Commentary

Just An Online Minute... Poppin' Collars And Crawfish For Cancer Research

1st Annual Crawfish For Cancer NYC, Chelsea Piers Sunset Terrace, New York
May 16, 2009

When I was a third grader at Mantua Village Elementary School my music teacher saw something in the bug-eyeglasses-wearing, three-foot-tall, big-front-toothed little ball of hair that I was. She asked me and this little boy to meet privately one day and she offered us singing roles in the musical performance of the century (I embellish, a little). The song went a little like this, and if you're lucky, I may even sing it for you: "Wellllllllllll you get a line and I'll get a pole, honey/you get a line and I'll get a pole, baaaabe/you get a line and I'll get a pole/we'll go fishin' in the crawdad hole/honey/bayyyyyybeee mine." Third grade me lives on and came full circle this weekend as I headed to the Chelsea Piers Sunset Terrace for the First Annual NYC Crawfish 4 Cancer crustaceous boil extravaganza. I didn't sing that song that could have made me famous, but next time, gadget, next time.

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It's important that you know I actually have a violent reaction to mouth noises. Slurping, gnawing, crunching of food makes my skin crawl and my eyes go red as white dots of creeping homicide wash over my rational thought lobe. It's equal parts sound irritation and "When did you learn that it was OK to chew with the outside of your face?" confusion. So then, if you know anything about crawfish mastication (and I only knew a bit) you know that some seasoned eaters will suck every last little crawfish innard out of their beady, bubbly-eyed little heads. I also take issue with mushy, goober-type material taking root under my nails and along the side. This is inevitable as you rip apart the tiny little bodies of those mini-lobster-clawed guys and their slime oozes into your thumbnail. To counteract any discomfort, I made frequent trips to the open bar, which was a fast-flowing, happy-bartender-driven mecca of plastic cup filling.

The event had over 300 ticket buyers and at 60-80 smackers a ticket, I'd say that's a pretty decent haul to benefit cancer research, specifically for Multiple Myeloma. I learned a couple of things about crawfish and the event as a whole that I tried to share with some of the peoples that I bumped cups with in the hot, hot sun like Chantelle Karl, competitive eater at Yelp, Keri Moran, her trusty Yelp sidekick, Kristin Maverick, Director of Communications at Carrot Creative, and Andrew Zarick of the JAR Group. I can't remember if the most important tidbit came from Michelle DeForest of NextNewNetworks or from my dude, BUT don't eat the crawfish whose tails are untucked. That means they died before they were boiled. I know, it sounds weird -- you want to eat something that wasn't killed before it was killed, but when it comes down to it, these guys eat fish droppings and other dead things at the bottom of the sea, so I want them as fresh as possible.

Also, this boil situation apparently originated at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. This was told to me by an alum as we stood in the brilliant sun on the terrace. He didn't know why they started it, just that they did. Soon after that a huge Carnival Cruise ship passing near a kayaker derailed everyone from little red guy consumption, followed by a tugboat (more like a push boat) nudging a barge of dead subway cars down the river. That was odd to see -- those old dinosaur carcasses piled up on each other. I waiting hoping some dude would run out, bleary-eyed, thinking he missed his stop only to find himself atop a subway car funeral pyre. Also marveling at the New York waterways were Scott Schundler of Citigroup, Lizzie Hayes of MJM Creative, Brittany Miller of North American Media Group, Jane Kwett of Yelp, and Miko Mercer from LaunchSquad.

Before heading out, I wrapped up my pastel pants and popped collar tally (Michelle Deforest, who is from New Orleans, by the way, said "Those are the Southern boys"), gave co-founder and head of marketing Scott Malish (of BitePR) a "hey great job!" pat on the button down and ran off to power nap in preparation for a long evening ahead.

On the way to the bus, the boy and I passed a building that's across from Morimoto (I think) and the boy said "hey, there's a guy sleeping in there, take a picture." I stood on the lip of the building, peeked in, and went to take a picture only to cause intense panic in the room -- lots of arm waving, and then the heart-stopping sound of a garage door opening as Officer Krumpky emerged saying "DO NOT TAKE PICTURES! WHYDID YOU DO THAT." I, shaking just a little, said "Don't worry, I didn't get it!" "Do you know what building this is?! This is an FBI building! People have been arrested for stuff like that!!" the officer/possible garage attendant trying to freak me out continued.  My guy looked at him calmly and said, "Your man was sleeping, we just thought it was funny." "Well...." the officer concluded, "...don't do stuff like that."

Believe me, I'm happy NOT to be writing this from my jail cell, even though I have a good jail strategy and I think I'd be alright. 

Meet me at the crawdad hole!

Send invitations to kelly@mediapost.com!

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