A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Shrimp of the Future

First, steak was what’s for dinner. Then came pork, the other white meat. Now shrimp is the latest meat source to launch a public relations campaign on national television.

The commercials tout the advantages of consuming shrimp caught in the wild as opposed to those lowly shellfish raised on a farm. It features a bunch of shrimp men – old, grizzled, bearded, stocky fishermen – pushing the idea that the wild shrimp are superior to that farm-raised variety. They even suggest that the general public has been hoodwinked into believing that all the shrimp they eat is the wild variety, when the truth is far different.

I have to salute these little critters for having the gumption and resources to set the record straight. I always thought that a shrimp is a shrimp is a shrimp. Actually, I never gave it any thought at all. When it comes to shrimp I am always too busy peeling their shells off, dunking them in cocktail sauce, and then deep sixing them to the depths of my stomach. I’ve never really cared where they came from because I was concentrating on where they were going.

So, I wonder, what makes shrimp in the wild that much better than their wussy farm bred cousins? Are they bigger? Heartier? Also, what makes them wild? Do they party down on the weekends? Do they expose parts of their bodies to get beads at Mardi Gras, and if so, how can a human being see that body part with the naked eye? (Okay, insert your own ex-girlfriend joke here. You do it; I don’t have the chutzpah to take this any further!)

Still, my heart goes out to the now maligned farm variety. I can imagine how they must feel, being confined to a limited area of water, unable to enjoy the freedom of the ocean, and now they’ll develop inferiority complexes because of these commercials. I’m sure they see no point in getting out of the salt bed every morning just to hear themselves insulted on national television.

Perhaps they should not take this lying down. This might be a golden opportunity for the farm shrimp to stand on their tails, shake their feelers in anger and resolve to improve themselves. May I suggest that they develop a set of skills that those wild shrimp don’t possess.

The farm shrimp could possibly make themselves a more efficient commodity for human consumption. As an example, let’s look at the process that takes them out of the water and into our mouths. They have to be caught, cleaned, deveined, boiled, broiled, frozen, batter dipped, deep-fried, sautéed, tossed, dusted with spices, and slathered in cocktail sauce. Whew! That’s a lot of steps for a little shellfish!

I doubt that they can improve their taste, but perhaps they can work on their presentation. Maybe the shrimp of the future could be trained to add a little pizzazz to their final moments. They could shell themselves in front of the customer; some may even be daring enough to perform this part as a strip tease. Then, as a finale, they take the deveining fork and commit hara-kiri, before toppling over into a pool of cocktail sauce. Some shrimp may want to do this act as part of a larger dramatic presentation like, say, the finale from “Romeo and Juliet”. All this could certainly make the Chinese buffets much more entertaining.

Some diners may want the shrimp to automatically jump into their mouths, but not me. I wouldn’t expect them to do that; particularly since they went to the trouble of performing Shakespeare. I wouldn’t mind using my fingers or a fork to lift them to my mouth. It’s the least I can do for my dining pleasure.

So, farm bred shrimp, this challenge is before you! Yes, I speak to you, super shrimp! Unite, and show those wild shellfish what you’re made of! Your reputation is at stake! Or, if you don’t care, then that’s just fine! Just lie there in your coat of seafood seasoning and wait for the inevitable fork to take you away.


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