Spotlite Report: Most “Twin” Lobsters Are Unrelated

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.  This western suburb of Boston is home to more than a dozen restaurants, from The Golden Lobster at its western terminus to La Fisherie, an haute cuisine establishment that looks down its nose at its competitors from an upscale mall to the east.  While their offerings range from Mexican to Italian food and everything in between, they have one thing in common:  “twin” lobster specials for prices ranging from $11.99 to $28, sometimes with an additional “sharing” charge if the entrée is split with two or more people.

“I’ve never met this guy before in my life.”

What restaurants won’t tell you is that the overwhelming majority of the delectable crustaceans they offer as part of this dish are not twins, and that well over half aren’t even related to each other–by blood or marriage.

“It’s a scandal, and I would hate to be sitting next to the drawn butter bowls when it breaks,” says a former restaurant worker who identifies himself only as “Rick,” who left a fast-paced food prep job in a downtown seafood restaurant this fall because, as he put it, “I couldn’t go on living a lie.”

“It was like a meat market, or actually a fish market.  The lobsters were total strangers.”

“I was the guy who unpacked the lobsters, took the rubber bands off their claws,” he says in a voice he disguises to sound like Daffy Duck to further conceal his identity from the Spotlite Report team.  “I can also do Elmer Fudd if you’re having trouble understanding me,” he adds.

We decided to investigate Rick’s claims after he removed his quotation marks and donned a full-length lobster costume designed to throw restaurant owners off his scent, which was that of an ill-washed human restaurant worker.  We “wired” him for both sound and video, then dropped him off at the loading dock behind Mariana’s, a mid-priced “fast casual” dining establishment that is popular with locals here.

“Cover me–I’m going in.”

After the night shift manager signs the invoice we present to him, Rick hops into the lobster tank and starts to “work the crowd” with an easy-going manner that recalls the emcee of a televised game show, as recorded on his concealed microphone:

RICK:  Hey–how’re you all doing?

LOBSTER #1: *blb.*

RICK:  You got THAT right!  Thank God it’s ‘hump day.’  I’m Rick, by the way–what’s your name?

LOBSTER #1: *blb.*

RICK: Nice to meet you.  And you?

LOBSTER #2:  *blb*

“When I close my eyes, I can’t tell you two apart!”

RICK:  Seriously?  You two guys related?

LOBSTER #1:  *blb*

RICK:  No?  Funny, because you know, same name, and you look a lot alike.

LOBSTER #2: *blb*

RICK:  Huh, I hadn’t noticed but you’re right: EVERYBODY looks alike.  Except me, I’m a tad bit longer.

LOBSTER #1:  *blb*

RICK:  Nope, no steroids.  Just good genes, I guess.  Say, if none of you are related to each other, you can’t be twins–right?

LOBSTER #3:  *blb*

RICK: And yet, there’s a “twin” lobster special tonight.

LOBSTER #1:  *blb*

RICK:  Choice of two sides–baked potato, corn on the cob, broccoli, rice pilaf.  I’d stay away from the fries if I were you.

LOBSTER #2:  *blb*

RICK:  No, you’re not overweight, they’re just . . . greasy.

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