Susan Speaks: Oysters


Perhaps by now, you’ve heard about the recent run-in that Metallica frontman James Hetfield had with what might have been an oyster. I’ve also heard that he had a virus and bad Indian food, but let’s focus on the oyster.

You see, bad oysters play a pivotal role in Trevor’s Song, my full-length (and totally uncontracted) novel featuring the stars of this-here blog, the fictional band, ShapeShifter. To be more specific, it’s Trevor who tangles with the oysters.

I wrote this scene with Trev and the evil shellfish years ago, choosing oysters because pretty much everyone out there knows that while they’re a fantastic aphrodisiac, they are also one of the riskier foods. Oh, they’re nothing like that Japanese blowfish that can kill a person. But one bad oyster can make you wish you’d had a poorly cut piece of that toxic fugu. A big piece.

To me, that’s common knowledge. To me, it’s common sense that you only get oysters at a place you know well and can trust. And while Trevor would gladly suck down oysters from anywhere, with almost anyone — well, almost any female — I’d really expected more from The Mighty Het. I mean, the man’s been around the world how many times now? Are you going to tell me he hadn’t learned the lesson before this?

Or maybe…

Maybe it’s part of the quality that makes a man — real or fictional — successful in this musical world we all love so much. That daring. That love of risk-taking. Maybe it’s a feeling of invincibility. I know Trevor’s got that, in spades. He’s the sort who’d eat oysters again and again simply to prove that they won’t make him sick. He’s the sort who’ll seek out places where the food quality might be iffy. That’s who Trevor is.

Yes, yes, I know. I’m probably making too much of this. Maybe the real-life suspect shellfish came from a well-known and respected eating establishment. Even in the restaurants with the highest regard, things happen. No one can tell a bad oyster just by looking at it. They don’t exactly go around and identify themselves.

So we’ll give Mr. Hetfield, our real-life rock star, a pass on this one. Shit happens. As the Tour Manager and I were saying the other night, you can’t travel for any length of time without getting socked once in awhile with a nice case of food poisoning.

But Trevor? Ahh, there’s no freebie for that boy. At least, not as the scene’s written in the book.

I know I’m leaving you with more questions about Trevor than answers. I apologize for that. Instead of dwelling on Trevor’s sour shellfish, join me in my fascination and wonderment over the choice of oysters in both fiction and real life. Truth may be stranger than fiction but somehow, I doubt Hetfield’s oyster was nearly as pivotal in his life as Trevor’s.

Like this? There’s sort of more on the subject over at my new Red Room blog. Follow the link and come on over. You might want to pick up the feed… just a suggestion…



  1. Davida

    March 16, 2009 11:21 am

    Food poisoning… oysters… oh, boy. I’m going to be afraid of shellfish for a while. Poor Trev.


    Davida’s last blog post..Need Answers From a Male Perspective?

  2. Thomma Lyn

    March 16, 2009 3:54 pm

    Risk-taker — yup, Trev’s definitely that kind of guy! And argh, bad oysters. I’ve never had a run-in with one, but it sounds awful.

    Thomma Lyn’s last blog post..Frog Eggs

  3. A Valdese Blogger

    March 17, 2009 9:56 pm

    They (the fictional & real) should try the “sliders” at Lexington Market in Baltimore. Most likely they won’t get too sick.

  4. Unique Commodities

    March 17, 2009 11:15 pm

    couldn’t imagine digesting bad oysters! YUCK! Great to have found u via EC~ Take care~

  5. Cherie

    March 17, 2009 11:43 pm

    Oh no! The red room? Something new to check out?

  6. Ivanhoe

    March 18, 2009 11:41 am

    I did not hear about Jimmy boy. He should know better :o)
    Could not happen to me as I do not eat shelfish, nor any seafood for that matter. It’s just yucky to me ;o)

    Ivanhoe’s last blog post..St. Patty’s

  7. julia

    March 18, 2009 12:02 pm

    Popped over to The Red Room and will be back later. Looks wonderful.

    julia’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – 91

  8. Sandra

    March 18, 2009 6:36 pm

    Dear Susan
    I’m sorry for not stopping as often as I wish.I really enjoy reading your posts and I wanna thank you from the bottom of my heart the book you sent me.I got it a couple of weeks ago and I’m loving it!And thanks for the lovely words you put there for me! 🙂
    Hope you’re having a great week.

    Sandra’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday– 22nd Edition

  9. Ann

    March 18, 2009 10:33 pm

    Dude, Bad oysters? Ouch. I went over to the red room and read your post. Let me just say, I try to avoid biting into things that can bite back. Just sayin’.

    Ann’s last blog post..Weekend Update

  10. Alice Audrey

    March 20, 2009 2:27 pm

    Red Room is interesting, but I like your blog better.

    Alice Audrey’s last blog post..Suzie’s House 109: Realization

  11. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Thursday Thirteen: Mona’s Middle Eastern Eats

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