Register for your 100% free subscription. Full details.
Howdy. You must be new in town. An outsider, huh? Well, you might as well know that our town don’t take too kindly to outsiders. No siree. And just because you’re a writhing mass of crabs don’t mean we’ll make an exception for you.
Oh, we’ve seen your kind before. You think you’re the first hotshot mass of crabs to roll through Seaside Hollow? Every couple years some new tangle of angry red shells clacks its way ashore and begins rolling down dusty old Main Street, a thousand claws knotted together and somehow driven by a mysterious shared purpose. “Crabs comin’,” Old Man Everett will say, holding one gnarled finger up to the wind, and we’ll grab our stompin’ boots and our butter and head inside to wait it out. That’s the way our Meemaws and Papaws have always done it, and that’s the way we do it too.
Now, it’s not like we have anything against you. If anything, it feels like you don’t think much of us. That’s right – we overheard you telling sweet old Mrs. Adams that you think it’s weird we skin and cure our own venison, right before you pinched her ankles and scampered off, crab-gigglin’ as the church porch groaned under your weight. Well, just because you rolled out of the ocean one day and scuttled up to our sleepy seaside town, a-snappin’ and a-pinchin’, don’t mean we’re going to drop everything and start eating algae, worms, and fungi.
Those may be the staples of the diet of a writhing mass of crabs such as yourself, but they sure ain’t the staples of ours.
Honestly, can you blame us for being suspicious of a free-wheeling constellation of crustaceans such as yourself? Much like the succulent meats locked away beneath your fearsome shells, your intentions remain a mystery to us, and we find your ways strange and unfamiliar. That’s why we do things like menacingly play the banjo at you from our front porches and ask vaguely threatening questions like, “How long y’all planning on stickin’ around?” But it goes both ways, too. Would you spend so much time directing your fearsome crab-howls at our long-time Mayor Wilkins if his pro-chowder policies didn’t feel so unnatural to you? No, and you know it.
Speaking of which, we can all see you churning away outside the general store, fixin’ to arrange yourself in the crude shape of a human and rehearsing your campaign speech just in time for the upcoming mayoral election. Look, no one in Seaside Hollow is going to vote for a candidate named Doctor Person who promises to “pinch the moon down” and “molt away sharp problems.” Knock it off, crabs.
That reminds me: we don’t know what your connection is to the moon, but we don’t care for the funny look you get in your eyes when you’ve soaked up an evening’s worth of moonlight through your shell of highly mineralized chitin. We don’t care for it one bit.
Look, we’ll state it plain: in our little town of Seaside Hollow, we make it a point to do things the old-fashioned way. We always make fresh lemonade by hand-squeezing our own lemons, and Mrs. Adams hasn’t changed her pecan pie recipe in over 60 years. In contrast, you are a large, writhing mass of crabs, and the deafening clicks and scrapes that accompany your every movement make you sound like an ever-bursting piñata somersaulting through a field of broken glass.
Let’s just give each other some space. That’s right, real easy like. We’ll stay out of your way, and you’ll stay out of ours.
Wait – what in tarnation? How did you win the mayoral election? My word. Well, congratulations, Mayor Doctor Person. I guess – ow! – this town is – ow! – big enough for the both of us.
My favorite movie is There Will Be Blood and my current favorite drink is pineapple Spindrift. I think if you combine these two things, you can have yourself a pretty nice afternoon.