If I have one ongoing issue with Seattle, it's that this town often feels too staid, like we're all expected to tacitly accept this bizarre notion that being "laid-back" is a character virtue. I don't buy it. Thankfully each fall when oyster season hits, a delightful, slight mania takes over Seattle eaters as excessive, shamelessly overindulgent oyster events crop up around town and I start to wonder if I've underestimated people of this city.

On Sunday, October 28, Flying Fish will host its fifth annual Oyster Frenzy, where guests are encouraged to eat as many oysters as they possibly can in a short period of time. It's a beautiful thing, as each year the gluttony grows exponentially. Last year approximately 650 dozen, or 7,800 oysters, were consumed in just three hours.

The following week, on Saturday, November 3, Elliott's Oyster House will hold its 15th annual Oyster New Year celebration. Oyster New Year features a 100-foot-long oyster bar and the legendary "Oyster Luge," a long, strange, magical device that haunts my dreams and allows guests to slurp an oyster that travels over a luge course made of ice. See you at the luge's end. recommended

Oyster Frenzy takes place Sun Oct 28 at Flying Fish (2234 First Ave, 728-8595, www.flyingfishseattle.com), 1 pm, $25.

Oyster New Year takes place Sat Nov 3 at Elliott's Oyster House (1201 Alaskan Way, www.elliotsoysterhouse.com), 5 pm, $75 adv/$85 at the door.