[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ut, I’m not sure I’ll like oysters,” the man on the stool next to me whined.

“Sure you will hun,” his wife answered. “They’re delicious.”

“They look disgusting.”

“Hush.”

“I want to go to Olive Garden.”

She laughed. “I didn’t come all the way to Florida to go to Olive Garden.”

So he pouted like a seventh grade girl.

The man wore a pressed shirt, with a collar starched sharp enough to split an apple. His accent sounded exotic and foreign, like he was from Des Moines. I took a peek at his shoes, they cost more than my education did. And that’s really saying something.

It took me eleven years to finish college.

The waitress slid a tray of a dozen oysters before me. Pressed-Shirt eyed my platter with a funny look on his face. I slurped one from its shell, careful to make the loudest, sloppiest sound I could.

He watched me and curled his lip.

I selected another big one, then licked the oyster like a golden retriever cleaning himself.

“Is that good?” he finally asked me.

“What? This?”

He nodded.

“They’re not good.” I held up a slimy one. “They’re great.”

Tony the tiger couldn’t have said it better.

He leaned in and looked at the gray thing. “What do they taste like?”

I thought for a moment, back to what my father-in-law used to say about bivalves.

“Well,” I said. “They taste like whale snot and Tabasco sauce.”

They went to Olive Garden.

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