Don’t Eat The Shrimp Cocktail

ShrimpThanks to Alton Brown and my son (Justin,) I am not allowed to eat shrimp cocktails when I travel. Truth be told, I wasn’t eating shrimp cocktails BEFORE I was told not to eat them. However, I am defiant and rebellious by nature and feel compelled to do things I’m told not to do. (Don’t play in traffic? Why not! It’s just like Frogger – but the stakes are bigger!) So, on my last trip, I chose to defy a culinary television personality and my concerned son. I ate the shrimp cocktail.

A few months ago, GWE got tickets for me and Justin to see Alton Brown at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. We were both excited and had no idea what he was going to do. Was he going to cook for everyone? Was he going to mock someone else as they cooked? What was going to happen? We didn’t know. However, due to an unexpected event, I had to go out of town and I was not able to attend the show. Instead, MoGWE (Mother of Greatest Wife Ever) took my place. She and Justin had a great time.

During the show, Alton Brown told the audience a story about one time when he ate a ‘bad’ shrimp cocktail and then boarded a cross country flight. The story left an impression on Justin.

Now, whenever I travel, Justin is concerned about my consumption of crustaceans prior to boarding a plane. Like a TSA inspector at an airport, he asks, “Daddy, did you eat a shrimp cocktail?” with the same accusatory tone I get when asked, “Did you pack your own luggage?” And, once again, I normally don’t eat shrimp cocktails…especially in airports!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had to do an unusual amount of traveling. And, with my travel schedule came a renewed concern from Justin about my pre-flight shrimp digestion. I assured him that I would not be eating shrimp.

On the last leg of my journey, I happened to get to the airport an hour early and had some time to kill. I had a lot of restaurant options because I was flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. With plenty of time to spare, I found a pub with several TVs showing the golf tournament and I began to review the menu. There, on the top of the appetizer list, was ‘Shrimp Cocktail.’ Normally, I would have ignored it and made a different choice….but….SHRIMP COCKTAIL!

As I began to eat the last shrimp, my phone rang….and it was GWE. I asked to speak with Justin and the first thing I said to him was, “I’m eating the shrimp cocktail.”

“NNOOOOO,” he yelled (while laughing at the same time) “Don’t do it!”

“Too late!” I told him. “The shrimp (munch…munch…munch) is gone!”


Despite the warnings from Alton Brown and Justin – I ate the food I normally wouldn’t have eaten and it still did not kill me.

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