Friday, December 16, 2005

Random Lobster

When I lived in places like Colorado and Oklahoma, I spent whole summer days wandering around with similarly feral children. Since we usually lived out in the middle of nowhere, I was lucky to have a kid my age within bicycle riding distance. If there was, it was a boy, which was great, because we often had similar ideas of fun- fort building, exploration, picking tics off our legs, and poking dead critters with sticks.

Since then, with the exception of opossums, I've grown an aversion to looking at dead animals. I certainly wouldn't go poke one with a stick. If I'm driving, and there's carnage in the road, I squint my eyes real hard until I'm past it. It's not that I'm sqeemish. I remember walking into a neighbor's garage in Colorado when I was seven or eight and seeing a buck suspended from the rafters, dripping blood into a galvanized steel bucket, and not turning a hair. I just don't like the idea that someone probably loved the animal that died on the road and will never know it's fate. They might be wondering day after day if Fluffy is going to come home. I know that when my dog disappeared four years ago, it was several months before I stopped calling the pound, and eight months before I could part with his pillow. (I suspect the cats heavily in his disappearance. Skitters was way too nonchalant about the whole thing.)

Sometimes, though, roadkill is so compelling that I have to look. Case in point - this morning, on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) in Playa Del Rey around the Ballona Creek wetlands, there was a lobster in the median.

This was one of those times I wished I had a camera on me. Picture an asphalt road with a dusty median. Between the wide yellow lines, on it's back, with eight little feet up in the air, is a lobster. I have a fairly wild imagination, but I admit - I was stumped.

Thermadore the Lobster obviously did not crawl out of the Ballona Wetlands and meet his/her cruel fate. How do I know this? Well, for one, it was bright red, which meant it had been cooked. Cooked critters don't crawl. Second clue - Thermadore had a honking big claw, which was held shut by a thick blue rubberband. Pacific lobsters don't have claws. This guy was obviously an East Coast transplant.

So someone lost a fully cooked lobster. In the middle of a road. Several miles from the nearest grocery store, restaurant, house. I haven't checked lately, but I'm convinced that lobsters are fairly pricy. It's not likely that someone would put a full bushel of cooked lobsters in back of his truck, and as he bounced along the construction zone on PCH, one happened to fly out. But how else did it get there?

I may obsess on this for days.

I just hope that someone in Venice isn't dialing the pound right now, hoping against hope that their beloved pet lobster will be home for Christmas.

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