This may sound more like a “Guy confessions” item from Cosmopolitian Magazine than a Toolbag Tuesday, but for the record, “Jonah” DID turn out to be a toolbag and…tis the season for a good oyster roast story.
Do you know what an oyster roast is? It’s a big, delicious deal in South Carolina. People down here in New Orleans, however, have no idea what I’m talking about.
They only know oysters as raw, charbroiled or mixed in gumbo. (nothing wrong with that by the way).
Oyster roasts, common on the East Coast, consist of oysters steamed in a pot and then dumped onto a wooden table where people pick them up and shuck them on the spot.
Although it's dirty and you get mud under your fingers, it’s very social and a piping hot steamed oyster on a cold night totally hits the spot.
(I just got back from a wedding this past weekend in South Carolina and they had steamed oysters at the reception, and it was effing awesome).
In addition to being DUH-LICIOUS, it’s also really easy, since the only accompaniments to the oysters are a stack of Saltine crackers and cocktail sauce.
(The saltine crackers are important to note here, since they were ultimately Jonah’s demise.)
It was Jonah and my friend Annie’s first date, after meeting the night before at a party.
It was November, it was cold, and he was cute. A restaurant happened to be having a huge oyster roast that next day, and they agreed to meet there.
(Also, important to note that they MET at the restaurant, so there was no Jonah bringing Annie home business and goodnight kiss or anything like that.)
Hundreds of people go to the restaurant for their bi-annual roasts, and people filled up all the wooden tables that lined up on the side of the building. The tables had holes cut out the middle with garbage cans underneath to throw the opened shells into.
Annie and Jonah grabbed a beer and waited around for a table to open up, and when they saw one, Jonah told her to stand at it while he bought several buckets of oysters and got crackers and cocktail sauce.
It was a lot to carry, two buckets of oysters, little containers of cocktail sauce and all those crackers. He did his best to consolidate the items on the walk back to the table.
By this time, my friends and I had spotted Annie, and set up shop on the other side of the oyster roast table.
We were pointing out how cute Jonah was when he came up to the table with the goods, carefully placing the cocktail sauce on the table.
“Where are the crackers?” Annie asked, rightfully so.
He took all the little packets out of his front jeans pocket. He must have had 30 individually wrapped saltines in there, seriously. I remember someone made a joke about it.
It was getting dark in the evening at that point, as is the problem with STUPID DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, and everyone was so busy chatting and scarfing down oysters that Annie didn’t even notice when she picked up a cracker and made a tear in the side to put her oyster on top of it.
It wasn’t a cracker.
Annie had ripped into a condom.
“What the--?” she looked down and, either out of disgust or shock, threw the condom onto the table and then everyone paid attention.
“GROSS! Is that from the people that were here before us?” asked another friend at the table.
(Jonah should have used that as an easy way out.)
Instead, he AWKWARDLY said, “ummm…ohh….uhhh…”
Annie looked at him.
“Is this yours?” she asked. “Did this come out of your pocket?”
We all stopped shucking.
“Yea,” he said.
We all looked the other way.
Annie was insulted by the presumption.
“Um, is that for you and me…or is that for someone else?” she asked. “You keep condoms in your front pocket?”
Jonah didn’t say anything, and we quickly left the table to let them discuss it.
When she said goodbye to us not much later, she whispered that he had no explanation. He waved bye from a distance.
After the roast, they went to a house party as planned, and both separately drove to the grocery store to buy beer. Annie said right in the middle of the beer aisle, Jonah brought it up again.
“About that thing earlier…that was weird huh?” he asked.
“I mean…yea,” Annie said.
They stayed at the party for exactly one half hour and Annie left.
Neither of them called the next day.
“I can’t believe I almost put an oyster on top of a condom and ate it!” Annie said, the next day.
What if it had COCKtail sauce on it, too?? we howled. Then we made a joke about words that rhyme with shuck.
Oysters are aphrodisiacs you know. You can never be too careful.