“I’ll have one,” I asked the bartender, my friend.
He rolled his eyes at me. “One oyster? They’re a DOLLAR.”
“I know,” I told him, “But I just want to try them.” Another eye roll. “OK FINE. I won’t have an oyster. Cancel my order. Sorry to be such a PAIN.”
A moment later a wide, shallow plate full of ice was set down next to me, along with vinegar in a small tin cup, a lemon, and a small bottle of Tabasco. On the plate was a single opened oyster.
I downed it, then immediately wished I’d ordered more. “Man, that was incredible,” I exclaimed. This oyster was from Washington and had a pleasant sweet, briny taste, not too fishy. The aftertaste lingered, taunting me for my stupidity.
“Get more,” the man next to me said.
“I can’t,” I answered. “He already gave me crap for just getting one. I can’t be like, oh, I’ll have one more.”
“Yes you can,” he said, “you’re the customer.”
“Nah, he’s my buddy, I don’t want to push my luck.” Moments later the man’s order came: a plate of 6. “Good thinking,” I told him.
“I’m not even hungry, I just figured, since they’re a dollar … ” He tried one and immediately agreed with my assessment. “They ARE good.”
“See?” I said.
He offered one to his girlfriend and she declined. Then he offered one to me and I did likewise.
“No,” he said, “you HAVE to have another one.”
“I don’t want to take your oyster.”
“How about you eat as many as you want and if you can’t finish, I’ll help.” I realized how dumb that sounded looking at his big plate of tiny oysters, five remaining bites. What man wouldn’t be able to eat that?
“Seriously,” he said, “I really want you to have another one.” He slid the plate over to me, and I finally relented, eating one more and making similar noises of appreciation.
We both turned to the girlfriend: “You have to try this!” She continued to protest as he downed three more oysters, then pushed the plate with the last one at her. “Come on, it’s the last one, eat it! Do it! You know you want it!”
She wavered a moment longer, then relented, and ate the last oyster.