On Wednesday night, I let Murphy unite the tribes of hermit crabs. I’ll be honest. I was worried. Fries is much smaller than the other three. And he’s, well, Fries. So while Murph promptly fell asleep after promising he’d be “in charge”, I ended up getting up at every commercial break during Designated Survivor to make sure they were not cannibalizing one another or “being aggressive” (though what that looks like in the world of arthropods escapes me). But we put McFlurry (still in the store-bought pink shell) and Filet o’ Fish (Fil) in there with Cheeseburger and Fries and hoped for the best.
At first, the four kept to their corners. To his credit, Cheeseburger remained in his house, pretending to be dead as we all know he loves to do, and each of the newbies went in and looked around and didn’t bug him because I guess he doesn’t smell like decaying crab (aka food for the sea bugs). Cheesy is chill. Fries, though. Fries is just…Fearless Fuckin’ Fries.
At first, he was stalking them. Watching them eat, watching them look around, watching them climb on other shells. Following them, really. Not like normal curious, though. Like a psycho-stalker serial killer. I think he’s watching Criminal Minds when I’m not home. There he was, twitching his antennae at them and then at me. But no one was getting hurt. I went back to see them wheeling Jack Bauer into surgery. Someone needs to explain how Jack became HUD Secretary and why he’s married to Hank Moody‘s ex.
Then about halfway through the show, I went to check, and Fries was standing on Fil, chittering away. Standing on him in such a way that Fil couldn’t move. If he’d had a Fries’ flag, he’d have planted it on Fil’s shell and declared him conquered. Fil was sitting there, immobile, staring at the dirt, coming to terms that having been “purchased” from the Petco was not a move to the dream home he’d hoped, and he was now living with a loon. I moved Fries off of him, narrowly avoiding getting my finger nipped, and told him to knock that shit off right now and to make friends. He peed at me through his antennae and stared me down until I went back to the bedroom.
Next commercial, I found him guarding the food, not letting either of his new friends near it. I moved him again, and he did this wild flippy thing out of his shell and almost bit my whole hand. I put him in a hut and put a shell in front of the door. Time out, Fries, time fucking out. You’re an asshole, we know. No need to prove it again. Settle the hell down.
He dug his way out in 20 minutes, because of course he did, and I found him facing McFlurry and Fil, who were trapped in the plant pot. He had imprisoned them and was chirping what I imagine were the terms of surrender he’d accept with his crazy antennae swinging all around. The other two looked like they were facing down a madman. I ended the hostage situation by putting Fries in the “time out” tank from whence Fil and McFlurry had been moved, but that didn’t last long because he carried on so loud, so long all by himself that he woke Murphy, who in his own fit of pique at 1AM, went out and threw Fries into the other tank and told me to let Darwin sort it out.
Now it seems that Fries is the only one who is allowed to sleep in the hut, and the purple castle is his summer home, and no one can go in there, either. The other three, who are at least twice and possibly three times his size, seem to be going along with this insanity. It’s the middle of the day, and the only one of these nocturnal critters who is sleeping peacefully is Fries. The rest are wandering like zombie nomads in a desert, avoiding their sovereign King Fries.
Though he be small, he be mighty, that Fries.