bonus post – the dromedary global headquarters.


Our apartment floor plan

Our apartment floor plan

I mentioned in the last post that we had a thousand Melting Hopefuls 7″s, five hundred cuppa joe 7″s, all the inserts, sleeves, baggies, single-serving envelopes of Taster’s Choice, mailing envelopes, and Xeroxed letters to go with them.

We also had a lot of copies of Nothing Smells Quite Like Elizabeth – maybe 600 CDs and nearly 500 cassettes – and about 100 copies of “Suck My Heart.”

So I thought it might be fun to show you a floor plan of the apartment we lived in.

So that’s it to the left.  Less than 600 square feet of living space.  If you look at the floor plan, where the entrance is – we lived in a second-floor apartment, so the whole area to the left of the couches in the living room was actually stairs.

The kitchen, which measured 8 1/2 feet by 10 feet, was where the Dromedary Global Headquarters was.  Sandy made a table out of plywood that was L-shaped, maybe 4 feet on one side and 3 feet on the other.  Some of the table was taken up by a 10-gallon fish tank where we kept a few neons and some tiny crabs (that tore each other limb from limb, repeatedly – crab story forthcoming).

There was a closet in the living room where we kept all our record inventory.  But with all the stuff we had, there were piles of boxes out in the open.  When we had company over – which was often – we just became accustomed to saying “Don’t mind the boxes.”

The area adjacent to the kitchen that’s marked “pantry” was actually a small closet, maybe two feet deep.  We removed the door and lined it with shelves, and that’s where we kept all our books and magazines and stuff.  So that was like the office supply closet for Dromedary.

This was a pretty small place.  And we were getting tired of the smallness of it.

The other thing we were getting tired of was the people.  Although their collective insanity was once endearing, they were becoming grating.  We discovered that our lovely puppy, Buca, had caught fleas from that nasty Fluffy next door.  We were tired of smelling everyone else’s food, tired of hearing their arguments, tired of having to fight for a parking spot.  During the winter, people who were parked on the street would shovel themselves out, drive away, and place a chair or a trash can in “their” spot so that nobody else could park there.  It often took ten or fifteen minutes just to find a spot.  And there was always traffic.  Always.

In our fish tank, we had this tiny crab.

He was an ambitious little bastard.  He used to climb up the plastic tree, latch himself onto the top of the tank, hoist himself OUT of the water, and then somehow squeeze himself out of the tank altogether.  Then, he would slowly make his way across the kitchen floor.

He did this repeatedly.  He was like the Kunta Kinte of crabs.

Sandy said “When he’s in the fish tank, he’s a crab.  When he’s on the kitchen floor, though, he’s a spider, and I will squish him with extreme prejudice.”

Eventually, though, he died.  We flushed his body down the toilet in a solemn funeral ceremony, and promptly ran out to the pet store to buy another crab.

The new crab was happy for a day or so.

And then, one day, Sandy looked inside the tank and said “Holy shit.  We have two crabs in the tank!”

I looked inside the tank and, sure enough, there were two crabs in there.  One little tiny one, and one much bigger one.  “What the fuck?!” I wondered.

We figured it out.  Crabs molt.

We hadn’t thrown out a dead crab.  We had thrown out a crab shell.  The real crab was hiding under the rock, waiting, lurking.

What the hell did we know?  How was I supposed to know anything about crabs?

Actually, Sandy should have known this.  She grew up at the beach.  She had crabs living right outside her house.  Surely at some point she must have learned that crabs molt. 

But no.

So now we have one tiny crab, and one much bigger, more aggressive crab.

One day we look at the tiny crab, and we realize that he’s missing a leg.

The next day, we notice he’s missing another leg.

The big bastard was ripping the little one limb from limb.

I took a piece of glass and put it between them, effectively creating two little rooms on the floor of the tank.  The glass was, maybe, six inches high.  The crabs were tiny, less than an inch across.

The next day I got home from work, and the big motherfucker was on the other side with the little guy, who was missing another leg.  I asked the fish what happened, but they weren’t talking.

Using the net, I put the big bastard back on his side of the tank, and wedged the glass into the rocks better, making sure there was no space on either side for the big bastard to sneak through.

The next day, I got home from work, and the big crab was back on the other side with the small crab.  The crab was missing another leg.  I scolded the big bully crab, and moved him back into his room.

This went on and on, and eventually the little crab was reduced to just one claw.  Just a tiny, round body and a claw.  No legs.  No second claw.  

Then, I saw what was happening.

The big crab was climbing up the plastic tree and getting himself all the way to the top of the tree.  Then, he was letting go of the leaf, and floating down to the bottom, on the other side.

The fucker was scaling the wall.

I could have moved the plastic tree, but I was too freaked out.  I had a crab that would accept no boundaries, and I had another creepy, one-legged crab that just stood there, waving at me with his hand.

Somebody told me that the little crab would regenerate, but I didn’t wait around to find out.  I flushed them both down the toilet, let them fight it out in the sewers.  Put the phone where the fish tank used to be.

Creepy bastards. 

Anyway, that’s what our apartment was like.

~ by Al on February 26, 2009.

3 Responses to “bonus post – the dromedary global headquarters.”

  1. “I had a crab that would accept no boundaries, and I had another creepy, one-legged crab that just stood there, waving at me with his hand.”

    Anthropomorphic genius.

  2. So what do you think crabs do in the ocean, play nice?

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