Schoenecker's Shenanigans Column: Rocky Mountain Oysters

By: 
Jarrod Schoenecker

Jarrod Schoenecker photo
Myself (left) and my father, Thomas Schoenecker, Sr., at the concert at Orchestra Hall.

I took my father to see a show with U.S. Navy Glee Club Men’s and Women’s Chorus with the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall earlier this month. Preceding the show, we sat down in the lobby next to a couple, approximately in their seventies.

Through conversation I find out that the husband was a Navy pilot and she obviously liked to drink. I also found out that she must be prude to some topics of discussion. I’ll admit, it’s a favorite pastime of mine to mess with people who are uncomfortable about seemingly harmless subjects. Strangely enough, she also likes to talk and be known that she is the source of the party.

This lady had mentioned she thought it was barbaric that anyone would mount a deer head on their wall. I had mentioned to her that she wouldn’t want to go to the Buckhorn Exchange out in Denver, Colo., which is a higher-end steak restaurant that is known for their huge collection of taxidermy on the walls.

The taxidermy and a good steak were two of the reasons I visited the Buckhorn Exchange the last time I was in Denver. The third reason I visited was the topic of conversation that made this lady very uncomfortable, at least once she found out what it was.

The Buckhorn Exchange has Rocky Mountain Oysters on their menu, and it’s something I have always been curious to try. I figured, it’s a good steak house in the Rocky Mountains, and they probably will prepare them the best they could be. However, at $40 a pop, I decided to save my money for other things during the trip.

“What are those anyway? I have heard about them but I never knew what they were,”

this lady says. In my head, I was already grinning because this lady already doesn’t like taxidermy, but she doesn’t know, at her age, what a Rocky Mountain Oyster is? This should be fun.

I politely tell her, “They are bull testicles.” The look on her face hearing the word “testicles” audibly and, now knowing they come from a bull, she might as well have gagged and left the room.

Naturally, I spoke about the price and the size they are and whether or not they would serve you a full one because they are so large. I’m a farm boy. These are natural things.

You don’t get a tasty steak without harvesting a cow first. Some people find the testicles delicious too. Do I? That remains to be seen since I still haven’t tried them, except maybe in some miscellaneous meat product.

The venue opened the house for seating, and we parted ways to our seats shortly after our oyster conversation, but that lady’s uneasiness about them is still paying dividends in my head.

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