The steaming bowl of scallops arrives amid oohs and aahs. Placed between the two patrons, with accompaniments of crusty bread and chopped up things, this is an easily shared appetizer. The scallops are the size of hockey pucks, kings of edible bivalves when set against wimpy little mussels and clams. “I’m glad we didn’t order the salad as well,” says one of the customers, nibbling. Yes, who would want all those extra calories?
Soon, a dilemma arises: the scallops number only three. An even number of puckish hunks of sea meat would have been easier to divide; now these two will have to arm wrestle for the remaining disk. Says one of patrons to the waiter, “Can we order another scallop?”
“Another order?” he suggests.
“No, another scallop. There are only 3 so we can’t split the dish evenly.”
The waiter’s face barely betrays his bemusement (or is befuddlement?). He complies with the request, though it’s easy to see that he’s thinking, “Christ, they weigh half a pound each. Can’t you just cut one of them in half?”