Hermit Crabs Race in Lakewood
Each Saturday at Around the Corner, the crabs race for victory.
An obtrusive, octagon-shaped table sits near the back door of Around the Corner.
Slightly intoxicated patrons bump into and lean up against it. The table sways and sags involuntarily, looking as if it would rather keel over than serve as the stage for the upcoming hermit crab race.
“Hermit crabs!” a blue polo shirt-wearing spectator shouts in anticipation.
Soon the contenders arrive in a white plastic box equip with a spray bottle incase, at some point, they are in need of a little motivation.
Being handled by a slightly squeamish-seeming bartender, the hermit crabs peek out of their painted shells exposing their surprisingly large bodies.
Then, placed beneath a clear plastic dome, they try to break out, proving they really do intend to run or, rather, crawl semi quickly, whether they know they are racing or not.
Lucas Yousko, wearing a red crab hat, officiates the first race.
“Make sure you have a name for your crab,” he advises each person paying $2 to participate. “I don’t do that.”
With assigned names such as The Mistake on the Lake, Superman, Sponge Bob, Lonely, Scuba Steve and Ridiculousness, the first round
of hermit crab racing commences, numbers Sharpied on their backs signifying who their temporary owners and hopeful winners of $15 and a beer are.
“Number 10 is Superman and he’s number one,” Yousko yells as the small crab drags his blue shell across the finish line.
In the cartoon version of this event, he would flex his muscles, open and close his claws and bask in the glory of winning. Winning!
In the real version, still edging toward possible freedom, Superman has no idea he won, but points his eyes in every direction, hoping that in just a few more feet he’ll successfully escape.
Just then he is swept back to the starting line by a broom.
Round two will begin in just a few minutes.
And for those concerned about the safety of the crabs, Yousko says they are well taken care of and regularly bathed.
(Around the Corner hosts crab races each Saturday night)