Shediac, NB

Lobster Man emerges from the Lobster Shack with a whoop, scuttling around the front porch with maniac geisha-steps. The Lobster Shack looks like most seafood-themed tourist traps in the Northeast, a dilapidated pile of wood painted colors that must have been bright and punchy three decades ago. Now, however, the paint peels and its decorative buoys and fishing nets give it the appearance of a trash midden rather than an exciting gateway to North Atlantic fishing culture. A Roman candle explodes and small bubbles of fire float into the air. Lobster Man whoops again and raises his stumpy arms heavenwards before taking a shambling victory-lap around the porch and vanishing inside.

Inside. Lobster Man begins yelling in a thick Scotian accent. He yells so loudly that his immense mouth covers the better part of his face, the overhanging ledge of his top teeth appearing like a yellow-ivory mustache. His eyes are crushed to slits by the pressure, barely visible behind thick glasses. The empty Lobster Shack reverberates: "YOU NEED ORANGE JUICE!" Lobster Man pounces on his victims and places styrofoam cups in their hands, reaching into a fridge and pulling out a half-empty carton of orange juice: "YOU NEED VITAMIN C!" Orange juice flows. "AN ARIZONAN! WE LOVE JOHN MCCAIN HERE! THE MAN WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRESIDENT! COME HERE!" An enormous poster of John McCain hangs on a wall behind the register, surrounded by smaller photos of political figures, an assortment of non-Canadian flags, and hanging marine detritus. "AND A NEW YORKER! FROM THE EMPIRE STATE! I'LL BET YOU DON'T RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN FLAG!" He produces several tiny blue state flags. The New Yorker does not recognize them. "SEE! YOU NEED CRANBERRY JUICE! YOU NEED VITAMIN C!" Lobster Man produces cranberry juice in a fresh set of styrofoam cups. Then, with another whoop, Lobster Man runs from the Lobster Shack.

There is no menu at the Lobster Shack. There are no listed prices. There is only lobster. Three crustaceans appear without prompting, borne out of the kitchen by a short, elderly woman wearing a pained expression. Who ordered lobsters? There is confusion. She says there is always confusion. How much do the lobsters cost? $30 each. And the pawed-over styrofoam juice cups? $3.50. She returns to the kitchen but will not take the lobsters with her. The lobsters ooze on their plates, dead black eyes reflecting the florescent lights overhead. After a pause, two of the lobsters are returned to the woman's kitchen and she mutters about being confused. A whoop comes from outside. Lobster Man has resurfaced and sparklers burn on the porch. "WE NEED A LITTLE PATRIOTIC MUSIC! WE NEEED A LITTLE JOHN PHILIPS SUSA!" Lobster Man makes trumpeting noises with his mouth and his compact potbelly quivers.

Lobster Man explodes back inside. "I HAVE DONUTS! HAVE SOME DONUTS! YOU WANT WHEAT DONUTS? HEALTHY DONUTS!" He has cardboard box full of strange, off brand dough-tubes covered in sugar. They look several years old but unlikely to expire. Some of them are brown, but none of them are wheat. He throws bags of them on the table and then quickly snatches them back: "BUT YOU HAVE TO PROMISE TO VOTE G.O.P. THAT'S 'GOD'S OWN PARTY!' PEOPLE HAVE DIED SO YOU CAN VOTE G.O.P." There is no pause in the noise, the Lobster Man needs no response. "WE HAVE CHERRIES HERE! COME GET SOME CHERRIES!" The donut bags fall back on the table and Lobster Man flings himself out the back door. Outside, a cherry tree is fruiting. Lobster Man plunges into its branches and flails around, emerging with a paw-full of delicate red and yellow cherries. "TAKE THESE TO BUDDY! TELL BUDDY TO COME PICK CHERRIES!" Lobster Man vanishes and explosions sound from the direction of the front porch.

Many fireworks later, at the register, Lobster Man reiterates the urgency of voting Republican, getting enough vitamin C, and taking a box of Little Debbie cream-filled cookies. "DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE A TIP FOR THE OLD WOMAN IN THE KITCHEN? SHE DOES ALL THE WORK AROUND HERE!" In the kitchen, the old woman beams as the twosie is dropped into her cupped hands and her eyes threaten to tear up beneath her hairnet: "I am sorry about the confusion. There's always confusion. Please... understand." Back outside, to a backdrop of fireworks, Lobster Man jumps up and down then struts back and forth: "GOODBYE BUDDIES! GOODBYE BIKER BUDDIES!" Engines start hurriedly, gloves and helmets are thrown on sloppily, earplugs forgotten. Screeching from the porch: "AND DON'T FORGET WHAT I TOLD YOU! LET'S MAKE THIS A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT! YOU KNOW WHAT WE THINK ABOUT HIM!" He squats, pinches his nose, and makes farting noises. Engines roar and, in the rearview mirror, a miniature Lobster Man dances on the porch, jiggling disaster in a baggy white t-shirt.

If the New Yorker ever writes an account of the Lobster Shack, you will probably find it here: http://www.angryspidermonkey.com/