The Night of 1000 Prawns

At last, the story can be told.

There may be some of you out there who have heard whispers of this horrific San Francisco event. It could be considered myth by some, legend by others.

Here, at last, is the truth.

It’s Saturday afternoon. We’ve just left Shrews’s spirited 4:30 reading, and we were hungry enough to slaughter and kill a score of republicans. Lucky for us, Keene had spoken to Jim Moore and Chris Golden, who stopped saying “Buy Bloodstained Oz” long enough to recommend a nearby Chinese place.

“They fed seven people for something like $45!”

I check my wallet. It whimpers in my hands.

“Great!”

And we’re off.

Our army of hungry souls consist of myself, Keene, Minh, JF Gonzalez, Shad and Nicole, Mike, and TC. We first swing by a nearby place called Crustacean’s, because TC wants seafood, but we quickly decide against the prices and make our way to the Chinese place.

And the Night of 1000 Prawns begins.

We are escorted to our table and inspect our menus. The Canton Meal looks like the way to go. Consisting of soup, fried rice, prawns, and at least seven other dishes, it should be more than enough food.

Should be.

A server joins us and Keene happily orders the Canton Meal for eight.

And then all hell breaks loose.

Keene: “You guys think this will be enough food?”

Me: “Yes.”

Everybody Else: “No.”

So the ordering begins. Three orders of eggrolls. A bowl of hot and sour soup (can’t complain about this one). Wrap chicken. Sesame and Pepper chicken wings.

And then TC smiles.

“I need three more orders of prawns.”

The table goes slack-jawed. For scale, let me say that one order is ten prawn, and one prawn is about the size of a toddler’s fist.

“Don’t worry,” TC says. “I’ll eat them all.”

So the soup arrives, followed by the rice. We’re doing okay. The wings and egg rolls come, as does the wrap chicken.

And then come the prawns.

Forty of those yummy fuckers, a mountain of breaded seafood. TC’s eyes go wide. I think I hear him whimper, but I can’t be sure.

The table rallies. We’re not gonna let this meal beat us. We OWN this fucking food. Efforts are doubled, conversation dwindles. Dammit, there’s chewing to be done! Slowly, the eggrolls disappear. TC manages to swallow ten or so prawns. The soup is consumed.

And then the main courses show up.

All seven of them.

Jesus stares in wide-eyed wonder. Minh breathes heavy. Keene can only laugh, and TC is broken. He can only stop giggling long enough to mutter “I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” like Robin Tunney in Niagara, Niagara.

I fight back the tears that threaten to consume me.

We dig in, more determined than ever. Everytime we come close to polishing off a plate, however, our server brings two more. I begin to suspect the kitchen is trying to teach us a lesson before joining Keene and Minh in a chant of “Hail Hydra, immortal Hydra.”

Finally, our resolve disappearing, somebody says the most intelligent statement of the evening.

“We’re gonna need some take out cartons.”

When we finally roll out of there (after spending nowhere close to only $45), we are carrying close to ten pounds of food with us, which was probably less than what was left on the table.

I didn’t need to eat breakfast the next morning. That’s for sure.

2 thoughts on “The Night of 1000 Prawns

  1. Hey, Nate. Met you at WHC, and I was at the infamous dinner above.

    My real name is Nicole, but hey, call me Deb if you want to, I just can’t be sure I’ll always answer.

    Great story! I was rollin’…

    Take care.

    Nicole aka Deb 🙂

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