Letters: Hepatitis on the half shell?

Hepatitis on the half shell?

“I would like your opinion on eating raw oysters on the half shell. I love them, have eaten them for years, and have never had any trouble from them. However, people are always warning me that I may get hepatitis, or something worse, from eating them.”
-R.O., Connecticut

I like them too. However, when I look at them I ask myself, “How can I eat this?” They are repulsive; they look like big blobs of snot. As Mark Twain’s fisherman character said, “It was a brave man what first eat a oyster.”

Your ever-caring government has ruled that restaurants must warn their moronic customers-and government officials assume that everyone is moronic except themselves-that eating shellfish is dangerous to their health. My favorite seafood restaurant in Pensacola, Flounder’s Chowder House, decided that it would warn people all right. On the menu, under “Oysters on the half shell,” appears the following:

GOVERNMENT WARNING: Government Is Too Big, Too Expensive, and Totally Insensitive to the Needs of the Average Citizen. According to the Surgeon General, Big Government Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.

Action to take:

Before downing the oyster, lift the shell by the edges and give the oyster a whiff. This may be bad manners, but it is good preventive medicine. If it’s spoiled, you will know.

If you’re still squeamish, carry a little dropper bottle with you containing 3-percent hydrogen peroxide. Place one drop on each oyster. Wait 30 seconds and start slurping.