At work this morning, I had a staring contest with a sand crab.
I was sitting on a beach in Puerto Vallarta, where I was really supposed to be writing about the convention business but like any sane human, opted for the beach instead. Mr. Krabs had a similar idea but he wasn’t too thrilled about me dropping my towel too close to underground compound, probably the size of a three-bedroom apartment. He’d stick his two black eyes out of his front door, which happened to be a hole in the sand, and check to see if I was still there. I would freeze and try not to blink. Then half of his translucent claws would crawl out, then the eyes again, then back into the hole. Then another crab would show up on the horizon, and my new friend would hurry home and barricade the door. Beachfront property is money anywhere.
On a different housing front, hermit crabs behind the metal “Don’t take shells home” sign were in the middle of a contest too. This was more like “My digs are cooler than yours.” Hermit crabs live in discarded seashells, or other objects they can squeeze their crustacean bodies into, and are in a constant search for better housing options as they continue to grow. One even had a sophisticated corkscrew arrangement, probably a penthouse. Their conversations probably go along the lines of, “Hey dude. Nice stripes. Check out my vanity hole.”
And only a pelican didn’t seem to be too concerned about the mortgage. Brown and menacing, it was diving for fish with zero regard for people, crabs or life on Mars. After all, for him it too was just another day at the office.