Never try to brow beat someone to try a raw oyster. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work. Now, I LOVE raw oysters. However this was not always so. The people who lured me to the dark side got me so drunk on Heineken that I would have tried eating mushrooms that grew under the house on a dare.
That fateful day of the great oyster experiment is burned into my own mental hall of shame. It was the day I laughed at mother while she appeared to be choking to death. I had been telling her for years that she would love them if she only tried them. I shared that I had succeeded after 87 Beers and a few shots of firewater. Looking back, that’s not really a glowing recommendation, but I thought so at the time.
I convinced her to try it, so off we go to a famous oyster house in New Orleans on Bourbon Street. What could go wrong? We solemnly consumed several beers and a shot of Crown Royal, and then it was time for the oysters. I told her to drown one in horseradish sauce and just swallow it whole. Then she could graduate to chewing one.
The bar tender also knew that it was her first time so he stood in front of us to witness this rite of passage. She put an oyster in her mouth and made motions to swallow it. I looked at the bartender and then back to her. She now had a look of terror on her face and was grasping her throat. The damn thing didn’t go down. I shouted “swallow it!” She shook her head and started to turn pale.
Now I freaked and smacked her on the back so hard I almost knocked her off her bar stool. The oyster flew out of her mouth and splatted on the bar so hard it took flight again and bounced off the bar tenders chest and came to its final resting place on the floor behind the bar.
There was a millisecond of shocked silence and then the bartender and I started laughing. We lost it and were laughing so hard that we couldn’t breathe and begged the Gods for mercy. My mom gave us both the evil eye and asked for shot of Crown. He gave it to her, on the house.
She finally said “OK well, I’m glad you two are amused, but I’m never trying a raw oyster again!” That just set us into howls of laughter again. The bartender finally managed to gasp “Lady, if that had happened to me I would never even set foot In a seafood place for the rest of my life.”
Mother forgave me. But I learned a lesson that day. Just cuz you like something doesn’t give you the right to insist that others try it. The results could be fatal.