we drove back to the beach house to get our bearings and figure out what we were doing for dinner. We had a theme for the weekend that was basically, “whatever we are doing more than 1 hour from now we will figure out in 45 minutes. Now get me another beer.” My parents were exhausted and perfectly happy to eat a light dinner based on what was left from our lunch on the boat (which, admittedly, was pretty damn good. It was a veritable feast of smelly cheeses, snooty olives, and various “spreads”). I, however, would not stand by that, as one of my primary goals whenever I go to the beach is to personally consume as much seafood as I humanly can, often resulting in either Iodine poisoning or the de-population of a small snow-crab colony in the Aleutian Islands. Thankfully it was the latter this time, though I do foresee Iodine poisoning sometime in my future.
Pete and I mindlessly drove around the little town we were staying in until I spied a place that would likely offer me an obscene amount of steamed seafood in a kitchy setting that may include A) a roll of paper towels on the table B) flat wear in a little paper bag C) cold, cheap beer, and D) some sort of bucket on the table in which I would discard the tiny carcasses of the animals I would feast upon.
We found one eventually that met all of the former requirements and along with the bonus features of terrible, live beach music on the patio (which I steered away from. Nothing ruins a big plate of seafood for me like mediocre renditions of Jimmy Buffett songs and “Brown Eyed Girl”). I was sorely tempted to order something that was called “The Big” but I settled for a lesser plate of steamed shrimp and snow crab legs. It was still quite massive, requiring the waitress to brace it with two hands as she lowered a plate roughly the size of a garbage can lid, and I had slight apprehension that I was about to do as much damage to my relationship as I was to those giant clusters of sweet, sweet crustacean. Nothing takes the shine off of romance like seeing your girlfriend gleefully devour a mountain of flesh. That’s hot, y’all!
And despite the fact that I had to ask him on 2 separate occasions to please roll up my sleeves because my hands were too covered in crab boil and melted butter to be able to function on my own he did not break up with me. And he even kissed me right there at the dinner even though I looked like this:
Do you need to see a closeup of those yucky hands?
I am such a lady.
The next day we went back to my parents house so that our drive back to Charleston wouldn’t be so long on Sunday. We spent the afternoon tending to the horses, drinking more beer, and listening to NPR while Pete and my father did silly ridiculous accents that caused my mother to laugh so hard she may have experienced a minor aneurysm. Good times.
My parents have a cat named Top Gun (or “Toppy” as I call him, but it must be said with the Cockney accent. It just doesn’t sound right unless it is coming out in the voice of a 19th century street urchin with Galloping Consumption) who is a notorious hunter. He has brought in all manner of animals into my parents house at 3 AM which he deposits in the bathtub so that he can torture them for a few hours before eating all or most of them. He will occasionally leave behind little treasures for my mother to find in the morning such as a collection of entrails, a single tiny liver, or the nose and whiskers of some sort of rodent. He once left behind the back half of a rabbit, but the only reason he didn’t eat the entire thing was because it was a large rabbit, almost the same size as he was. This has declined in recent months (since he got snipped. “brain surgery” as the vet called it). Now he tends to entertain himself with large lizards and reptilian animals, though ever since the got bitten in the head by a rattlesnake and almost died, he’s stopped messing with those.
My parents also have two chickens and a Rooster named “Caligula” (I have no idea. Don’t even ask). At one point, Pete ordered Toppy to go catch him some small furry animal so that he could make a Russian hat for Caligula to wear. Maybe he though his beak would get cold or something? Who knows. He’s crazy.
About 2 hours later we were making dinner when I saw Toppy dash by with something vaguely furry and wiggling in his mouth. I screamed “what in the HELL do you have!?” and he turned an stared at me with an “If you take this from me I will devour you soul” look as a little tiny rabbit struggled between his ferocious teeth. Mom held him down while daddy gingerly extracted the incredibly cute and heartbreakingly terrified little bunny.
“Oh my god I’m gonna die AHHHHH”
We were all aflutter and Pete just stood there and said “Holy shit! That cat just did what I told it to! I can order cats around.”
And just like that, he decided that he likes cats. Maybe things will work out for us after all. And maybe we will have an army of cats! Which we can train to defeat the snakes of the world!