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The Whimsy and Wonder

The Boiling Crab

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [1718] | Comments [2] | Scholarship Entry

72 hours in a town that caters purely to every known vice of mankind can test even the most seasoned reveler. Three days in Vegas was plenty and had us raising the white flag, seeking refuge away from the vaudeville.

Hopping in a cab, we arrived within minutes to an unassuming strip mall in suburbia. A place darkened by very few tourists, frequented only by locals. Here, there was no razzle-dazzle, no scary carpets and no thronging crowds - all oddly comforting facts.

I eyed the squat orange building. ‘The Boiling Crab’ it announced unceremoniously. It’s dubious exterior held no promise; still, I entered hopefully.

The smell of seafood socked me in the face like a punch to the nose. Excitement shot through me and I felt the rustle of energy that travelled through our group. I am pretty sure this is what heaven smells like, I thought.

The booth near the window beckoned, we sat, a menu appeared and it was love at first sight. We ordered, waiting in mute anticipation. The food arrived and I believe we all gasped out loud.

On our butcher-papered table, bag upon bag of boiled crab legs, shrimp, crawfish and mussels drenched in tasty, neon red sauces with names like ‘Rajun Cajun’ and ‘The Whole Sha-Bang’ appeared. Filled with Vegas bravado, we had ordered the XXX (‘I can’t feel my mouth’ heat). The waiter wishes us luck.

Digging in, the chaos began. It was absolute bloodshed. Teetering towers of shells quickly formed in piles before us. Bare hands dipped into rustling plastic bags. Sauce smeared our hands, chins, humiliating bibs; nothing was spared. Decorum was all but forgotten. No room for subtlety here, the food was beyond delicious and deserved its due.

Looking up from the carnage, I noticed both friends gazing into the distance, eyes amist. A single tear spilled onto the butcher's paper. They were overcome with emotion, I realized. Not so it turns out. The XXX hit me a moment later.

The laughter began as we looked at each other. The mess, the tears, the throbbing lips but, most of all, our utter, inexplicable joy - it was ludicrous we should be so deliriously jubilant, but the simple fact is, we were. We were happy, we were together and we were up to our elbows in mouthwatering crab legs. All was right with the world.

As we left, I knew some day I would be back. If you are ever in Vegas, go, bring your friends and try the XXX at your own peril. Is a crab house serving seafood in plastic bags really worth the fuss? A thousand times, yes.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

Comments

1

why does this say Australia when it is about Vegas?

  Bevel is Jun 25, 2015 4:21 PM

2

Sorry Bevel - I believe it asked 'Where are you right now?' and I answered truthfully. I realised my mistake once I saw the other entries and let World Nomads know but can't change it myself unfortunately!

  carocrocker Jun 25, 2015 4:57 PM

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