Tried a new "sport" this weekend. Clamming and....oystering? What do you call it when you collect oysters off the beach? Well, for now I will call it oystering and if anyone comes up with a better word, feel free to comment. Now, clamming is not for the weak of heart (or back, or knees). This involves raking and digging at the ground, which is tarry black, thick sand and silt. You turn this mulch over and in between all the lumps that come up, you must decide which of these are clams. But not just any clams! Oh no! They must be of a certain size (and handy, carry-along tools exist to help you measure these seafaring creatures). You will be sporting a "clam net" or carrying a bucket in which to collect these delights. Oystering is much easier. You simply walk around the beach looking for oysters, which you find in this ratio: one whole oyster for every one million half oyster shells you kick over with your foot, hoping it's a "live one". Oysters must be shucked on the beach. Shucking means prying the shells open with a very sharp knife or tool which will invariably slip and puncture your thigh or perhaps fillet your hand open (if the oyster shell itself has not already done it's job). Inside the oyster is this grayish lump of "meat" and some mysterious white liquid. All of that is scraped into a bag. When you have "limited" which means you've found 18 oysters after nine hours in the hot sun, you will have a smallish bag full of what looks, for all intents and purposes, like fleshy testicles floating in semen. Ever wonder why oysters are an aphrodasiac? It's not the flavor!
Clams, on the other hand, are hard-won after hours of digging and bending over so that one cannot fully straighten up for several days afterward. Clams are neat little packages - tightly closed, often pretty shells. To get the meat out of these little buggers, one must plunge their live little beings into boiling water and wait till they pop open. Once opened, the clams reveal a slotted, fleshy mass not unlike a vagina. In the middle of this is the "meat" and attached to that is a "neck". Which is just another word for "looks exactly like a penis". One must grasp this penis-like appendage and pull it out of the meaty part (scrotum?). The scrotum is saved for delights such as clam chowder or "steamers" in broth.
Did I mention I don't like oysters or clams? Perhaps in a few weeks, when we go crabbing, I'll enjoy the fruits of my labor. Perhaps.