You know what I like about Queer Eye For The Straight Guy? Kyan’s dreamy … no, wait! I didn’t say that. I’m straight as an arrow and as manly as a rugged outdoorsman bathed in sweat and the lingering scent of Brut aftershave after a hard day spent wrestling with a giant grizzly bear. Hang on. That’s both manly … and confusing. Okay, I’m as manly as a gladiator; muscled, oiled, and pumped full of adrenalin as he thrusts his long weapon repeatedly into the captured … Nubian … slaves … er, that’s not really quite right either. Screw it. I’m manly. Period. Let’s start again.
You know what I like about Queer Eye For The Straight Guy? There’s great rapport between the fab 5. It’s fun trying to work out just what the hell Jai does. Carson’s invasion of personal space and double entendres are great entertainment. The siblings and partners of the straight victims nearly always have major psychological and physical problems which really adds something to the mix.
You know what I don’t like about Queer Eye For The Straight Guy? Specifically: from the latest episode? It’s when they kill – slowly – lobsters. We’re not talking about boiling alive here. We’re not talking about freezing in a Freezamaton 5000 here. We’re not talking about force-feeding crustacean-sized cyanide capsules, applying a lethal injection, or strapping to an electric chair made of conch shells. We’re talking about a knife in the middle of the back, slowly – and badly – slicing the lobster up to its head and through its lobsterry brain, cleaving – slowly and badly – the poor thing almost in two. And, all the time, and even afterwards … the lobster tail flicks up and down, left and right, harder and harder and faster, then slower and with less force, until … you rip its claws off.
Oh God! That poor lobster! You murdering Queer Eye bastards!
I didn’t much care for lobsters. Everyone knows that just as crabs are simply reinforced, aquatic spiders, so lobsters are merely the underwater, hardened cousins of scorpions. People won’t eat spiders and scorpions knowingly, yet they’ll go out of their way to capture their sub-surface relations. People are strange and one day they’ll get what’s coming to them. No, I didn’t care much for lobsters. So they get captured, and cooked, and served with an excessively high price tag and only a seven in ten chance of requiring multiple sprints to the bathroom afterwards. So what? They’re evil and they smell. Good riddance to them.
But now things are different. I’ve seen the look in a lobster’s eyes as it is sliced in two. I’ve watched its little lobster lips quivering. I’ve had my memory etched with the image of green claws raised to Lobster Heaven begging Lobster God to ease the suffering. It all brought a tear to my eye and a vow to raise awareness of the plight of these – I now believe – noble creatures.
It’s a common misconception that lobsters are organised based on the warlord system of the ancient Mongol empire. Lobster society actually uses a stalkocratic system where those members whose eyes are on the tallest stalks decide the rules, issue the orders, and enforce the laws. Breeding is obviously of high importance but it is also possible for a lobster to earn status through stretching his or her stalks by sticking the eyes in a crack in some coral and backing away. It is considered a reward for bravery and stupidity in equal measures, important characteristics for any leader of any species.
Lobster life is much like life for any creature of the sea-bed. As the first rays of sunlight penetrate the cold, inky depths lobsters everywhere engage in gentle early-morning callisthenics and sing the species anthem "Thank God We’re Not Shrimp". The sound and sight is just one of nature’s many miracles of the oceans and rates right up there with the penguin graveyard, anemone sports day, and kraken poetry recitals. Lobsters then perform the tasks assigned to them by their stalktastic superiors; scouring the floor for food, defending the borders of their realm from vicious whelk, or continuing with the project to hollow out the Earth are all typical chores.
Evenings are a time for relaxation for lobsters. Bawdy singing, tail flicking, and dancing – particularly the conga – are as popular now as they ever were, and a disastrous attempt to introduce stand-up comedy and the lambada during the 1990s means it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Before settling in for the night group prayers are uttered for fallen comrades and family caught in pots and murdered with extreme prejudice. Then the lobsters cry themselves to sleep and try to ignore the taunting of cruel and heartless starfish.
- lobsters can grow up to twelve metres in length but nobody makes pots large enough to capture them so you’ll never find one at a fish market,
- despite being related to scorpions lobsters neither possess a sting in their tail nor harbour desires to hide in slippers,
- Winston Churchill was nicknamed "Winnie Lobsterbod" on account of being born with eight arms and a tail,
- the prettiest lobster ever recorded was caught off the northeastern coast of Canada in 1976,
- if a lobster loses a limb, part of its tail, or an eye it can simply regenerate the bodypart making it superior to humans,
- if a lobster wants a cup of tea it’s shit out of luck making it inferior to humans.
It is said that when the crackpot Christians in America finally initiate the rapture God has a surprise in store for all those who thought they were saved but still did nothing to prevent the consumption of lobsters as set out in the Bible. On that day the ground beneath the feet of the unrighteous will submerge beneath the waves leaving those sinners floundering in shallow water. As one the lobsters will conga – this frenzied act being enough to raise the temperature of the seas globally – and the people will turn red and boil alive and they can see how they like it, so there.
Of course, like most lore and practically everything in the Bible, this is all rubbish. The lobster-whelk war will inadvertently eradicate all other life on the planet long before the rapture can get going so there’s no need to worry.