Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Little Crustacean Love

I’m used to spending Monday nights with Chris Harrison, but “The Bachelor” has fondled his final blonde. Tomorrow night’s “American Idol” showdown will end my reality telethon. No Seacrest. No Probst. No Trump. What’s a singleton to do? Live alone? Think of all the friends I’ve known?

Most likely, I’ll just catch up on quality time with my crabs.

Connick and Dave have lived with me for about three months, and, to be honest, they haven’t changed much. What gives, guys? I feel I’ve transformed significantly since March. My headspace is clearer. My office is cleaner. I’ve memorized forms one through three in Tang Soo Do. The crabs haven’t even molted.

If I owned a cat or a dog, or even a fish, I’m pretty sure I’d notice growth by now. In three months, a dog could learn to fetch my People magazine. A cat might curl up beside me while I eat China Castle. Maybe the fish would follow my finger, or something. When I set Connick and Dave on the floor, they try to crawl behind the couch. Three months ago, they tried to crawl behind the couch. If they ever made it behind the couch, I think their crustacean brains would implode. They’d have to attempt crawling behind a chair.

Everyone says change is good. Today I wrote a rejection for a kid’s story titled “Quackers.” The eponymous protagonist is a duck who is “very plain and ugly for a duck.” Quackers is so ashamed of his plainness that he won’t quack. This is a problem, since he can’t communicate with the other ducks, or “play football and stuff.” Fortunately, he falls head over webbed feet for Princess Swapalop, and love transforms him into a new duck. Princess Swapalop asks Quackers to relocate, as high-maintenance duck princesses often do.

The author notes: “This was a very big challenge for Quackers. Going off to a very strange land not knowing anyone is tough.”

Quackers’ leap (waddle) of faith pays off -- “he really liked the new pond he was at and he really liked the people there.” He and Princess Swapalop live happily ever after. Change is good.

So, Wednesday I’ll fly to New Orleans for apartment hunting. It’s a new pond, and maybe I’ll really like it. Connick and Dave will ship off to Aunt Mary’s, where they will probably attempt crawling behind her couch. Once again, I’m changing, and the crabs are resolute. Can I tell you something? It’s almost a relief.