Self-Immolation in a Lobster Pot

I concluded my last post with the cheery thought that the miniaturized and cheerful cuteness of most novelty salt and pepper sets allows them to deflect the dangerousness of the objects and people they represent.  This set seems to represent that quality perfectly. Here we have two jolly lobsters, merrily celebrating their own imminent (and presumably, therefore, dangerous) death as they stand inside the pot that will be the site of their extinction.  Not only that, but they also wear chef hats on, well, on what ought to be the top of their heads, but here apparently, since they are standing on their back ends in imitation of humans standing on their feet, it is actually the front of their faces–although in confirmation of their weird transitional state, half lobster, half-human, they also have a human-like smiling mouth a little lower down, where a mouth would be if the hat was actually on the tops of their heads and they were actually sort of human.  Amazingly, though, these monstrously semi-human aberrations of nature seem anything but monstrous. What they seem is cute, their tendency toward humanness a way of making them more adorable.  Somehow–and I’m not sure exactly how–their being more like humans makes it more acceptable for them to be on the verge of being eaten, not less.  Furthermore, they are carrying all the accoutrements of the fine meal they will soon be providing, after they boil themselves to death–the cutlery, even the wine.  Has iminent death ever seemed cuter, jollier, more completely harmless?  Who could ever choose to be a vegetarian when lobsters are so gosh darned cute, and so happy about playing their expected part in a good meal?

These lobsters claim to be a souvenir of Hopewell Rocks, N.B.  With lobsters as hopefully optimistic as these, it would have to rock indeed.

Published by pernodel

Children’s literature critic and author of books for children

3 thoughts on “Self-Immolation in a Lobster Pot

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