There was once a tidal pool full of hermit crabs who wouldn’t wear seashells. One day, the tide washed a new hermit crab in from the open seas.
All other hermit crabs said, "My dude, you’re wearing a seashell? That shit is so basic, my decapod." The new hermit crab was confused. He thought seashells were what hermit crabs were supposed to wear. The other crabs wore jars and Black and Mild filters and Pog containers and whatever else the ocean spat up.
Seeking answers, the new hermit crab scuttled over to a crab called Nacho. Nacho was the reigning hermit crab by default because he was the first to plant his ass into the mouth of a discarded Olde English 40, rendering him virtually immobile. The new hermit crab said to Nacho, "What's the deal with the seashell hate?" Nacho answered, "My crustacean from another population, we’re not your average hermit crizzles. We’re the new school. We’re the future. WE THE BEST." The fuck? the new hermit crab thought to himself. This crab sounds like an idiot.
Having no way out of the tidal pool, the new crab kept to himself. But contrary to their name, hermit crabs are social animals and he yearned to be included. He began to think that maybe it’d be okay to compromise his seashell values, find something new to live in and look like a dumbass if it meant acceptance.
One day, the sea sent an old ass baby bottle into the pool. The new hermit crab, thinking this was his chance to make friends, went over to it. The bottle was transparent, long and hollow. He pried the rubber nipple off with his claws, ditched his seashell and took up residence. All the other hermit crabs thought the baby bottle was v hilarious and steezy. No one else was rocking baby bottles.The new crab felt good about himself for the first time since he’d gotten to the tidal pool and thought he could get used to this.
Whenever cool, flashy trifles found their way into the tidal pool, the new hermit crab put them in his baby bottle to show off. He garnered many compliments and claw daps. He was becoming popular.
One day, Nacho told the new hermit crab that he was the most gully hermit crab in the pool, which was an eminent statement coming from the king crab. Nacho said, "As you know, hermit crabs live for, like, only a few months. Soon I’ll be gone and I want you to take over as head hermit. Keep these bitches in line, ya dig?"
It wasn't before long that the thought of being the heir apparent got into the new hermit crab’s head. He suddenly felt like he needed to be dominant, lest someone challenge his position and usurp him.
The new hermit crab resolved to spend all his time collecting cool debris to put in his bottle. The more sea glass and bottle caps and earring backs he gathered, the closer he became to what he considered unfuckwitable. The other hermit crabs, who withdrew into their homes out of both fear and jealousy, agreed.
One morning, when the sky was dark and the pool was particularly replete with shiny garbage, the new hermit crab thought he’d woken up to swag Christmas. The old heads, however, warned a black sky and strong tide meant a monsoon was due. But the new hermit crab, hellbent on pimping his ride, brushed it off as it an empty threat from those weaker than himself.
The afternoon came and the sky lit up like a brain. All the other hermit crabs quickly ditched their homes and made for higher ground. Even Nacho relinquished his 40 and climbed out of the tidal pool. But the new hermit crab, so gassed up on his own shit, hung back a little longer to shovel trinkets into his baby bottle.
By the time he was satisfied, the waves were coming constantly and violently. He turned to leave the tidal pool, but was so weighed down that he couldn’t make it up the wall. The storm that had given him the final tools to complete his transformation was trying to destroy him. He turned his eye stalks to his baby bottle, and then to the Olde English 40, telling himself that, like a captain, it was neither foolish nor egotistical to go down on a ship made of garbage.
Rick Morrison is a writer living in North Carolina. Follow him on Twitter here.