Saturday, March 21

Breaking Vegetarianism

This morning Colby nearly flipped me over the ramp of our bunk bed, which would have landed my neck at the top of our television, my legs scraping along our metallic clothesline, during which he shouted, "I'll feed you the applesauce!" but I saw where he was coming from; I was in the middle of glamorizing the way the snails that I had sucked from their shells with my mouth the night before were wiggling, reaching out with their little feeler-eyes to touch my tongue and then retract back in. He wasn't with me when I ate 10 snails. I had brought a box of 12 to Isabelle's apartment. She tried one [and disliked it]; as for the other unaccounted for snail, I had been trying to wrench it out without a utensil and, accidentally exhaling too hard, had shot the snail [still nestled in its shell] to the other side of her kitchen.

Having fattened up on bread and cheese and every pastry I've been attracted to, adding red wine weight to my mid and lower drifts, I was hungry to find a new way to ingest French culture. Reading translated books that drop names like "Faubourg Saint-Martin" and "Nanantatee" excited me but didn't leave me with a stomach ache and a need to lay down.

Colby's other apartment is near a small, foot-street composed of clean-cut, swirling cobblestones. The bakeries and chocolatiers are famous and everyone on the strip is expensively-dressed. Near the opposite end of the blocks is a restaurant called Escargot, signified by a large bronze [smiling?] snail. It gave me the idea to try something French that, unlike tenderized duck liver, is not specifically an animal rights violation. At least, as far as I'm concerned. A plate of escargots at Escargot is 50€ which is the amount I spend on a week of food, including wine if I don't drink out. Luckily, there are snails sold at Picard.

"It says, The Class Of Gastropoda Is Second Only To Insects..."
"See! They're dumber than insects!"
After the attempted murder, Colby had climbed down the ladder and opened up his computer. I assumed he was reading the Wikipedia page on snails. I was still in bed, defending my last dinner.
"It says, Snails Are Eaten In Several European Countries. They Are Not Insects They Are In Fact Animals. It says, If You Are Vegetarian You Are Definitely Not Allowed To Eat Snails..."
"Oh what-ever, what-ever." He was clearly getting creative with the text.

Picard, my snail provider, is a frozen food grocery store. Everything in the store is in a box in a freezer that you can look down upon, so from the street it's a big white room with big white boxes. When I first noticed Picards around town, usually at night, I pointed out how empty they were, usually inhabited by one or two cashiers. I thought how backward they were, seemingly the "supermarket of the future" in a world evolving toward farmer's markets and re-usable containers.

I'm wrong, though! Picard sells frozen vegetables at a reliable quality in a country where most produce needs to be imported. And cheap! They sell frozen soups and hors d'œuvres and 12 macarons for a few euros that simply defrost by keeping them in the refrigerator, and they taste just like expensive bakery macarons. The box of 12 escargots, pre-buttered and spiced green and kept in their coiled shells, was 3€. I shouldn't have even eaten all of them at once! It was more than enough snails for two. But after this morning I've sworn them off because Colby's right; based on their feelers, gastropods have feelings, too.