Ah, those good old Cape May days… by Jackson D’Catur
I have had many an unpleasant encounter with crabs. I remember once, not long after we liberated Paris from the Nazis, and I was partying at a grand house with a lady whom I took to be a countess but in fact turned out to be an acrobat from a traveling bordello/circus. Well, we got on like a house on fire (or rather chateau on fire – which by chance it was, soon after, but that’s another tale), but when I awoke three days later on the beach at Cannes, naked except for my medals, I had this devilish itch that… oh hold on, my faithful man-servant Kitchener is arriving and handing me a piece of paper, which says, let me see: “This week’s themed issue is crustaceans, not crabs, you old fool!”
Oh. Thank you, Kitchener.
So, anyway, I do love a crustacean. I keep a tank in the basement, for special occasions. Originally, I had the monstrous 30-foot long, 20-foot deep and 50-foot wide aquarium built to house the mermaid who one day washed up on the beach, but she upped and left for a freak show in Atlantic City and I believe she married that flaxen-haired devil Donald Trump.
So the tank sat empty, perfectly maintained with plants, sand, shells and all the other requirements a princess of the ocean might require. Until, that is, I found Raymonde. I was dining out at The Lobster House and as per my usual instructions the lobster tank was wheeled over for my inspection. I saw a robust specimen glowering at me from the back, and tapped the glass twice with my cane. “That’s the fella,” I opined. To my surprise, the lobster scuttled forward to the front of the tank and rapped right back at me, twice. Well, I immediately tested him by tapping the first 10 bars of “Danny Boy”, and would you believe he tapped back exactly, then performed the opener of that pipe-and-drum classic “Black Bear” at me, which I struggled to continue with my cane.
It was like “Dueling Banjos” except with an old gent and a lobster, and three hours later we were the best of friends.
To this day, Raymonde has lived in the basement, coming out occasionally for a walk around the grounds, and to watch television (he adores Dr Who on BBC America).
He has grown somewhat, and measures four feet from tip to toe, and his diet has grown in parallel to include ground meat, fry and shoebies.
Really, it is a match made in heaven.