Sunday, November 22, 2015

Word of the day: crustacean

Crustacean: an anthropod of the large, mainly aquatic group Crustacea, such as CRABS because that's the only one that pertains to this story.

Hi, we haven't talked in a really long time, so how about we have a conversation about crabs?

Every once in awhile during the elementary school years, the kids get to study certain forms of animal/plant/insect/crustacean life. They have butterflies, millipedes, crabs, frogs, yada yada yada, all kept in aquariums or tanks in their classroom and I can only imagine the teachers pretty much give up trying to keep their attention focused on anything other than those creatures. They study about them, watch their actions, learn their habits, and have a grand old time. Roundabout the Thanksgiving holiday break, the teachers send out permission slips for the stupid gullible parents to sign if they'll allow their child to bring home some of the creatures so they don't die a sad, pathetic death in a classroom devoid of children, noise and farts.

I decided this year that I would be one of those parents. I made it through three other kids not bringing home any creatures, except (if memory serves correctly) the one time I allowed a millipede to come home and it only lasted about six hours before it was gently placed (thrown) into the woods behind our house. Because, gross. Anyway, I figured what the hell. May as well have something to keep boy spawn 3 occupied during the days when he's not in school, seeing as he hounded me non stop for about two weeks to sign the permission slip. I had the option of fiddler crabs, millipedes or frogs. I picked crabs. Actually, I signed up for ONE crab. A couple days after I turned the form in, boy spawn 3 informed me that it would actually be TWO crabs. Ok, whatever.

Fast forward a week or so and the teacher informed the kids that the creatures would be going home with their designated owners the following day. Excitement abounded! Chaos ensued! My cousin and her friend were staying with us for a few days during this time period, so it totally figures that boy spawn 3 would burst into the house after school on Crab Day, launch his backpack onto the foyer floor, rush into the living room (where my cousin and her friend were chilling) with his fists raised triumphantly in the air and bellow, "MAMA!! I HAVE CRABS!!"

He has crabs, y'all.


The next day, hubby took boy spawn 3 to get a bigger tank because he did NOT come home with one crab, or two crabs. He came home with five crabs. He named them Mastercrabs, Mrs. Claws, Shelbea, Pearl (after hubby's beloved UT basketball coach Bruce Pearl) and Crabby. The crabs are super cool, but a little creepy because they look a lot like spiders and also the boy crabs have one ginormous claw and it's like a reverse baby hand on a grown man and it's just not even ok.

Hubby and BS3 left for the store to spend way too much money on crab supplies, and maybe 10 or 15 minutes after they left I started hearing a weird noise coming from somewhere in the house. It sounded a little like Rosie hacking or choking on something. No big deal...the dog eats everything that doesn't eat her first so I figured she got a hair in her throat after finding an old bread crumb in a corner or something (not sure why we have bread crumbs in corners, but humor me here). A couple seconds went by and suddenly a very dark ominous light bulb went off in my brain and a vision of that fat little dog eating up all of those crabs popped up like a horror film on a full sized theater screen and I hollered for girl spawn to find the dog. She sprints to her room where the crabs were living and starts hysterically screaming, "SHE ATE THEM!!!! SHE ATE ALL THE CRABS!!!!" and I'm running up the stairs just praying and praying that Rosie didn't actually eat them, imaging the look on BS3's face when I have to tell him that his beloved crabs were gone, and I drop to my knees after shooing the dog away from the tank and girl spawn and I both start frantically searching through the tank. We find one crab...two crabs...three crabs...four crabs...five crabs...but no food. My ridiculously obese dog had fished through the tank only to find the food - some apparently delicious plankton - and ate every last piece of it. Thanks be to the sweet precious all-knowing baby Jesus, the crabs were intact and burrowed into the sand trying to avoid the jaws of the monster that was rooting through their habitat in search of sustenance.

$340 and a lot of panic later, we have five healthy crabs that are still alive, scuttling around a large aquarium, eating very smelly food and doing all of the things that crabs should do.

The moral of the story is - having crabs is way more exciting than I ever imagined it would be.


  1. I'm so glad you're back!!! This story was worth the absence

  2. Oh my gosh! I have a recurring spider dream about three times a year as long as I can remember. When we were at Disneyworld this summer I had the worst manifestation of this dream yet (at the happiest place on Earth, go figure) I dreamed as usual that a big spider was slowly ascending on me from the ceiling but this time it looked like a huge crab!!!......So when I saw this was crab related I was like "NOOO! They can't get Carri!!!!" Hahaha!
    I was just telling my kids that some schools do class pets and they were so offended that theirs doesn't. It's okay with me and I hope it stays that way. I finally relented and got the kids a beta fish that like I predicted has become my sole responsibility and one of my husbands friends heard and showed up last week with an aquarium, bags of rocks and plants and two more fish. I swear, beta must be a gateway pet..... bless you, friend! I hope your Garfield dog can contain himself and not eat those poor crabs!