In the spirit of trying new things, I ate an eyeball.
A few weeks ago Tom was so keen to avoid being my date to the Inman Park Festival that he bought many, many pounds of live crawfish and went through the hours-long, arduous process of preparing them for a low country boil…just to get out of walking around outside on a pretty day getting drunk on overpriced beer with me. I hate you, Tom. Instead, my new BFF Marc met me there and we not only stumbled along lovely tree-lined streets with our high gravity beers, we spent the afternoon talking about shoes. I heart you, Marc. And we still made it to Tom’s in time for the crawfish boil and the only effort we had to expend was covering our ears so we didn’t hear the tiny screams when that jerk Tom scorched the poor baby crawfishes.
Some minutes later, when we had recovered from the trauma of watching live things die, we all sat around the table and taught me how to eat crawfish. Tom, a guy from Santa Claus, Indiana, taught me, a girl from too far South not to know how to eat crawfish, how to eat crawfish. After a few minutes of desperately trying not to get my hands dirty and spitting bits of silt and dirt out of my mouth, I finally gave up and went for it. While I was digging the incredibly paltry bits of meat out with my hands and discovering with each new crawfish parts I hadn’t seen in the previous one, Marc was commenting on the grossness of the little crustacean’s poop cord that ran the length of the part we eat and the weirdness of its eyeballs, which were thankfully attached to a part we don’t. As soon as he brought the poop cord to my attention I felt my stomach lurch; I dropped the half-eaten crawfish in my hand, let what was in my mouth fall gingerly to the ground and moved on to my poop-less potatoes. Marc kept at it. Crawfish after crawfish he would pull the stringy poop bit off the little guy and say, huh, this one was full when he was caught, or gee, looks like this guy wasn’t getting much to eat. My head was spinning. He knew it. He delighted in it. So he kept going. No really, look! he would say. No really, I’m going to poop string my guts up on your face, I would say. Then he abandoned the poop and moved on to the eyeballs and my stomach settled down slightly. Poke, poke, poke. Wow, those are really in there good, he said. And then I got an idea. A fantastically terrible idea, but I was a little delirious from the mass murder and then having to save myself from potentially contracting a crawfish-borne diarrheal disease, so I wasn’t in my right mind.
“I’ll eat an eyeball if you will.”
That cut our conversation short, which was absolutely my intention, but I was not at all prepared for the follow-through. Marc agreed, probably because he knew I was for sure going to eat an eyeball whether he did or not, so obviously he let that happen. As soon as he tried to remove an eye from the crawfish on his plate, it popped and squirted poor baby crawfish blood on him and he said, nope, I’m out. But not me, no, I can’t just be like, oh no? OK, well we’re done with that nutball activity then. Noooo. I have to eat an eyeball.
And that’s how I came to eat an eyeball.
While I was in Los Angeles last week I introduced my colleagues there to the project and got them up to speed on the no-onion rule and what vegetables we’re on this week: radishes. Thursday night dinner was my choice so we went to a fancy pants little sushi joint in Venice. When the roll I picked came out, it was displayed all pretty in the shape of a fish and its eyes were made of radishes. I popped those suckers in my mouth without a thought and my colleague David said, ew, you ate the eyes!
And that’s how I came to beat radishes.