Suzanne Olsen's Humor Blog - I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Happy as a Clam

I am a crazy person – crazy for doing what I did, and even crazier for telling you about it. But I said I’d write something tonight and I’ve procrastinated until it’s late and I’m tired and woe is me. This story I can do quick.

Here’s the back story. While we were at our friends’ vacation house in Olympia, my husband bought a bunch of live clams and cooked most of them, but decided to cull out some for us to take back home the next day. When he got ready to cook the rest of the clams, he found a broken one and decided all the clams could be bad, so he chucked them in the garbage.

I was livid. Why didn’t he just cook them all at our friends’? Why did he buy them in the first place because there was already way too much food and we couldn’t’ plow through it all? Why wasn’t he more careful bringing them home? These are all things I made sure, as a dutiful wife, that he clearly understood after he tossed those clams.

But those weren’t the reasons I was so irritated. I was P.O.’d because I knew good and well that I’d think about those clams in the garbage, dying a slow miserable death as the summer heat got to them, wondering what they were thinking in their little clam brains as the life oozed out of them like the yellow goo from a festering pustule, and knowing that they were calling, in their tiny clam voices, “Somebody please help us.”

I knew I’d lose sleep, and I knew I’d remember it with remorse all the days of my life and into the very grave. This is what made me mad as a hornet, fit to be tied, angry as a Tasmanian devil caught in blackberry briars.

Late last night I went out to that filthy, stinking garbage can and fished out those clams, one by one, amid the coffee grounds, corn husks, and used feminine hygiene products, and put them into a bowl in the refrigerator because, according to Google, that’s how you keep clams alive. I planned to drive them to the beach and put them back in the bay.

So this morning I talked my daughter into going with me and we headed to Netarts, two hours away. We waded into the ice-cold Oregon bay, full of squishy mud and pointy rocks, and I gave those poor clams back to the clear brown sea. I don’t know how many survived the ordeal in the cooler, garbage can, and refrigerator. I don’t know what will happen to them or whether they will be able to make a home where I left them, or if the seagulls and crabs will feast on them when the tide goes out, but I do know I will sleep tonight because they aren’t in my garbage can screaming silently for help.

And if that trip to the beach makes me a crazy woman, I’d rather be crazy than wrestling  with guilt for the next six hours. In fact, you could say I’m, well, uh, happy as a clam. Snicker, snicker.


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  1. Hi, and very nice to meet you!I find your blog in the web yesterday, and then…I spend all my afnotroen, evening and night readind your story and watching your wonderful photos! I read that you will be in Italy next month, I live in a beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea, if you want..I’m here for same tips for your italian journey!!

  2. those little conrer store/bodega/grocery/convenient store things are one of the BEST parts about NYC. we have a couple in our neighborhood in jersey city, and it’s fantastic. they know us by name now, they always have fresh (and cheap!) produce and flowers, and always seem to put a smile on my face! i’m not sure if you just took the photo because of the pumpkins, but if you haven’t taken advantage of those places, you should start :)cheers to a BEAUTIFUL fall so far in NYC! my neighborhood is full of decorated stoops too! i just love it.

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