Posted by: navalanche | August 24, 2013

A note from a stranger

Every year, Red Lobster has an endless shrimp promotion that usually ends on or near my birthday which is in November.  As I love shrimp, it is where I choose to celebrate as I rarely have shrimp the rest of the year, unless Joel brings a tray over for the holidays and then….well if I’m left alone with it, surely I will eat it all.

This annual (sometimes bi or triannual) event has devolved from an evening out to a full blown eating contest.  It started years ago when after our group had finished our shrimp and were sitting at our table rubbing our engorged abdomens and feeling particularly proud of ourselves for having eaten approximately 50 shrimp a piece that our waitress mentioned that she had seen bigger gluttons.

“You guys did great.  But see that man sitting alone over there?  He just ate 101 shrimp.”, she told us.

What?!  How?!  We thought our table held the shrimp eating champions.  Who was this nondescript eating machine?  The waitress explained that he came in often and would not eat his salad or biscuits, only dish after dish of shrimp scampi.

No one at our table liked shrimp scampi that much but we were drawn to the challenge.  We planned on busting that anonymous man’s record the very next year and we wouldn’t just eat scampi either.

And we did, that year and every year after.  Usually, it is Mike and my niece Kristi that battle it out for shrimp king or queen.

This year, endless shrimp started early.  And for Kristi’s birthday, she selected Red Lobster.  Mike and I were undecided at first whether we could attend as the driver’s side window on Kat’s car (that we are still borrowing) malfunctioned and was now stuck in the down position.  But as the car is a late model Malibu with rust along the edges, we figured that we would take our chances as only an idiot would choose to steal that car (or anything in it) from the parking lot.


As usual, Mike and Kristi battled it out, until Kristi beat Mike by 13 shrimp.  Hail Shrimp Queen Kristi.


I finished third (I’m the Karen on the left) and was sated.

We wobbled out of the restaurant and when I got to the car I saw a piece of paper on the passenger seat.  I flipped it over to find this.


Pretty funny.  I guess a Penn State fan that was bored while waiting in the long line outside the restaurant decided to leave us a note.  I especially like that he/she approved of the fact that we remembered our baby, after all, hoopies that drive a car like ours probably would run from the car and race to the front door of the establishment, high on the promise of shrimp and leave their baby in the back seat of the car to fend for him/herself when the hot wiring hooligans arrive.  I hope they were not too disappointed (Jaxon was with his mother that night and besides, endless shrimp is not for children).

Ahhh, the unexpected pleasures of driving a beater.  I’m not complaining at all but it reminds me that I have to get my own car fixed.

And I think it’s time to buy a crown and sash or perhaps instead a trophy so that next time we have a “shrimp-off” we can have our very own award ceremony.  I know there will be at least one more rematch since my nephews Josh and Robbie will want a chance at the title in 2013.  Wouldn’t either of them look nice in a tiara?

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