It began with a hearing glitch.
“Are you resting on those stairs?”
Siddhartha had come over for lunch that day. Had been winded by the time he’d reached my door. He was referring to the four flights of concrete steps up to my apartment, but the phone connection was crackling away in Delhi’s radiation battlefields.
“Am I wrestling oysters?” I shouted through the static.
Wrestling oysters. For some reason that stayed with me. Oysters, of course, have no limbs. And so wrestling them would be…well, impossible really. Like a Zen koan, or a Glasgow challenge. An impossibility inside a improbability inside your make believe garage band. So I looked it up. Because now it seems that everyone has already thought of everything else. It’s the end of history. Or is it? Perhaps Indra’s Net was always pumping away through the www, even before it was invented. Each jewel reflecting all the other jewels from its own singular perspective. Just another hearing glitch from two millennia ago.
“It’s called the Inter Net!”
[half-deaf old woman] “Indra’s Net?”
But I digress…
The point is that everything now takes you somewhere. Even two words as randomly thrown together as ‘wrestling oysters.’ Here’s one destination. Raider Wrestlers Enjoy Oysters on a site out of the small town of Brainerd in Minnesota called the Brainerd Dispatch. The Raiders are a wrestling team from North Dakota. The oysters in question are three brothers: Jared, Joab and Jake Oyster–all star wrestlers. Their father is a wrestler. Their mother is a coach. They live on a dairy farm. And now I’m reading about them.
Here they are. Two of them anyway.
‘When asked what it took to maintain the level of excellence all three Oysters had a short answer,’ goes the article. “Determination, dedication, and giving 100 percent,” said the Oysters.’
Now, I’m researching the history of Brainerd. I get sidetracked by an odd little story in the Wikipedia entry:
In those early years the relationship between the settlers and the Indians was complicated. The most famous example of this tenuous relationship was the so-called “Blueberry War” of 1872. Two Ojibwe were hanged for allegedly murdering a missing girl. When a group of Indians approached the town, troops from nearby Fort Ripley were called to prevent a potential reprisal. As it turned out, however, the Ojibwe only wanted to sell blueberries and the settlers avoided a bloody misunderstanding. Guilt of the two Indians was never proven.
And then there is the advice oyster wrestling sub-meme on a site called City Fish Market. Stop Wrestling with your Oysters.
It says things like: Keeping the blade of the knife pressed firmly against the top shell, move handle from right to left along the top shell, cutting the adductor muscle free from the top shell.
I’m wondering what an adductor muscle is and wonder if I have one. And then there’s the strange incident on a World Wrestling forum of a guy who swallowed a whole oyster by mistake and seeks advice from his fellow wrestling fans.
POST 1: Well, if you’re not choking on it, expect a painful bowel movement.
OYSTER MAN: What if it shatters? [good point, I’m thinking]
POST 2: If Jeff Hardy wins the world title, I’ll cut my penis off. You can quote that! [clearly unconcerned by the oyster emergency]
POST 3: Your going to turn into a Blastoise.
POST 4: I guess all you can do is wait until you next need a dump. GOOD LUCK, may the force be with you.
OYSTER MAN: I am dreading taking a crap right now. I think I’m just gonna hold it on.
The chat is interspersed with photos like this.
The thread ends abruptly without resolution. Now I’m thinking about what happened when this guy went to the toilet.
And now I’m out of searches on Google and I realize something. I’ve just added to the meme. In my reflection of the meme itself, the meme itself has changed. Schrödinger’s meme. This is what happens when you start to wrestle oysters.