A Memory of Crab Legs

Topic of my choice.


Each of our plates was piled high with crab legs, easily the best part of the buffet, our taste buds descended from the seafood rich island that had raised us. We passed around the poor quality plastic crackers, at first, patience feeding off of our excitement but, later, patience leaving the crackers obsolete on the table as we rolled up our sleeves, stuck out our elbows, and used our fingers to pick out tiny but delicious pieces of meat. We spoke only occasionally, except Aunt Ollie; she spoke continually.

We sat hip to hip around an inconveniently u-shaped booth table. Ollie sat like royalty at the end, allowing us to witness her growing frustration with the plastic crab crackers. She’d ask, “Is anybody else having trouble with these?” and we’d all laugh.

The meal shifted from average to epic with a dramatic sigh from Ollie. “Alright, that’s it,” she said, as she showed each of us the crab leg and perfectly positioned plastic cracker. She made us all acknowledge, one by one, that her cracker was properly in place before extending her arms high above the center of the table. “Everybody watch!” With all of us watching, Ollie, for the first time, successfully cracked open the crab. Crab meat, being exempt from all laws of...

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