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Interview With a Crab Louse

As part of our ongoing series of conversations with animals on policy and population control issues, we recently sat down with Legion, a crab louse who lost his home prior to his host’s January beach vacation.

Us: Did you see it coming?

Legion: Yeah, the writing’s been on the wall for a while now, honestly. Well, I mean, each of us only lives for around thirty days, but we have surprisingly good institutional memory.

Us: I would say that I’m sorry, but I find the entire concept of your existence totally, totally gross.


Legion: I just don’t understand why people think remoras are adorable, but we’re revolting. Not to mention, yeah, you’re getting rid of US, but you’re leaving yourself open to all kinds of microtears and infections and stuff.

Us: I know, I know. And it’s so expensive, and it hurts, and why are we even doing it? It JUST happened. Why wasn’t there some kind of vote?

Legion: If I were you, honestly, I’d make a stand. Ya gotta make a stand.

Us: Ugh, and then the discussions. You can make a totally good argument against doing it, and then someone immediately agrees with you and makes a comment about pedophilia, which is dumb, and then you have nine people jumping on that person, and then you’ve got people who say they do it for themselves and don’t even have sexual partners, and then you’ve got people who say it makes them feel “clean,” and then you’ve got people who say they have beautiful, fluffy ’70s bush, and they’re clean as a whistle, and they resent you for implying otherwise.

Legion: C’mon, ladies, seriously, if you let this happen, they’ll come for your eyebrows next. Or your eyelashes. Or your pinkie fingers. Go to the barricades! (whistles “La Marseillaise”)

Us: Legion, I do not think you are arguing in good faith, here.

Legion: Oh, I’m sorry, am I not allowed to agitate against the destruction of my environment? If you prick me, do I not bleed?

Us: Ew. I guess there’s some commonality. We can all agree that you can express preferences about a partner’s grooming habits, if you’re willing to reciprocate, and that people can make their own aesthetic choices.

Legion: Hey, by all means, justify it however you want. Ignore the creeping menace of the patriarchy. “When they came for the crabs, I said nothing.”

Us: Honestly, Legion, sometimes I really think the patriarchy invented bikini waxing just to keep feminists infighting with each other instead of seizing the means of production.

Legion: Just…promise me you won’t do anything you can’t take back. Nothing permanent. Fashions change! Fads come and go. It might get very cold during the coming global superstorm.

Us: Oh, Legion. Hey, when you said “ya gotta take a stand,” were you doing Alan Ruck as Cameron in “Ferris Bueller”?

Legion: I was. Maybe there’s more to crabs than meets the eye[lash], huh?

(“There’s a Place for Us” from West Side Story plays)


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