Your three-pound Maine lobster has been caught, tried, and found delicious. Sitting on death row in your fridge, fearing its last meal might be a few rubbery carrots accented by that dried-out piece of cheese you left half-wrapped in wax paper, the lobster’s last thoughts might be about family, a cozy sea kelp bed, and the soothing crash of waves at home. However, as judge, jury, and executioner, you are thinking only, “How am I gonna kill the bastard?”

Jasper White showed Julia Child how he favored the draw-and-quartering method. Beheading the big red bug requires a special ax or a Charles Addams-esque doll guillotine. Hanging is difficult, time-consuming, and more than just a bit creepy. And let’s face it, a lethal injection is not the healthiest marinade for you. Luckily, Simon Buckhaven, a British barrister, came to the conclusion that electrocution is the way to go and developed the CrustaStun. Spell it “Crust-a-Stun” and you’d swear you saw Dan Aykroyd hawking it on Saturday Night Live 30 years ago, but this is a very real invention.

Here’s how it works:

The application of a stun (110 Volts–2-5 amps) causes an immediate interruption in the functioning of the nervous system of the shellfish. By interrupting the nerve function, the shellfish (be it Crab. Lobster or other) is unable to receive stimuli and thus by definition, cannot feel pain or suffer distress.

Why would you want it? (I mean, other than the fact that you get to electrocute things in the privacy of your own home.)

To many, present methods of killing (chopping, drowning in freshwater, boiling, frying & basting–alive) are barbaric and the recommended methods (cooling in ice-slurry or spiking the several nerve centres) unproven, difficult and impractical. The CrustaStun applies an instant current which anaesthatises the Crab, Lobster or other shellfish within a fraction of a second and kills within seconds.

It reduces stress & osmotic dilution (effected in freshwater drowning) and thereby enhances texture and flavour.

It applies the humane slaughter principles currently applied to higher food animals such as cows, sheep and pigs to shellfish, and anticipates legislation currently being considered throughout Europe. It is also wholly endorsed by Animal Welfare Organisations throughout the world.

Not just for lobsters, the CrustaStun can also be used for crayfish and Dun-dun-DUNgeness! Time named the CrustaStun one of 2006’s best inventions, and, although it was initially developed for seafood wholesalers, a compact home version is now available for $4,740. It’s a Trumpian stocking stuffer!

I hope it comes with a black hood.

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