Archive for October, 2010

And Now for a Little Culture

I haven’t written anything since spring, and my hordes of loyal fans have been beseeching me to get back in the game. Well, one fan, anyway. Well OK, the only fan, if you must know. And not so much beseeching as curmudgeonly grumbling. Anyway, I admit to my laziness. It’s not like I haven’t been writing. A few weeks ago I read in the paper about the upcoming Pemaquid Oyster Festival taking place in Damariscotta, Maine. It included oysters, oystering exhibits, and an oyster poetry contest. Contestants would read their poems aloud, with judges and audience reaction determining the winner. The only requirement was that the poem must contain the word “oyster.” A small prize would be awarded.

Well, we planned on going, and the contest stuck in my mind. I woke up in the middle of the night with a poem running through my head, so I got up early and wrote it down. As it turned out, on festival day the weather was lousy and we decided not to go. Here I was, stuck with what would undoubtedly have been the winning poem, but one so specialized it would be useless anywhere else. But my fan started nagging me, and I realized I could foist this goofy poem off as a blog posting. I am proud that it not only contains the word “oyster,” but rhymes it. Twice! My apologies to Dr. Suess, who was apparently my poetic inspiration as a child.

The Bravest Man

Throughout human history we’ve seen those brave souls
Who climbed all the mountains; who conquered the poles
Innovative world leaders, intrepid explorers
Policemen and firemen to face the world’s horrors
Doctors in labs, nuns in their cloister
But the bravest was he who first ate an oyster.

I picture him walking along on the shore
Spying these objects on the sea floor
And picking one up, he sees it’s a shell
Prying it open, he says, “What the hell?
This doesn’t look right, it’s all slimy and gray!”
But since he was starving he ate anyway.

His eyes open wide and he thinks, “It’s delicious!
Why waste all my energy hunting for fishes?
This tastes delightful; it tastes like the sea!
And I’m getting a charge from the Vitamin E!
It couldn’t be better; it couldn’t be moister.
I’ll give it a name; I’ll call it an oyster.”

His friends who were watching him ask, “Is it good?
Is it tasty to eat? Can we use it for food?”
Thinking quickly he answers, “Oh no, this won’t do;
This might be poison, it isn’t for you.
Please take my advice, this is no good at all.”
(While filling his bag with all he could haul.)
“I’ll get rid of these; I’ll go give them a toss.”
Then he scampered away to invent cocktail sauce.

Now get off my back.