Now regular readers of this blog will be well aware of the almost conversational nature of its relationship with the woman with one red shoe and how occasionally, Jess will let something slip which I fall upon like Tongey on a free pint.
Well, something she wrote the other day has had my mind all of a tizwas ever since. The mind mangling, brain boiling discovery that Maryland has criminalised the act of oyster abuse has since occupied me for most of my waking hours and become something of an idee fixe with me.
Yet, try as I might, I cannot order my thoughts on the matter under advisement into any logical sequence whatsoever and therefore I have no choice but to present them before you as they occur to me at this, the moment of typing.
Notwithstanding the fact that my alimentary canal is as far as oysters are concerned entirely virginal, I was of the impression that for the true connoisseur, oysters are best when freshly harvested, prised open with an instrument designed for the sole purpose and slipped over the enamel with little delay. Thuswise the oyster in question has been removed from its natural environment, exposed to a blinding light, set free from its moorings and sluiced into a melange of highly corrosive stomach acids in less time than it takes to describe the process. In which case, I wonder what constitutes abuse. Chewing?
Now it so happened that I was in my car the other day listening to Marianne Faithful's Broken English album, the track "Why d'ya do it?" and as the line 'betray my little oyster for such a low bitch' impinged itself upon my consciousness, my thoughts veered off in another direction entirely. And here's where it might get very random indeed.
I wonder what the female equivalent of phallic is?
Are oysters that prevalent in Maryland that they have become as a sheep to the Welsh, a goat to the arabs and a wife to the unhappily married?
And if they have, how many would one need? Is penetration involved or is it more a question of providing a lubricated sheath twixt hand and rampant flesh?
Are they eaten afterwards or simply discarded, left to float like used condoms or be picked up off the beach the following morning by the used oyster squad?
Do the endorphin junkies leave the shell on?
And by dint of what evidence are cases brought to trial? As the ersatz version shares several characteristics with the original, I would imagine olfactory evidence to be inadmissible. DNA may suffice but no doubt a clever lawyer would suggest that their slippery nature had led to their sliding off the shell and down the front of their client's trousers before he was even aware of it. So one rather tends towards the idea that photographic evidence may be the only conclusive variety obtainable. Granted that only the most inveterate and depraved oyster lover would fish one out of the ocean, drop his kecks and have his evil way with it there and then on the shoreline, one imagines that there would be little to be gained by having members of the vice squad hide amongst the sand dunes of Maryland armed with telephoto lenses in the hope of catching any perpetrators in flagrante as it were. Maybe information is passed on in seafood restaurants or tapas bars or wherever it is these people hang out to be amongst those of like persuasion.
Is there an oyster lovers anonymous?
It also set me to contemplating the various and wonderful euphemisms for the female sexual organ. To Richard Condon, we owe 'the vertical smile', to Tom Robbins, 'mama's Tibetan peach pie' and to Sheridan, a very fondly remembered university colleague of mine, 'cod mornay'. Almost always food related I note. Yum yum, slurp slurp. "Oh, Timmy, you're so licky!" Reference...10 points.
It reminded me of a case in England where some guy had broken into an aquarium and attempted carnal knowledge of a dolphin. I forget quite how it panned out but I would imagine a case could have been made for it being, unlike cases involving oysters, entirely consensual.
And quite how one guy could have been charged for doing to a single dolphin what the entire human race has been doing to the whole species for years is quite beyond my ability to fathom.
Anyway, if you have been, wash your hands afterwards.