Dinosaurs Eat Smoked Oysters As World Ends
By Coulter Fussell
Last week, after working for many hours in front of a computer in the dark and windowless middle room of my studio, I walked outside to get a breath of fresh air on Main Street and to drive to the Pig for the last scrapings of whatever they have left on the lunch line at 2:30 p.m. (usually, by that time, just a bunch of peppery baked chicken juice and a few soft brussels sprouts that have been boiled since the time of Christ.) After I got into my white minivan–noted with astonishment how clean it was–realized it was not my white minivan but instead Doris’ white minivan from next door. So as I got out of her clean white minivan and got into my dirty white minivan, I realized that something about Main Street seemed unusual. It was smoky.
But not like a little bit smoky. More like doomsday smoky. Light from the sun was blocked out and one could tell that crops were failing by the second. Watermelons were shriveling up en masse. I could barely see the steeple of First Baptist and the delightfully saturated colors of El Charrito were dulled to a heathered grey. The sun tried to shine through the haze but was instead blurry and weak, like a distant memory of happier times from an hour before.
One could sense that depression was settling into the minds of the people as smoke encompassed the Valley and we all waited in the dark for certain extinction. I felt a sympathy for the dinosaurs I’d never felt before and I had always kind of felt sorry for them because they were ugly. But this was different. The extinction deal was really hitting home.
There was enough smoke to assume massive meteor strike or nuclear disaster was happening somewhere in Yalobusha County, but it was only a controlled burn somewhere and we all lived to see another day. And in celebration I think you all showed up at Crawdad Hole on Thursday night for oysters.
I shuck oysters now for the Crawdad Hole’s Thursday Oyster Happy Hour from 5 – 7 pm. For a community isolated in the land-locked hills of north Mississippi, you people sure do like seafood. Goodness. I shucked 60 pounds of oysters in 90 minutes and Justin Showah, the Crawdad Hole’s owner and only cook, ran around like a mad man making enough crab legs, crawfish and shrimp to empty out south Louisiana of all it’s indigenous crustaceans. Poor Louisiana’s just going to have to close up shop on seafood sales by Friday morning each week because Water Valley eats it all up on Thursday night.
I left my first shift at the Crawdad Hole smelling like plankton, having acquired a fierce case of carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrist, and a great puzzlement over the popular phenomenon of shucked oysters to-go, but I was happy. I love seeing a Main Street business thrive and I love seeing people enjoy oysters, whether they are to-go or not. Come to Crawdad Hole this Thursday from 5-7 p.m. and let’s do it again!