Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: snappylt on June 05, 2013, 07:37:12 PM

Title: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: snappylt on June 05, 2013, 07:37:12 PM
Can it be really rude to give someone an expensive surprise?

I just read an odd feature story in the Washington Post about a couple who were given the unexpected surprise gift of a delivery of live lobsters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/lobster-delivery-prompts-a-pandoras-box-of-issues/2013/06/03/392a46b2-c48c-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/lobster-delivery-prompts-a-pandoras-box-of-issues/2013/06/03/392a46b2-c48c-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop)

I'm guessing that that must have really happened (or else the editors wouldn't have printed the piece)... but I found it hard to believe someone would ever give someone else a gift like that without some kind of notice ahead of time.

I'm thinking that it was really rude to give a surprise live gift that must be killed and eaten within hours of its unexpected arrival.  But am I wrong?  Could a surprise like that ever be polite?

ETA: Follow-up post, #12.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: *inviteseller on June 05, 2013, 07:44:06 PM
An  unexpected delivery of anything alive would freak.me.out and I would have to really question where the person who mailed its head was!
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: Katana_Geldar on June 05, 2013, 07:48:00 PM
Depends on the person giving them to me, really. If someone presented me with live lobsters I'd probably say thanks and start wondering what to do with them. DH would probably have to kill them, though.

 I don't think it's rude, though. Unless I had previously express distaste in lobsters (which I haven't) or said I'm allergic to them (which I am not).
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: kitchcat on June 05, 2013, 07:52:01 PM
I don't think it's rude per say, but it just doesn't seem like the best idea.

The writer obviously had a huge issue with having to kill the lobsters, so it seems the gift caused her anguish...which is never good.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: Library Dragon on June 05, 2013, 07:56:05 PM
My friends should be this rude to me!  ;D

I've not sent lobsters, but other edible items I needed to provide a clear window when it could be delivered because it would not be left outside or in a hallway.  Of course these lobsters were dead and would probably have stayed frozen a day or two if left unopened.  We've had food deliveries that come in a styrofoam box (great for when you go grocery shopping in the summer) and dry ice. 
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: Harriet Jones on June 05, 2013, 08:03:46 PM
If you know someone likes (and knows how to cook) lobster, it seems like a perfectly fine gift.  However, I can see how this could go very wrong.  *I* certainly wouldn't have any way of cooking them.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: Katana_Geldar on June 05, 2013, 08:08:19 PM
I don't know how to cook lobster, but I'd be willing to have a go at it.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: WillyNilly on June 05, 2013, 08:10:46 PM
Can it be really rude to give someone an expensive surprise?

I just read an odd feature story in the Washington Post about a couple who were given the unexpected surprise gift of a delivery of live lobsters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/lobster-delivery-prompts-a-pandoras-box-of-issues/2013/06/03/392a46b2-c48c-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/lobster-delivery-prompts-a-pandoras-box-of-issues/2013/06/03/392a46b2-c48c-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop)

I'm guessing that that must have really happened (or else the editors wouldn't have printed the piece)... but I found it hard to believe someone would ever give someone else a gift like that without some kind of notice ahead of time.

I'm thinking that it was really rude to give a surprise live gift that must be killed and eaten within hours of its unexpected arrival.  But am I wrong?  Could a surprise like that ever be polite?

While it is an interesting query, they were not actually given a gift of live lobsters. They only worried they had been given such a gift.

They were given a bulky and perishable gift however, and that itself can be an issue, but certainly much less of an ethical dilemma. To me, to be honest, the bigger problem with the gift was giving shellfish to a Jew.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: m2kbug on June 05, 2013, 08:11:04 PM
My friends should be this rude to me!  ;D

I've not sent lobsters, but other edible items I needed to provide a clear window when it could be delivered because it would not be left outside or in a hallway.  Of course these lobsters were dead and would probably have stayed frozen a day or two if left unopened.  We've had food deliveries that come in a styrofoam box (great for when you go grocery shopping in the summer) and dry ice.

I have managed quite well with a thick comforter and putting the perishables close to the frozens.  Ice cream might not survive quite as well, but I've left food in the car for more than an hour and it stays COLD.  Thought I'd share in case someone doesn't have a the box.

I am rolling in laughter.  Thanks for sharing.  Rude?  Er, nah, but definitely not much thought was put into the ability of the recipients to deal with it.  Even if they were already dead and frozen, I really don't know if I could maneuver around the little guy - I only eat the food "they make" at the grocery store, wrapped and ready to go. ::)
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: DottyG on June 05, 2013, 08:23:00 PM
I want "rude" friends that send me lobster!

I don't know how to cook them, but I'd learn really quickly if someone wants to send one!

Mmmmm...I haven't had lobster with drawn butter since the last time I was in DC.


Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: Sharnita on June 05, 2013, 08:32:30 PM
I am kind of doubtful the story was 100% genuine.  It reminded me quite a bit of the scene in Annie Hall.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: MrTango on June 05, 2013, 08:45:24 PM
I don't know how to cook lobster, but I'd be willing to have a go at it.

On his show Good Eats, Alton Brown dedicates an episode to preparing lobster.  He also discusses a couple options for how to quickly and neatly dispatch them.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: snappylt on June 05, 2013, 08:47:59 PM
Can it be really rude to give someone an expensive surprise?

I just read an odd feature story in the Washington Post about a couple who were given the unexpected surprise gift of a delivery of live lobsters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/lobster-delivery-prompts-a-pandoras-box-of-issues/2013/06/03/392a46b2-c48c-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/lobster-delivery-prompts-a-pandoras-box-of-issues/2013/06/03/392a46b2-c48c-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop)

I'm guessing that that must have really happened (or else the editors wouldn't have printed the piece)... but I found it hard to believe someone would ever give someone else a gift like that without some kind of notice ahead of time.

I'm thinking that it was really rude to give a surprise live gift that must be killed and eaten within hours of its unexpected arrival.  But am I wrong?  Could a surprise like that ever be polite?

While it is an interesting query, they were not actually given a gift of live lobsters. They only worried they had been given such a gift.

They were given a bulky and perishable gift however, and that itself can be an issue, but certainly much less of an ethical dilemma. To me, to be honest, the bigger problem with the gift was giving shellfish to a Jew.

WillyNilly,

OP here, hanging my head in embarrassment.  (If I were a male version of Gilda Radner's Roseanne Roseannadanna, I suspect I'd say, "Never mind.")

Yes, I can read.

But sometimes I read too fast, and when I start skimming, I start missing important facts.

You're right.  When I went back and read more carefully I realized that near the end of the article, the lobsters turned out to be frozen, not live. (So what were those noises the author wrote about hearing earlier in the article?)

Anyway, that fact changes the picture for me.  A gift of frozen lobster (that doesn't have to be cooked at once) seems a lot nicer to me than the thought of an unexpected surprise of live lobsters.

And, actually, the more I think about it, I think unexpected live lobsters would be more "not-well-thought-out" than actually "rude".
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: jpcher on June 05, 2013, 09:10:18 PM
Has anyone ever heard of Dave Berry?

Jillian Keenan, the writer of this article, fits the style of Dave Berry's writing to the "T".

It's a humorists style of writing. Very funny to read. While it's based on fact (we received a shipment of lobster), the writer embellishes the true events in order to make the reader laugh.out.loud.

Erma Bombeck was another humorist writer. She could take a simple chore, like cleaning a toilet, to unbelievable LOL heights.


I enjoyed this article simply because it made me laugh. The humor was well written and exaggerated to the point where I could imagine myself in that same situation. ;D



Oh, as to the rudeness of somebody sending me live lobster since (at the end of the article) “They were dead all along.”

I say no rudeness there.

 ;D ;D ;D




(2 posts while I was typing . . . posting anyway.)
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Slartibartfast on June 05, 2013, 09:14:44 PM
www.lobstergram.com - I've both sent and received live lobsters.  And yes, in both cases they were appreciated.  It's a "know your audience" thing, though - my parents sent us some on our first anniversary, knowing that we love to cook and that (at the time) we didn't have the budget for something like that normally.  And I sent them some on their 25th anniversary, but in that case my sister was visiting them and was able to arrange things so they didn't have other dinner plans (and so she could leave and go see a movie so they could have a romantic evening cooking).

No problem with this here, obviously  :)
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: NyaChan on June 05, 2013, 10:44:33 PM
I think it can be an awesome gift for some people, but for some people it could be the equivalent to giving someone a pet for a gift without knowing that the recipient is okay with it.  Preparing live lobster can be a burden, not a gift for some, and especially so when there is no prior notice. 
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: ygerna on June 05, 2013, 10:58:11 PM
Once, my parents decided to surprise my grandparents by having an order of live lobsters arrive on the same day they (my parents) did. The thinking was that it would make a nice dinner when the family gathered that night. There was a mix-up (of course!) and the lobsters arrived a day before my parents! My mom got a confused phone call and it's become a great story.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: jedikaiti on June 05, 2013, 11:23:58 PM
Hubby is a chef, and he and I got the BIGGEST laugh reading that article. No the dilemma, so much, as the writing style. That was BRILLIANT.

DH has assured me, however, that if anyone is ever so generously rude as to spring live lobsters on us, he has no problem dispatching them in the most delicious manner.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: kareng57 on June 05, 2013, 11:38:01 PM
Hubby is a chef, and he and I got the BIGGEST laugh reading that article. No the dilemma, so much, as the writing style. That was BRILLIANT.

DH has assured me, however, that if anyone is ever so generously rude as to spring live lobsters on us, he has no problem dispatching them in the most delicious manner.


Late Dh was certainly not a chef, but he grew up taking vacations on the North Atlantic coast, where live lobster was pretty plentiful for his camping family.  So he had no qualms about cooking them "properly" (meaning live, although apparently most fishmongers would kill them ahead of time for any customers who insisted).

I was kind of squeamish but it was generally a non-issue anyway, since live lobster is awfully expensive here.  However, there are exceptions - about 25 years ago a local supermarket chain would sell lobster, once a year, at a very good price.  So, Dh bought a couple of them.  He was preparing them in the kitchen sink, under the watchful eye of our 1 1/2 year old toddler, who was very intrigued.  Toddler was convinced that one of them was "waving" at him, so Dh gave it to him and told him "go show Mommy!".  He did just that, walking into the room where I was feeding 4 month old DS #2, wearing a big grin and carrying a crustacean with leg bands.......

I screamed.  Honestly, I'm not high-strung at all, but there are exceptions...I'd had DS #2 on the change-table and I was shaking like an earthquake trying to hold onto him and cursing Dh to kingdom-come.

Dh paid for a babysitter and took me to a very nice restaurant the next night.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: DottyG on June 06, 2013, 01:18:51 AM
For those who are nervous about it:

Quote
In fact, research indicates the lobster has no central nervous system or cerebral cortex to register stimuli, thus the creature mostly likely can feel no pain

Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: crella on June 06, 2013, 02:03:09 AM
We had a period in the late 80s when live gifts were in. Japanese summer (and winter) gift giving has trends....one year we'll get enough butter and cheese for a small boarding house, the next year we get 20 little hams, 100 cans of juice....the live gift year we had live shrimp *sproing*ing out of the styrofoam container (they're packed in sawdust), crabs that my son wanted to take to the sea and let go, and an octopus that made a break for it and schlop-schlepped across the counter. Enough people must have complained, we never had another live gift again.

I can't stand throwing lobster into the pot, I put them in the freezer (Fire or ice?) then into the pot. I don't know...people who freeze to death seem to drift off to sleep, so I thought that might be better :)
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Venus193 on June 06, 2013, 06:08:44 AM
www.lobstergram.com - I've both sent and received live lobsters.  And yes, in both cases they were appreciated.  It's a "know your audience" thing, though - my parents sent us some on our first anniversary, knowing that we love to cook and that (at the time) we didn't have the budget for something like that normally.  And I sent them some on their 25th anniversary, but in that case my sister was visiting them and was able to arrange things so they didn't have other dinner plans (and so she could leave and go see a movie so they could have a romantic evening cooking).

No problem with this here, obviously  :)

I completely agree; it's "know your audience."

Anyone is welcome to send me lobsters!
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: Itza on June 06, 2013, 07:12:22 AM
Has anyone ever heard of Dave Berry?

Jillian Keenan, the writer of this article, fits the style of Dave Berry's writing to the "T".


She also refers to her husband as David in the article. She could be married to him  :)
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Jones on June 06, 2013, 07:18:27 AM
I do hope no one sends me a lobster, or crab, or shrimp or nearly anything from the ocean, alive OR dead. I realize that a lot of people love seafood but the thought of it really grosses me out. I think it's due to a shellfish allergy (that I may have, very recently, outgrown--no reaction at last cross contamination), that my childhood brain associated all creatures of similar build with the reaction.

So, y'all can have my share. ;D
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: lowspark on June 06, 2013, 07:51:07 AM
I am kind of doubtful the story was 100% genuine.  It reminded me quite a bit of the scene in Annie Hall.

This is exactly what I thought. Yeah, I appreciate the humor, but I guess I just didn't think it was that funny. The idea of panicking and calling friends, etc. before they even opened the box just strikes me as silly.

One thing the essay never touchs on is who sent the lobsters. Because the re-lationship between the sender and the receiver could make a world of difference in how the receiver sees the gift.

As far as cooking live lobsters, I would have no problem throwing them into the boiling pot and I do happen to have a fairly large stock pot, but how many people do? It's not exactly the most common thing to have a huge stock pot in your kitchen.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: Harriet Jones on June 06, 2013, 08:05:54 AM
Has anyone ever heard of Dave Berry?

Jillian Keenan, the writer of this article, fits the style of Dave Berry's writing to the "T".


She also refers to her husband as David in the article. She could be married to him  :)

According to wikipedia, Dave Barry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Barry)'s current wife's name is Michelle  ;)
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: demarco on June 06, 2013, 10:31:21 AM
My brother sent DH  and me live lobsters for Christmas a couple of years ago.  We eat lobster. We like lobster. We'd never cooked lobster and had never planned to.

The shipping company left them on our door mat unannounced.  (It is a really good thing we hadn't gone away for a few days or the local raccoons would have had a banquet.) I could hear them rustling inside the box and it did freak me out, even though I knew what they were.  I put the box in the back yard until DH came home so we could face the situation together.  We had a big pot so the cooking part went pretty well.  They were good.  They made a nice Christmas Eve dinner but we both fervently hoped my brother wouldn't send us any again. 

Sure enough, next year there was another box of lobsters on the door mat.  I discovered that one of them wasn't moving.  The instructions that came with them said you could still eat them if they're DOA.  I was skeptical.   This time, DH wasn't coming home for several hours so I put both of them in the vegetable crisper. When I opened the 'fridge later I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard the rustling coming from the crisper because I had forgotten they were in there. DH came home and proclaimed that the seemingly lifeless lobster smelled OK so we cooked them both, ate them, and survived, again, hoping never to see another lobster at our door. 

Both times, I sent my brother an appropriate thank note and restrained myself from adding, "pa-leeeeeeze don't do it again!" ( Is there a polite way of saying this?)

I guess the upshot of this story is that even for people who like lobster a gift like this can be a little creepy and somewhat of a burden.  It is definitely a know your recipient kind of thing.



Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: artk2002 on June 06, 2013, 10:58:26 AM
Both times, I sent my brother an appropriate thank note and restrained myself from adding, "pa-leeeeeeze don't do it again!" ( Is there a polite way of saying this?)

Yes. "While we appreciate the gift, live lobsters really aren't our style." By thanking him and not telling him that you don't want any more, you implicitly told him that the gift was fine and that you did want more.

As you can tell, I'm not of the mindset that a recipient can say nothing about a gift. If the recipient doesn't like or can't use a gift, then I see it as a courtesy to tell the giver that, so that they don't waste their time getting a bad gift. To me, a gift is only good if both the giver and recipient are happy with it. As a giver, I'd much rather hear that someone didn't like the gift; I'd be mortified if I found out, years later, that I had been giving gifts that really weren't appreciated.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Pen^2 on June 06, 2013, 11:53:44 AM
I guess the upshot of this story is that even for people who like lobster a gift like this can be a little creepy and somewhat of a burden.  It is definitely a know your recipient kind of thing.

With any gift, if it is going to require effort on behalf of the receiver to use or prepare, then you really do need to know the person well. I feel that most people wouldn't be thrilled with a surprise gift of live lobsters.

I had a vaguely similar experience once. DH and I, while on our honeymoon, asked a friend to look after our indoors cat. He likes pets and was very happy, and we left very simple instructions that anyone could follow. Unfortunately, our cat is very good at hide-and-seek, and when he couldn't find her hiding in the gap between the top of the curtains and the window, he thought she had escaped and become lost. After looking for her frantically (and being unable to contact us since we were in a foreign country without phone coverage), he started to accept that maybe the cat was gone, and began thinking of what he could do to make it up to us. His solution? Buy us a new pet.

He was about to purchase a dog when DH happened to check his Facebook (we were on holiday, so it was very fortunate that one of the two times he checked Facebook was this). A mutual friend mentioned that our cat-sitter was at the pet shop buying us a surprise puppy.

DH is allergic to dogs. And I don't think it needs to be said that you should never buy someone a pet (or anything else needing similar responsibilities and commitment) without okaying it with them first. We very narrowly managed to stop anything being bought, and the cat was found later that evening. It was a very stressful few hours, but fortunately nothing more.

I think gifts like these are like marriage proposals: you might not tell them explicitly what's coming beforehand, but if it's anything involving time and effort, then you should know them well enough and have had conversations confirming things for you beforehand.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on June 06, 2013, 12:10:52 PM
I agree with Pen^2. Lobsters aside, you should know your recipient for anything that requires effort on their part.

Two instances come to mind for me:
In college, I complained about the lack of good hummus available, so my friend decided to ship me some from home. He did the whole box with dry-ice thing, but didn't take into account that boxes weren't just delivered to my doorstep, and just because it is delivered doesn’t mean it was to me, since the mail center could also sign for it at my college. He also decided it should be a surprise, so didn't tell me until after he had assumed I’d picked it up (based on the shipment delivery confirmation). Because of the college’s schedule and my own, I couldn't get my box from the mail center until almost 24 hours after it was delivered—far beyond when the hummus would have been safe to eat (judging by the room-temperature interior, since the dry ice was gone).

Another time, a friend shipped some wine to me. Now, I’m not one to turn down good wine, but had he mentioned that he was shipping it to me before the fact, I could have instructed him to ship it to my work. Instead, I was incredibly lucky to run into the mail carrier when I went home on lunch so that I could sign for the wine (because you need a signature for alcohol, I guess). That was after having to spend over 15 min on the phone trying to find out whether I could change the shipping address (no) after getting a failed delivery tag on my door. Had I not happened to run into the delivery person, it would have been returned to sender. There's no way I was going to take time off work to sit home waiting for a couple of bottles of surprise wine.

Had either of these shipments been something *live*, I would have been very upset with the lack of foresight on my friends’ part.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: cwm on June 06, 2013, 02:59:08 PM
I agree with Pen^2. Lobsters aside, you should know your recipient for anything that requires effort on their part.

Two instances come to mind for me:
In college, I complained about the lack of good hummus available, so my friend decided to ship me some from home. He did the whole box with dry-ice thing, but didn't take into account that boxes weren't just delivered to my doorstep, and just because it is delivered doesn’t mean it was to me, since the mail center could also sign for it at my college. He also decided it should be a surprise, so didn't tell me until after he had assumed I’d picked it up (based on the shipment delivery confirmation). Because of the college’s schedule and my own, I couldn't get my box from the mail center until almost 24 hours after it was delivered—far beyond when the hummus would have been safe to eat (judging by the room-temperature interior, since the dry ice was gone).

Another time, a friend shipped some wine to me. Now, I’m not one to turn down good wine, but had he mentioned that he was shipping it to me before the fact, I could have instructed him to ship it to my work. Instead, I was incredibly lucky to run into the mail carrier when I went home on lunch so that I could sign for the wine (because you need a signature for alcohol, I guess). That was after having to spend over 15 min on the phone trying to find out whether I could change the shipping address (no) after getting a failed delivery tag on my door. Had I not happened to run into the delivery person, it would have been returned to sender. There's no way I was going to take time off work to sit home waiting for a couple of bottles of surprise wine.

Had either of these shipments been something *live*, I would have been very upset with the lack of foresight on my friends’ part.

Okay, this is kind of off topic to start out with, but I read that as a friend sent SWINE to you. Completely changes everything you wrote.

On topic now.

I've lived in apartments for a while now, and there's a good reason I have any purchases sent to my mother's house to pick up there. Different apartment complexes have different rules about packages and where to go to get them and who can sign for them and the like. I actually ruined a perfectly good surprise from a friend when I was in college because the office signed for a package, put a note on my door, and it came off in the wind. It wasn't until a few weeks later that they called me about the package I had waiting. (It wasn't food, fwiw, but it was a piece of electronic equipment that I had gone out and bought on my own and wasn't returnable.) If it had been food, it could have been very bad and disgusting for anyone else who had to get a package out of that small room.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: jpcher on June 06, 2013, 04:48:41 PM
Has anyone ever heard of Dave Berry?

Jillian Keenan, the writer of this article, fits the style of Dave Berry's writing to the "T".


She also refers to her husband as David in the article. She could be married to him  :)

According to wikipedia, Dave Barry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Barry)'s current wife's name is Michelle  ;)

THANK YOU! Harriet Jones, for correcting me.

I was talking about Dave Barry . . . not Dave Berry.



My apologies to anyone who might have been confused due to my misspelling.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Deetee on June 06, 2013, 05:27:58 PM
A know your audience type situation for sure.

But if you get some that you don't want, you can ship it to me!
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 06, 2013, 07:00:10 PM
DH, DS and I are foodies and love to cook, so live lobster is welcome any time!
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Miss Tickle on June 06, 2013, 09:34:14 PM
Do you ever read a title and think, are they talking about me?

Once upon a time our friend moved back to Nova Scotia, and that first year he promised to send us lobsters. I told him if he could send us lobsters for our Xmas eve dinner, that would be awesome.

December 16th or so I get a long-distance call,

Him: Hey, the lobsters are on the way!

Me: Yay! Lobster! When will they get here?

Him: Tomorrow!

Me: Yay! So, how to we keep them alive until Xmas eve?

Him:...

Me:...

Him:...

Me: Hello?

Him: I'll send more.

The next day we get the notice from the courier and pick up at least a dozen (maybe sixteen?) lobsters, and had an amazing "it's not Xmas yet, but we got lobster! party".

Dec. 24th we got another box of lobster (and a stern lecture about shipping live animals) from the courier.

I thought afterwards that I was rude in asking about the lobsters, thinking I'd put him on the spot, but he told me it was no problem with sending them on time, he just totally forgot, and when I asked about it, he realized his mistake. The extra were the least he could do.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Amara on June 06, 2013, 11:21:12 PM
The newest issue of Cook's Illustrated showed up today and lo and behold one of the articles was titled "The Best New England Lobster Roll."

A sidebar noted what happens when you plunge them into boiling water then says "if I could figure out how to sedate the lobster before cooking--and minimize the time it spent moving in the pot--these could only be positive developments." One of those methods includes slicing through the lobster's head with a sharp knife but this resulted in the same distressing movements as doing nothing but plunging. The hypnosis method--standing it on its head and rubbing its shell did have an effect but one that only lasted until it was put into boiling water. It was only the third method, below, that worked.

Chilling lobsters in the freezer for 30 minutes produces a comalike state that makes it easier and safer to maneuver them into the pot. It rendered them motionless and once in the pot there were only a "few flutters." Which is a considerable change from the other methods.

Now returning you to your regular topic.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: jedikaiti on June 07, 2013, 12:06:37 AM
Chilled lobsters are very lethargic, so I buy the comalike state theory. Don't ask how I know this.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Pen^2 on June 07, 2013, 01:44:24 AM
Chilled lobsters are very lethargic, so I buy the comalike state theory. Don't ask how I know this.

They actually slowly lose consciousness and die if you keep them in the freezer. They basically go to sleep and don't wake up. It works for most cold-blooded things, actually. That's how I've always done it: freezer for an hour or so. Then I'll thaw them in the fridge before cooking.

Even though they don't have a very complex CNS, I always like to kill things as quickly and painlessly as possible, and via sleep if ever feasible. No sense in distressing the poor animal. And I'm kind of clumsy with spiny animals, so things like lobsters might take me a few tries, and I don't want to end up stabbing wildly at a dimly-uncomfortable paraplegic lobster like Norman Bates.

As a result of once living with someone who's cat was some kind of serial-killer of small creatures, I've had to kill a lot of critters who were disemboweled or otherwise mortally wounded and then left to die agonisingly slowly on the front steps. So I know how to kill most common things very quickly :( lobsters and crabs are kind of fiddly though, so I just freeze them.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Janice on June 07, 2013, 10:09:12 AM
My friend's mom once received (unannounced) a whole wheel of Stilton cheese, which reeks at the best of times. It was sent by a relative via regular mail from Southwest England to the Pacific Northwest.  This was 30 years ago, when mailing something large and bulky internationally could take several weeks. Did I mention that it arrived in August?

Her mom arrived home one day to find a *dripping* package of Stilton lurking on her doorstep. She brought it inside instead of throwing it out right then, for reasons known only to her, and it took about 6 weeks to clear the smell from the house afterwards.

Rude? Not sure. Clueless? Definitely.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: DottyG on June 07, 2013, 11:53:47 AM
Quote
Dec. 24th we got another box of lobster (and a stern lecture about shipping live animals) from the courier.

Lot of good giving you the lecture did.  You were just the recipient!  It wasn't your fault live animals were shipped.

And this:

Quote
stabbing wildly at a dimly-uncomfortable paraplegic lobster like Norman Bates.

had me, literally, laughing out loud! :D

Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Winterlight on June 07, 2013, 01:20:09 PM
I don't think you should send anyone a live gift unless they have requested it and are waiting at home for it.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: sweetonsno on June 07, 2013, 02:44:25 PM
I agree with posters who say that it's mostly a know your audience thing. I would not be amused if someone sent me live lobsters. I wouldn't want to kill an animal or give it to someone who would unless it was absolutely necessary. I suppose I could go drop it in Puget Sound or take a trip to the Olympic Peninsula, but I don't think I'm qualified to pick a good spot to release it (or accurately determine whether or not doing so would be eco-friendly).

Also, an aside: while many chefs do claim that crustaceans can't feel pain, biologists generally agree that it's likely that they can. Apparently, the best choice is to chill and then split: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-resources/news/chill-it-then-split-or-spike-it-the-humane-way

(I do recommend the article for those of you who like to cook your own lobster, as the author discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each method, including how some of them affect your final product.)
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Venus193 on June 07, 2013, 03:08:42 PM
I happily pay the nice folks in the kitchens of Red Lobster or any local seafood eatery to do that job.  the person who would send me lobster is invited to send me wine instead.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery
Post by: jolyan on June 08, 2013, 12:46:17 AM
Has anyone ever heard of Dave Berry?

Jillian Keenan, the writer of this article, fits the style of Dave Berry's writing to the "T".

It's a humorists style of writing. Very funny to read. While it's based on fact (we received a shipment of lobster), the writer embellishes the true events in order to make the reader laugh.out.loud.

Erma Bombeck was another humorist writer. She could take a simple chore, like cleaning a toilet, to unbelievable LOL

Lewis Grizzard too.  Chili Dawgs Always Bark at Night is an excellent read.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Library Dragon on June 08, 2013, 01:46:04 AM
In the late 80s when we lived in Italy my mother sent a box of Christmas gifts from California. It arrived on the 23rd. I put the box by the tree without opening it due to a hectic schedule.

Christmas morning we are opening presents. I open the box from my mother and reach into the newspapers she used for packing and SCREAM

My mother had sent avacados.  You ripen an avacado by placing int in a dry, dark spot. After weeks in transit I had put my hand into a nasty, green/black, goo.  Poor DS1 (4 at the time) was afraid to open any of the presents sent to him.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Venus193 on June 08, 2013, 04:49:36 AM
Is anyone else seeing banner ads for Lobstergrams?
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Pen^2 on June 08, 2013, 08:16:11 AM
In the late 80s when we lived in Italy my mother sent a box of Christmas gifts from California. It arrived on the 23rd. I put the box by the tree without opening it due to a hectic schedule.

Christmas morning we are opening presents. I open the box from my mother and reach into the newspapers she used for packing and SCREAM

My mother had sent avacados.  You ripen an avacado by placing int in a dry, dark spot. After weeks in transit I had put my hand into a nasty, green/black, goo.  Poor DS1 (4 at the time) was afraid to open any of the presents sent to him.

This reminds me of an episode of One Foot in the Grave... Victor can't sleep one night, so out of boredom he decides to open an old Christmas present from his annoying neighbour. He dislikes the neighbour, though, which is why he never bothered to open the present when it was originally given, a year or so ago. It turns out to contain a (now decomposed and liquefied) pet hedgehog.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: Shea on June 08, 2013, 02:17:16 PM
My friend's fiance gave me a live lobster at our Secret Santa party last Christmas. I was not expecting something alive and was quite startled when I open the box and something moved. Then I was delighted because I love lobster and I have no qualms about cooking them. But it's definitely a know-your-audience thing.
Title: Re: Rude gift(?) - unexpected live lobster delivery (follow up post 12)
Post by: dks64 on June 08, 2013, 05:18:53 PM
If I received a live lobster, I would be furious. Ain't nobody got time to drop everything and drop the guy back in the ocean. But I would, as lobsters are my friends, not my food  ;D