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The crab fable, revised edition

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johnhattan

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Once upon a time, there were two crabs:



Belvin was a philosopher and a mensch and was schooled in the ways of Sartre and Rand. Nivleb was an engineer who had graduated from a school in the Southwest Conference and was considered to be both devious and shallow by his peer crab philosophers and fellow introspective navelgazing bits of invertebrate sea life. Belvin was also a strict Ultimacrustaceanist, which was a far-reaching One True Philosophy that lived in the crossroads between crustaceanism, shellfishness, sideways-walkinism, and whatever book Belvin happened to be reading that week. Belvin was proud of Ultimacrustaceanism and kept it under close guard, lest it be diluted by outside forces with less schooling and a devious nature.

People like Nivleb.

Having been recently thrown out of the local Church of Crabs for being far too philosophically grounded for lesser crabs to comprehend, Belvin started the Crab Church, (later renamed when the Church of Crabs threatened legal action). Nivleb, who had left the Church of Crabs years earlier due to his aforementioned deviousity and shallowosity, joined the newly-renamed Crustacean Church, eventually renamed the Crustacean Fellows. Belvin was proud of the Crustacean Fellows and mused long and hard and idly about having a specially-designed edifice for the Crustacean Fellows (which could secretly double as his personal office). Other crabs found the vision interesting (most having not heard about the office part) and located an affordable location for the Crustacean Fellows. The location, however, was deemed to be beneath the standards of a fine organization like the Crustacean Fellows, which now proudly consisted of twenty crabs (okay, five). He fretted to himself (as it was that with which he was most talented) and used his mighty powers of passive-aggression to try to force his fellow crabs to abandon the location. Finally, he declared that the other crabs were not following proper Ultimacrustaceanist and Refrigerationist principles, to which the other crabs puzzled, as not only were they unaware that they were supposed to be following Ultimacrustaceanism and Refrigerationism, but they were not even sure what they were, given that their definitions changed whenever Belvin skimmed a new book of crab-philosophy. Belvin was loath to speak of Ultimacrustaceanism and Refrigerationism, and when he did his fellow crabs quite expectedly thought he had cracked, which only further fueled Belvin's persecution complex. Eventually Belvin, through his seemingly-bottomless powers of passive-aggression and fretting, was handed back the Crustacean Fellowship, which could then properly follow Orthodox Ultimacrustaceanism without meddlesome outsiders diluting its One True Philosophy (for the week).

Belvin later extolled The Virtue Of Shellfishness, which he knew intimately, having read almost half a chapter in a book about it a few years earlier. He declared his now previous friends to be of unproper Shellfishness and practitioners of Lobsterism (but he was mostly just feeling burned that he was barred from the newly-opened Crustacean Hall), joined up with the local Shellfish Club and declared himself to properly be at home in the midst of fine Shellfishes that shared his One True Philosophy (of the week). Things did not go crawlingly (crab-ese for "swimmingly"), though, because Belvin, being the most learned of philosophical crabs, declared that the Shellfishes, being obvious Ultimacrustaceanists themselves, should follow his lead into the One True Philosophy (of the week). Unfortunately, Shellfish Society members are even less tolerant than his former Crustacean Fellows when it came to shoehorning the One True Philosophy (of the week) into groups that didn't cotton to passive-aggressive shoehorning. Wiley Shellfishes that they were, though, the Shellfish leader, Vinbel, did not make the mistake of bringing Belvin into the organization to the point where he couldn't be ejected without following a long line of Parliamentary Seahorseshit, so Vinbel invited Belvin to kindly piss off and to take his Ultimacrustaceanist Refrigerationist One True Philosophy (of the week) with him.

Belvin was fully versed in what to do, though. He did just as he had done in other situations. He declared the Shellfish Society to be full of luddite Antiultimacrustaceanist meanies and started up HIS OWN Shellfish society, just as he had done three or four times before. And this time the organization would be PERFECT and would follow finest Ultimacrustaceanist Refrigerationist One True Philosophy (of the week) principles and would be of optimum size.

And he did so.

And, after having done so, Belvin looked upon his empire of Ultimacrustaceanist Refrigerationist Immortalist Cryobaptist Optihumanist Bright organizations, all consisting of the optimum number of members, and he did what he did best.

He took a vote among the optimum number of members. . .

Belvin: I move that our first action as One True Ultimacrustaceanist Refrigerationist Immortalist Cryobaptist Optihumanist Brights is that we purchase a ping pong table!

Belvin: I second that motion. Discuss!

Belvin: It is a fine idea to own a ping pong table. For if we have a ping pong table, then the members can play ping pong!

Belvin: Let us not get ahead of ourselves. We must first determine the nature of this ping pong. With whom shall we play ping pong in this organization?

Belvin: We shall, of course, play ping pong with the other members!

Belvin: Whom in particular?

Belvin: We shall play ping pong with. . .with. . .damn.

FIN

MORAL: There's not much you can do when you see a total A-hole joining another organization except let it play out, wait for the inevitable to happen, and hope the organization survives the experience.
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This cheered my day at work right up. Thank you for bringing joy to an otherwise thankless job of data-entry.

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