Wait, Wait, Don’t Make Me Laugh

In early March, Bubba the lobster briefly made the news here in the United States. Bubba weighed in at 22 pounds and may have been 100 years old, though marine biologists said 30-50 is more likely. Originally caught in the Atlantic, Bubba ended up for sale in a tank in a market.

A movement to have Bubba spared from being a scrumptious stew arose, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got in on the act. PETA’s Karin Robertson wrote in a letter to the market,

It would be a tragedy to end his long life by tormenting him in a pot of boiling water or by shoving him into a zoo aquarium to be gawked at in a tiny enclosure until he dies.

Alas, it was finally agreed that the Pittsburgh Zoo would take custody of Bubba. And Bubba promptly died the day after arriving at the zoo, where he was still in a quarantine area of the zoo’s aquarium while zoo officials examined him to see if he was healthy enough to be transferred to the aquarium.

But the horrors that Bubba had to endure were not over; not by a long shot. It seems that someone on National Public Radio managed to find some humor in Bubba’s life and death which did not go over well with Carolina Animal Action. Someone with that group posted a message to AR-NEWS urging activists to complain to NPR,

The National Public Radio Show “Wait, WaitÂ…DonÂ’t Tell Me” today ridiculed the death of Bubba the lobster. Their website is http://www.npr.org/programs/waitwait/, e-mail address waitw…@npr.org. Info about Bubba is available at http://www.fishinghurts.com/feat-bubba.asp

Apparently someone from CAA was upset with this exchange,

Announcer: . . . he died of natural causes.

Male Voice: . . . and melted butter.

Announcer: That’s the question. My immediate reaction was: okay, the animal died, I’m sorry . . . can we eat him now?

Male Voice: I think somebody just managed to sidestep PETA’s request. Like, you know, oh we gave him a great tank, it just happened to be bubbling.

Truly tasteless. Such humor probably leads right into violence against animals and, ultimately, people.


Bubba the Leviathan Lobster Dies at Zoo. Associated Press, March 2, 2005.

Big Bubba, the lobster, saved from the pot. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bob Batz Jr. and Anita Srikameswaran, March 2, 2005.

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. March 5, 2005.