THE AMERICANUS DREAM
So this is it, this is what I wished for
Just isn’t how I envisioned it, fame to the point of imprisonment
I just thought the sh[*]t’d be different
But something changed the minute that I got a whiff of it…
—Marshall Mathers, “Careful what you wish for”
In panel one a lobster (Homarus americanus) senses something desirable, but hidden and ever the optimist this would-be wily crustacean thinking it an opportunity, rather than a problem, goes for it, but it’s really a trap designed to catch the young adults of the species: bigger older lobsters don’t fit in to the traps and younger ones are too small to be caught by it.
Panel two shows the daring, but caught lobsters thinking they have got it made as the gaze out on to the good life. After all, only an estimated 6% of the 10% the lobsters that go for the bait get this far. Thus hey believe they are the elite, like the human 1%. No more murky sea bottom for these guys the next step will be being part of haute cuisine world.
Move on to panel three where it doesn’t seem to be working out as planned. The Americanus’ (American?) dream is dying, but they don’t know it. Sure it’s still warm, warmer than the above mention murky sea bottom, but someone has turned out the lights and it’s getting hotter. The lobsters are getting sleepy, they close your eyes, they relax …
This young crustacean has truly made it, fulfilled his destiny—from the “superior” human perspective that is—he’s finally part of the good life but not how he expected. “What went wrong?” H. Americanus asks posthumously, as the human 1% eat his flesh and leave but a shell. You gotta be blue (one in a million) to make it to the zoo; other than that you are gonna end up on a plate.
Lobster fact 1: For both humans and lobsters life has traps. Each generation ages into being suckers for them. They then follow their guts and go for it, and more than like are worse for the encounter. Lobster traps have “ghost panels” that deactivate the trap if they are lost. No such outs for us humans, traps of desire, for us, stay traps.
Lobster fact 2: For lobsters, it’s all about being hungry, finding food, eating, and then getting hungry again. Therefore it’s not so weird that the lobsters—tho ones who’ve escaped traps, anyway—are rumored to defend the traps that tried to kill them, now that the traps are less a threat than a source of food. Not unlike upper management in a typical American corporation, I’ve heard
Lobster fact 3: But it is weird that they surround themselves with a plume of their own piss. This allows lobster rivals and mates know where they are. Is this lobster “bling,” a status display, enabling establishing a hierarchy, benefiting top individuals? Or is it a trait that promotes the species at the expense of the individual? As it’s more than like the former, they are more like us than you’d think.
Lobster fact 4: lobsters carrying eggs are tagged and tossed back. These females are given a get-out-of jail-free card on substituent captures for two molts, up to five years, whether they are carrying eggs or not. For lobsters, human sexism is a good thing
Note: The facts are from googling “lobster pot” I can’t remember which sites specifically, sorry