Oh, the humanity. I was done in by 2 factors.
First, our waitress failed to appreciate the gravity of the situation. For the early portion, she was rather slow in bringing forth more shrimpy goodness. This allowed the stomach to realize the travesty of justice being foisted upon it and begin kicking up a storm.
More importantly, I paniced. Our tactis were simple; as each order was brought, we would order the next two shrimp refills. I started with coconut and at the time, I mentioned the flavor was so sticky-sweet that I should hold it at one.
Things were going awesome and I was well on pace to obliterate last years effort with well over 12 plates of shrimp. I was rolling.
But the Garlic Scampi took longer than most shrimp styles. Since my plan was to order two different flavors at a time, I wanted to do something like Scampi/Popcorn, Scampi/Hand Breaded type stuff as the breaded start to taste too similar after a few helpings.
No rude comments from the peanut gallery.
Well, as the fourth order (my 7th and 8th plates) was delivered, she started to walk off. I paniced and ordered coconut, trying to switch up the flavors.
And that was my downfall.
I had finished the first plate of coconut but knew I should not do another one. Then, in one moment, I blew my entire strategy. Had I properly ordered popcorn shrimp and garlic scampi, I would have had 4 - 6 more plates at least. But the coconut...
I struggled to finish the plate as the sticky sweetness turns into a surprisingly hot aftertaste.
And sop I tried every stratagem...I ate them simultaneously with popcorn shrimp. I salted them. I tried to drown them in Dr. Pepper.
But I could barely finish them.
So my night was done after a rather pedestrian 10 plates. Not only did I not defeat my effort from last year, I failed to even match it.
When seated across from someone who once nearly defeated the Vermonster, that is pretty much embarrassing.
On the bright side, I knocked back 5 glasses of Dr. Pepper to his mere 2.
But he finished off 16 plates of shrimp.
I easily could have eaten more had I not gotten off balance on my flavors and never been able to recover. This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions. I shall have to train before next year lest I shame myself further by only having 8 plates or some such wimpy showing.
What I wanted to say - Dear Tootie, You are no longer suffering, and for that I am grateful. I've gone through so many feelings since you left this world Saturday. Grief, relief...
2 weeks ago