Eating lobster for the first time can be pretty tricky, and messy! I have a cute little pamphlet, "How to Eat a Maine Lobster," published by the state of Maine in the 1950s.
The first thing you want to do that's not mentioned in the instructions is to put on a bib, even if you know what you're doing. That's because the person next to or across from you might not and you'll end up getting sprayed with the water still inside the lobster as it's cracked open. It's happened. (To me... by someone very experienced as he was eating his lobster...)
If you're eating at a Maine lobster shack they'll normally provide you with the necessary bucket, bib, fork, nutcracker and wet wipes. Melted butter is also a side staple however I prefer my lobster without it. It doesn't need it!
I've never seen the inelegant suggestions of "pliers, knife, hammer, rock or what have you" before but I'm sure in a pinch they'd work.
Pretty easy. Water will be rolling out as you do this.
Mmm I'm getting hungry for lobster by reading this.
It's important to note that eating the "tomalley" isn't without some small potential risk due to toxins. You can read the FDA advisory here. Personally I've never wanted to eat it simply because it doesn't look appetizing to me so I just discard the entire back body into the bucket.
I've never employed the cider straw approach but maybe I will next time.
You can click to enlarge "How a Maine Lobster is Caught" which appears on the backside of the pamphlet. I'm not sure how that compares to today. Because Wayne works in the marine industry he's friendly with many lobsterman. Perhaps in the spring or summer I'll feature one or two on my blog and we can get the lobster lowdown!