Last week, I drove down to Orange Beach to give the closing keynote at a social workers conference. I had to use my friend’s car, because my brake pads on my 4Runner are pretty much nonexistent. I could’ve cut a hole in the floorboard and used my Flintstone brakes but found it easier just to use her car.
I miss having a car. It was so nice driving a vehicle with excellent gas mileage. The 4Runner goes through gas like I go through bags of shredded cheese.
The drive down the coast was great. The only issue was when some idiot in a truck felt the need to cut me off. I sped back up and gave him the evil eye as I passed him. I felt pretty tough until I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed the monogram on the window. It’s hard to be a tough guy with a teal monogram plastered on the back window. Be that as it may, I sure like driving her car.
When I got to the hotel, I couldn’t find a parking spot. The lot was literally filled up, so I had no choice but to use valet parking. The last time I used valet parking, someone stole my laptop from my trunk, but that was a little over three years ago in New Orleans. Before I handed the young man my keys, I put my laptop in the trunk right next to the pink Yeti cooler.
My Keynote went extremely well. In fact, I don’t mind saying it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had with respect to my public speaking. I received more positive feedback from that group than I have from any other in quite some time. I appreciated and continue to appreciate what they do as social workers, and they apparently appreciated my story, as well.
On the way back, I decided to pick up some fresh seafood to take home. I stopped at a place that I’d never seen before, and I’m so glad I did. It was such a pleasant experience with a few humorous jabs thrown in with the shrimp, crawfish, and oysters.
The jabs came at the expense of that pink Yeti cooler. They gave me a hard time about it; however it didn’t faze me one bit. I stood my ground and told them they hadn’t seen nothing,  yet. “Just waiting until you see my teal monogram,” I said.
When I got home, we had a feast. The crawfish had already been cooked and seasoned, so we simply had to steam them before pinching the tails and sucking the heads. They were ridiculously delicious. If you’ve never tried crawfish, you’re missing out. I developed a fondness for them while living in Louisiana.
While I eat raw oysters often, I’d never shucked them but figured I needed to check that block on my list of new things to try. I didn’t have an oyster glove or oyster knife, so I adapted and overcame and used my own gear – a leather glove and a short flathead screwdriver.
Most of them opened with minimal effort on my part, but some of them were quite challenging. In fact, I cussed at a couple of them. The funny thing is that the ones which were most challenging to crack open were the tastiest and most aesthetically pleasing to the eye – well, as aesthetically pleasing as a raw oyster can be.
Some things are hard to crack, but you never give up. If it’s something you want bad enough, grab your gear, fight for it, and make it happen, even if it involves pink coolers and monograms.