Some Summer Product Recommendations from This 'Truly Grotesque' Ceramic Crab With Eyes

Illustration for article titled Some Summer Product Recommendations from This Truly Grotesque Ceramic Crab With Eyes
Image: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Here at Jezebel, we like to make your life easier, as well as more glamorous. Hence we turn sometimes to trusted authorities for recommendations. Today, we look to this beautiful anthropomorphic ceramic crab from the late Victorian era for her advice on the best possible summer.

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Perhaps you saw this crab recently in the news, when Arts Minister Rebecca Pow announced an export ban, an attempt to get a British buyer to come forward with the amount of money necessary to keep this cultural treasure in the United Kingdom: “The Martin Brothers are famous for creating unique and unusual works that are entertaining yet at the same time unsettling, which makes the crab with teeth such a whimsical and eclectic treasure,” she explained in a statement.

“A truly grotesque creature, it represents the pinnacle of their work, and we also concluded that it was of outstanding aesthetic importance reflecting the fact that this criterion does not necessarily imply that an object has to be beautiful to pass that test,” said Sir Hayden Phillips, chairman of the committee charged with reviewing such cases.

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Well, since she has nothing to do but sit and wait to see whether she is allowed to leave the UK, this crab—Mrs. Crab, we call her—has stopped by Jezebel with some Friday product recommendations for the best possible summer. And nobody knows summer like Mrs. Crab!

A mesh beach bag: “I’m a crab. Of course I love the beach! And I recently acquired a new, giant bag, because I’d been using a canvas tote and it was just getting too damp and sandy, you know? Gross. Truly grotesque, even—ha! This one is made of some plasticky material and basically designed to shed sand.”

A small, portable radio: “Look—Spotify is fine, but I just get decision fatigue, you know? Sometimes, like when you are lounging on the beach or perhaps skittering across your yard on your numerous bug-like legs, you just want to cue up a Top 40 station and let Clearchannel make your decisions for you. I’m not proud.”

Vera Bradley Coral Floral Acrylic Pitcher: “Love a big pitcher of sweet tea!”

Criterion’s new edition of Swing Time: “No summer is completely sunny, which is why I like to have a rainy-day backup plan,” the perpetually prepared Mrs. Crab told us. “Puzzles are sort of tough because of the claws, but I do have a weakness for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and their incredible ballroom routines! Just amazing.”

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Old Bay seasoning: “I know, I know!” says Mrs. Crab, laughing sheepishly. “But for a crab like me to wear a light dusting is like one of you mammalian meat sacks wearing lotion scented like cinnamon sugar—sort of wrong, sort of right.”

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Jerry-Netherland
Jerry-Netherland

My two cents on the Astaire-Rogers recommendation: Rather than “Swing Time” try the less well-known film, the last of their RKO series, “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle” (1939). Traditionally it has been critically underrated and somewhat ignored because it is the only film they made that is neither fictional, nor a superficial romcom, nor does it have a remotely happy ending. Rather, it is in fact a fairly straightforward biopic of the famous dancing couple who came before them, and has a three-hankie tragic ending. But the dancing is distinctly different from most of what Astaire & Rogers had previous done; faster and laser precise (this is the more modern style they revisited in their 1949 reunion film, MGM’s “The Barklays of Broadway.”)

A personal favorite (just watch these feet cakewalk to Too Much Mustard)...

Here, too, the moves are more akin to what Kelly & Garland would be doing a few years hence in For Me and My Gal” than what Astaire & Rogers had been doing during the 1930s. While still very graceful, more conspicuously athletic...