The other day I was deveining shrimp because I’m an idiot. Most people realize that you can buy shrimp fully de-shelled and deveined. I suppose I did realize this, but then I saw the fully intact shrimp and the ultra cheap price attached to them and I lost all sense. I thought, “Oh, wow, all I have to do is take the shells off of these shrimp, in order to save an entire 3 dollars on this massive quantity of expensive little buggers.”
This shows you, instantly, that far more goes into a bargain than price.
Now, I knew I’d have to take the shrimpies’ little dresses off, but I was clueless about deveining.
I started the process after Wifesy and I had finished our evening meal. I was going to de-shell these shrimp for tomorrow’s cook-off – okay, dinner, it’s not really a cook-off. However, cook-off sounds more exciting, so feck it, I’m using it. As I was preparing the shrimp for the cook-off, I said to Wifesy, “Oh, man, these things still have the veins. I guess I’m supposed to devein them? Can I just leave it? Can we eat them with the veins?”
To which Wifesy, who is a Veterinarian and was a Marine Biology minor said, “You realize what the veins are on shrimp, right?”
Me: “No, but I assume a canal used to transport blood back and forth…”
Wifesy: “Nope, poop. It’s their poop chute.”
Me: “Oh, She-sus (lady Jesus), Mother of God, Sweet Mother Divine, Lord our Savior, Harriet in the Heavens Above, I’m going to have to devein these!! I will not eat shrimp poop. This is not Lesbian Survivor!”
Wifesy just laughed. Wifesy loves chuckling with me, she’s a doll that way. So, I deveined away and it was gross, arduous work. I don’t want to make you lose your breakfast/lunch/dinner/aperitif, but let’s just say these little feckers can poo around the entire circumference of their little bodies. They swim around all day, literally surrounded by their own excrement. No wonder Matisyahu won’t eat them. Imagine, being literally and not metaphorically surrounded by your own waste all day and you think you’ve got it bad?! Best not to be reincarnated as a shrimp.
So, I deveined the suckers – more like changed their diapers, but I suppose no one would buy them if told the truth – which took FOREVER. Then I spiced them up with cajun spices and Mexican chili powder, salt and pepper, and a little butter. The next day, I mixed my spiced, naked shrimp with some raw onion and dumped it all into my grill basket. Wifesy and I have a rather large grill outside the house, since we live on the surface of the sun where it never rains. We took the shrimpy, grill basket and other meat-product accouterments down to the barbie and fired it up.
Things were going well. The chicken breasts were charring on one side. The sausages were plumping nicely and all seemed just right with the shrimp basket, until…
Until I flipped the derned thing! I flipped it and I didn’t have the basket latch fully closed and suddenly fecken’ shrimp everywhere. I watched in horror as a good quarter of them cascaded down through the grill slats and died in the fire. I swallowed a sob and gently picked up the individual shrimp with my tongs, slowly, deliberately, in an effort not to lose any more.
It was in this moment that I realized how similar my shrimp experience was to my comedy career. A tremendous amount of hard work put into something and then practically throwing it all away.
I’m reaching a touch here, but I swear to you, that’s what I thought of as I watched the shrimp tumble into the fire. I’m transitioning in life, switching up my nouns, from Comedian-Writer to Writer-Comedian and it’s been a lot of work, all over again. Just when I think I have it, I’ve forgotten to close the latch and I almost have to start from scratch, so to speak.
The blog is a good example. I started it after almost selling my first book and then starting a second one. I worked on the second one for a year and then hated it and threw the entire book into the fire. I was so annoyed by that experience that I thought, “I need feedback. Comedians get instant feedback. I need that from my writing. I’ve got to start a blog.”
Now, starting a creative blog is WORK. Everyday you need to think of a new and hopefully amusing or at least touching story or idea. Some of the time, I hit it. A lot of the time I don’t. In those moments when I don’t, I wish I had a food blog.
How can you ever run out of ideas when you have a food blog?
You can talk about every restaurant experience you’ve ever had. You can re-make every Paula Deen/ Julia Child recipe. Sh*t, you can start a blog about remaking every single Julia Child recipe and then sell the thing as a feckin’ movie! And then retire to France!!!! She-sus Christ, I want to step in a pile of golden shrimp poo like that!
In the meantime, I keep deveining things over here in an attempt to figure out the recipe for landing a writing job. I’m afraid it might be this:
Recipe for a writing job
- 1 part bj to top network exec
- 2 parts family friend who is a top agent
- 1 part hard work
- 3 parts accidentally letting your car get hit by daughter of the guy who created Breaking Bad
- 1 part actually selling a book that other people actually read
- 4 parts knowing better, more connected gays. (You know, being a part of the Velvet Mafia and not the Gays-Just-Out-of-Rehab Club.)
Is that the award-winning recipe? I have no idea. I’m still experimenting and trying to figure it out. Maybe it has something to do with my sh*tty Linkedin account. No clue. If anyone else knows, please tell me. I’ll devein all of your shrimp for the rest of your life, if you find me the answer. Hell, that’s what I’m here for.
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