Standing around by some rose bushes, it occurred to me that I was mortal. Am mortal? So I looked really closely at the rose hips. I haven’t been looking at rose hips closely enough lately.

In a dream, someone showed me a picture of a scientist-looking guy (short regular haircut, beard, glasses) and told me he was a renegade phytobiologist. Well, not “phytobiologist”, but something that sounds a lot like it in a dream. And not “renegade” but something close.

Driving part way around a traffic circle on my way to work this morning, CD player tuned to Shakira’s Spanish songs, I wondered how a hermit crab knows when to leave his old shell for a new one. Does it just get tight in there, or is there a psychological component, like claustrophobia? And in between shells, when he’s running around naked, does he just feel vulnerable, or does he feel naked in a good way, like, “hell yeah, I’m naked, this rocks!”?

7 responses to “Hips

  1. Think of the new shell’s owner.

    “When a crab has outgrown its shell it searches for a larger one, and if the new shell is not empty will use its pincer to remove the inhabitant. Then it cautiously abandons the outgrown shell for the new.”

    Evicted! And by someone who can’t bother to grow his own carapace!

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Hermit crab.
    Hermit crab whooooooo-oooo-aiiiiii-aaaaahhh!

  2. mig

    Furthermore, when they want to know what time it is, they don’t ask you, they just steal your watch. Those Chesapeake Bay hermit crabs are tough.

  3. remove the inhabitant? that sounds like carjacking or rather shelljacking.

  4. Bauke


    Grand Theft Shell


  5. That sounds a lot like gentrification in my neck of the woods, actually.

  6. I had to do an experiment with hermit crabs once, in my first year of college bio. They didn’t seem that interested in moving shells, so we ended up using a vice-grips to crack them out. They had no choice but to let us watch them pick a new shell, then. I don’t think I did great on that assignment.

    Also, once one leaves its shell, the others in the tank all make a move at the same time. They’re all vulnerable at once that way, so the ones with the shells don’t start beating up the naked ones.

    And I don’t think I’ve ever dreamt about phytobiologists. Especially renegade ones. Life still just isn’t complete, dammit.

  7. you’re only mortal when everyone who remembers you dies.