Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

king crabBy Madama Mama

It all began when the mayor banned Snowzilla from entering the city limits.  Apparently, there was an issue concerning size.  Snowman builders had failed to check the city code books, but the provision was buried in there among snow construction guidelines, and not nearly as prominent a rule as no rocks packed into snow balls and sled paths shall not cross into the Interstate.  Somehow, it seemed a bit discriminatory, but there it was; snowmen shall not exceed eight feet in height.  This rule did not apply to decorated trees, giant Santa Claus’s on roof tops, or manger scenes with enough juice running into its Christmas star to light up New York City.  Snowzilla was a hazard; a menace to society.  Here he was, a bigger attraction than Rudolf’s red nose, sending tourists to the poorer side of town to view him, without a single manufacturing cost, or significant rise in energy consumption.  Not only had Snowzilla ruined the spirit of Christmas, he was downright unpatriotic.

The legislative decision created a snowman revolution.  Snowmen lined up in front of people’s houses.  They marched up the court steps.  Three days after his banishment, Snowzilla reappeared.  He had grown!  Already ten feet over the legal limit, he was now an extra four feet in height with a brand new hat, pipe and cape.  Someone had been taking good care of him.

The assembly was outraged.  This was, after all, the city of Angerage, so named because it was always angry.  They had a policy of unfriendly for everything from hamsters to natural grass.  To befriend the banished snow people was an act of treason.  They stewed for awhile in their boiling pot of equal rancor for all things unblessed by management interests, than came upon a brilliant idea.  They would terminate snow season a full month early, thus forcing Snowzilla from the area before the case would have time to travel into the higher courts of executive decisions.  Using their material waste as the combustion engine, they tapped into the geo-thermal layer, igniting an explosion that sent caribou hurtling into the jungles of Africa.

Their experiment succeeded.  Spring returned to Angerage a full month early, and Snowzilla was forced to hurry off after his disappearing friends.  Angerage found some other things to fume about, such as the interior decorating design for its new Convention Center and the use of dumpsters for garbage disposal, instead of cute wooden sheds.  They were completely unaware of the events now simmering on the horizon.

The explosion not only sent the region of Angerage to basking for many pleasant months under its lengthy fuel dynamics, it sizzled a few glaciers and fractured the Polar Ice Cap.  Snowzilla’s home had been flooded.  It lay in shambles, giant ice bergs floating among shrinking ice floes.  Frantically, he dived deep into the sea, looking for a cold current.  His molecules spread out thinner and thinner, until they couldn’t be seen at all.

When this happened, the Angerage Assembly rejoiced, believing they had at last killed Snowzilla.  The thing is, though, Snowmen don’t die.  They only expand.  When there is enough cold, they shrink back together and reappear in the solid white form we see them in.  Since people understand so well the principle of assembly, so they believe they assemble snowmen.  Actually, this isn’t so.  Snow people have a highly developed intelligence that communicates through telepathy.  If you have had the urge to assemble snow people, it’s because their telepathic message compelled you to do so.  By understanding this, you will see why the Angerage Assembly made a fatal error in their calculations.  The telepathic mind of Snowzilla had now grown an enormous several hundred miles.

There was another thing Angerage had failed to consider.  When snowmen spread thin, they begin secreting Ozju.  Ozju looks much like bird droppings when it begins gathering in any large amounts.  The Ozju, well nourished by the ocean floor, begins to grow, forming what is often mistaken for algae.  Since the Ozju contains a few DNA strands of telepathic memory. It ignites curious behavior in the marine life that comes into contact with it.  That summer, the salmon refused to migrate, complaining that the fresh water was too warm and hurt their skin, the squid untied the knots in the fishing nets, allowing numerous species of water loving creatures to escape, but the most bizarre characteristics were displayed by the crabs.

The King Crabs had received an epitome.  In all history, their greatest predator had been a soft shelled, upright, land based creature who always managed to succumb them in battles.  Why was this?  The crabs had natural armor and eight legs they could maneuver, strong pincers capable of snapping broom sticks.  How could an enemy, inferior in strength and physical characteristics, defeat them?  They had learned the answer.  Crabs had a major weakness.  Their anti-social nature discouraged friendships and made them jealous, self centered and distrustful of each other.  If two or more were thrown into a tub, they never would get out, because as soon as one began to make it, the others would pull him down.  What if they all helped each other out of the pot?

On a lonely island off the Coast of Bull Bearing, a grounded fishing vessel was found, with no sign of the Captain and crew.  The anchorman for Angerage news announced there appeared to have been a crab infestation after examination of the pots, but there was no sign currently of another outbreak.  After three days the search was given up and it was generally agreed that the fishermen had been consumed by crabs.

The young family was trundling through the Chewing Mountains on their way home to Rabid Creek, unaware that the crabs they had caught by the Sewage Mouth were conspiring against them. The piles of King and Snow Crab crunched in fifty gallon garbage cans inside the speeding van, whispered to each other, than rumbled an agreement. They would help each other out of their prison.  They opened the cans and tiptoed out.  The van was eventually found by the Assembly for Transportation Concerns, but driver and passengers had disappeared forever.

The King Crabs returned to their ocean home, happy that their campaign had been a success.  Never again would they lose battle with the soft shelled, upright, land based creature.  Their crabs had won!  Being King Crabs, they announced an enormous feast, than swallowed up their younger cousins.

The Snow Crab however, went through an entirely different evolutionary process.  They developed a taste for the snow surrounding the peaks of the Chewing Mountains.  They spent the summer devouring snow, reaching farther and farther back into the mountains, until by summer’s end, there wasn’t a drop of snow in sight.  Unconcerned, believing the winter would return soon, they remarked to each other as to how they had become as red as lobsters, but secretly relished their new sun tans.

Without their major food source, the crabs developed a virus.  The infection wasn’t evident so much in the crabs, who had been steaming in their own juices for awhile, but it had a very strange effect on the soft-shelled population.  Without snow, the people began to forget there were seasons.  September slid into October, and the stores forgot to put out their scary costumes, black cats and spider webs.  Candy sales plummeted.  The children stayed in their homes that Halloween night, afraid to go out and take a chance on catching Snow Crab Flu.

It was of no use.  The crab infestation continued.  The Angerage citizens fell one by one to Classic Crab Syndrome.  The initial outbreak created a panic.  Desperate to be the first ones vaccinated against Crab Flu, the people in the middle of the line kept tossing the front of the line to the back, so that nothing really got done and it all became one big melting pot for crab infection.

While a few mutations occurred; some people developed very thick skins, sharp pincers and a tenacity for holding on to things; it was generally agreed they continued to display the spirit of Angerage, although more crabby than raging.   Other flu victims picked up the strand of telepathic DNA.  They began helping each other up out of the pot hole they had fallen into and looking around.  November had come and Jack Frost had not yet paid an overnight visit.  They began to long for their white clad mountains and wonder if Snowzilla would ever return, although they also took a great deal of pleasure in their new sun tans.  The moral of this story is; never underestimate the power of Snowzilla or you’ll receive a case of crabs.

By karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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8 thoughts on “How the Crabs Stole Halloween”
  1. Now, Grainne. Don’t you think snowmen should also have rights? They enjoy the experience of solid body existence once in awhile, just as we do. As you can see by Madama’s story, it’s far more dangerous to allow their molecules to run too thin than it is to keep them in a fairly solid form. We’re hoping the snow crabs have fed their appetites for awhile, as here it is November and we’ve only had a sprinkling of snow on the mountain tops. If we get enough snow this year, i’m promising Snowzilla i’ll build a snowman.

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