If cats were inside out and amphibious then this would be a story about cats. Sort of.

This one time I was in Africa, I was sitting on the beach at night with a bunch of really awesome folks.  The sand sloped upward from the shoreline and made this kind of little hill we liked to sit on.

This particular night that we were sitting on the hill was one of our very first.  The moon was thin and the sky was ebony, so that the world in front of us was nearly black.  We had walked out with flashlights to be sure of our footing and then turned them off so we could stargaze.  You could actually see the Milky Way out there.  It was stunning.

After we grew tired of staring up, we sat and gazed out at the ocean.  It was really something.

Until we noticed that there was something moving on the beach.

At first, we didn’t all agree that we saw it.  It was just a little ripple in the sheet of darkness.  But once the first person had pointed it out, we were all spooked and paying close attention.  And we started to notice that there were actually quite a few ripples.  One might say…an army of ripples.  Slowly creeping toward us.

Someone assured the rest of us it was nothing.  Someone else decided to go to bed.  I decided to turn on a flashlight.

The sight was something like this….

YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE.

…TIMES A HUNDRED.

The beach was COMPLETELY FULL of these huge crabs, the size of your face, slowly advancing toward us.  Ready to pounce.  Going in for the kill.

And that is why crabs are really just inside-out ocean cats.  Because they want to kill you.  And they have claws.  And they’re sneaky.  AND they look like spiders.  Which is just gross.  I think when God made crabs he was all like “what two animals could I combine to make the absolute worst thing ever?  OH I KNOW.  Cats and spiders.  AND IT WILL SWIM.  Holy brains I’m good.  This is gonna be disgusting.”  And it was.

PS the image is from Wikipedia and I’m pretty sure it’s the wrong species but I couldn’t find the right one on that page and I didn’t want to deal with getting permission from elsewhere.  The crabs on our beach were these horrific translucent whitish things that almost blended in with the sand.  And the kids who lived there would find the baby ones and pick them up and put them on you when you weren’t paying attention.

EDIT: My friend Amelia read this and said, “Now I can only think of cats as inside-out land crabs, thanks a lot.”  I’ve just inadvertently ruined any fondness I previously had for cats.  Also it occurred to me that if crabs are inside-out cats then their guts are super fuzzy and cuddly.  Which means that if you cut one open you could make the coziest, most terrifying mittens ever.  I know what I’m getting Tom for Christmas.

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