Khok: 1 in 50M luck

Sira-sira store

I HAVE a confession to make. Many years ago, I pigged out on lobsters.

A friend’s daughter and her groom had decided on a barrio fiesta theme for their wedding reception. The theme included not just the ubiquitous lechon, kare-kare and kaldereta but also seafood such as prawns, salmon, shrimps, squids and rock lobsters.

Rock lobsters really rock. They are small but are packed with flavor. The flesh is milky white, juicy, sweet and tender. Can you blame me for committing the crime of overeating plain lobsters? When I became tired of consuming lobsters to last me a lifetime, I turned my attention to lobster cakes, spicy lobster claws and lobster bisque. To say “seafood bisque” would be redundant because bisque is a French soup that uses crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, shrimps and prawns. This soup was indulgent in that it used nothing but lobsters.

Here I am talking about lobsters. Raw lobsters have drab colors from mottled greenish brown to blackish brown which protects it from ocean predators. Unfortunately, not from two-footed predators who trap them and haul them off to fish ports and on to the wet market. Some lobsters, though, have purplish or reddish shells.

There was some excitement over one particular lobster that should make Larry proud. Larry is the recurring lobster character in one of my favorite cartoons, “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

A two-toned male lobster was caught by fishermen in Maine, USA. According to the news, the lobster was bifurcated down the middle. Anything bifurcated means it is being “divided in two branches or parts.” It was easier understanding this definition based on the photograph. The lobster was partly black and partly red. It is a one-in-a-50 million chance of finding this type of color.

Captain Daryl Hunham caught the lobster and decided to donate the crustacean to the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. The organization generally aims to educate people about fisheries and to empower fishermen.

The Center has a touch tank for people who want to feel the texture of marine specimens. This is where the bifurcated lobster lodged after his exhausting land trip.

He was not lonely, though. The Center also has two calico lobsters (mottled red and black colors) that are a one-in-30 million find. Since there are two of them, does this reduce the math to 15 million? They also have a blue lobster that is a one-in-two million.

Perhaps, lobsters are quarrelsome because the news said they would not be sharing tanks or a one-in-90 octillion chance. At least they will be neighbors. In time, the lobsters will be set free.

I wonder on the fates of these four lobsters had they been caught in our seas. Would they be as lucky?


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