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Clams are good sports

February 12, 2005

I’ve seen many movies in which a person on their deathbed shows great strength and courage as they respectfully come to terms with their impending death. However, I’ve never seen anyone take their medicine like a man with as much dignity as a clam. A clam, like a great samurai, knows when it has been defeated. It shows respect for its vanquisher through its cooperation during the process of its demise.

The communication between a clam and its victor is silent, but purposeful. Clams, like computers, can only communicate in binary. A clam is either open or closed, but through this alone, the clam says so much. Every bag of clams at the store contains at least a few bad clams. These bad clams could easily be in cahoots with the good clams, but they aren’t. A sneaky bad clam hiding on a plate with good clams could secretly turn its predator into a food-poisoned, vomiting mess. Instead of avenging the imminent death their siblings, the bad clams simply open in a suicidal alert to the clamavore, displaying that they that they are unsafe to consume. That’s just plain courteous.

As if the bad clams didn’t show enough dignity already, the good clams further uphold the untarnished honor of their fallen brethren. As the vicious clam eater tosses the tasty bunch into a boiling pot of certain death, each clam opens up at the exact point of perfect tasty tenderness, signaling that the cooking process has completed. Not a word is spoken, as the clam salutes a wave goodbye, wishing a good meal to its conqueror.

I hope one day to meet a man with the character and virtue of a clam. To this day, I tip my hat to them each time I pass the seafood department.

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From → Animals, Food

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