Lobster clause: Pinchy saves the world

This four-clawed lobster was caught this week by fisherman Mark Sewall of York, Maine.

This four-clawed lobster was caught by fisherman Mark Sewall of York, Maine.

The world is full of surprises, yes?

My friend Mark Sewall has been trapping lobsters for more than 40 years — his father and grandfather before him — but he never caught a four-clawed lobster.

Until now.

Yanked it right out of the frosty Atlantic just like any other scrappy, indigenous Maine lobster. But this one was different. Special.

The little guy was packing one regular claw on his left. But halfway up his right claw, there was another claw sprouting out — and that one had two pinchers. That’s right, four pinchers.

Helluva tale.

Mark — who has hauled up seahorses, a tiny octopus and rare blue lobsters in his gear — figured the local science center would be a better destination for this cutting-edge lobster than somebody’s pot of boiling water.

That much is true. The rest? Best take it with a pinch of salt. And maybe a dab of drawn butter.

Cause there’s nothing like a four-clawed lobster to make the imagination run wild. Why, it could be a sign that the world just got a little more wonderful, or that the apocalypse is coming on Thursday.

It could be a sign that lobsters are rejecting societal expectations that they conform to the traditional two-claw paradigm.

Or it could be a mutant, freak, atomic, zombie lobster — brought to you by the Seabrook nuclear power plant and our friends in Fukushima.

It could be a sign that pigs will soon fly or that swine will produce pearls. But I doubt it.

And I could find no evidence that our friend the four-clawed lobster has any connection whatsoever to rising sea levels, the decline of the American dream or the serious situation in Syria.

More likely it’s a sign that a bit of foul play involving some undersea foe caused the lobster to lose its claw and that when the appendage began to regenerate it just came in funny.

This is the hypothesis preferred by my colleague, the noted international lobster expert, Professor Claw.

However, he said he technically couldn’t rule out the mutant, atomic, zombie theory and that if the four-clawed lobster grows bigger than an average-sized city block then that’s a definite sign we’ve got a problem on our hands.

I actually have one other alternative, some might say “crackpot,” theory that suggests the four-clawed lobster was actually sent here by a race of advanced celestial beings to save humanity from self-destruction.

Not cause they want to colonize us. Just because this race of advanced beings is so advanced that they get off on performing random acts of kindness for life forms in different galaxies who, compared to these advanced folk, are utterly clueless — their worlds a festering cauldron of environmental degradation, political malfeasance and social anger.

Anyway, these advanced pranksters get the whole thing on video — the lovable four-clawed lobster’s journey from the friendly fisherman to the science center.

Then they download the video and this little kid sees it in Yemen. (Not a coincidence if you ask Pedro, leader of the advanced beings.) This little kid — like little kids in tough neighborhoods in New York or Chicago or everywhere — lives in a high-risk environment. He’s being brainwashed into becoming a terrorist.

Long story short. He sees the lobster. It captures his imagination. Makes him smile. All of a sudden he doesn’t want to be a terrorist anymore. In fact, he becomes something of a prophet, with a gift for converting would-be terrorists to a life of peace. Boom. World saved. Thank the lobster.

Four-clawed ambassador of global good will. International crustacean sensation.

— John Breneman

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