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Ten Things You Should Know Before Crossing Yourself with a Lobster So You Can Live Forever

Thomas K. Carpenter writes in diverse genres including: YA dystopia, post-cyberpunk sci-fi, steampunk, historical fantasy, and alternate history. The Hundred Halls, his bestselling series about two sisters surviving a magical university, can be found on Amazon. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, two kids, and one adorably tiny dog named Loki. Visit him online at thomaskcarpenter.com.

1. First off, let's be clear. Lobsters can die, and so can lobster-human hybrids. You're not invincible you numbskulls, so stop standing in front of speeding trains or drinking arsenic laced cocktails. The only thing being a lobster gets you is the ability to regenerate your telomere strands, which will help you live a long and prosperous life should you reduce your background level of stupidity.
2. Let's talk about human molting. The consequence of crossing your DNA with a lobster is the delicate chitin shell that replaces the outer layer of your skin. Some people describe it as like having a fingernail grown across the surface of your skin like a pangolin. I like to think of it as having personal plate armor. You're now an immortal chitin knight.
3. If the itching doesn't drive you mad first, the slurs and constant insults might. Lobstrosity. Mr. Pinchy. Ocean Bug. Shellfish Bastard. Once, a group of kids threw a bucket of melted butter on me as I was walking my dog. They yelled things like "I'm gonna eat you!" or "Go back to the ocean!" I might have taken it all as a joke if it weren't for the lobster cages they kept putting on my front porch.
4. This one is for the ladies. An unexpected side effect for the lobster-human hybrids of the female persuasion is that you get to decide when your eggs are fertilized. Real girl lobsters hold onto the male's sperm until the moment they wish to make the final connection, so you won't need to worry about purchasing the pill anymore. Word of warning, sudden jarrings like a car accident or a bumpy bicycle ride can accidentally dislodge enough sperm for fertilization.
5. The chitin shell you can now grow requires a lot of calcium, so be prepared to have outrageous cravings for cheese, milk, and lentils. Once when I was "shellacked" with hunger, I knocked an old lady over on the way to get the last samples of aged gouda at the grocery store. I'm banned for life now at all Whole Foods stores.
6. Becoming a lobster-human hybrid affects your vocal cords, adding a raspy scuff that's unmistakable once you've heard it a few times. It's been described as similar to a record scratch, or sounding like a three-pack-a-day smoker.
7. Real lobsters are cannibals if they have no other sources of food, so don't be expecting to have a sudden affinity for the tasty crustaceans. I have no problem snacking down on a plate full of buttery lobster goodness, though I don't eat them in public anymore.
8. The laws protecting human-animal hybrids are relatively non-existent. There are a few organizations like the Lawful Chimera Society that's working with a few members of Congress give us protected class status, but right now, some people say it was a choice, therefore we're not afforded the full protection of the law. Businesses can and will discriminate, so use the pictures of yourself before you changed as your online persona, claim that you're a heavy smoker if you have to speak over the phone, or read the Red Book, which outlines the businesses around the country that serve lobster-human hybrids without prejudice.
9. Be on your best behavior. As a hybrid species, our numbers are very few and there are many misconceptions about how or why we came to be. Remember that any bad action by a member of the community will come back on the rest of us as a "thing that all lobster humans do." Case in point, a few years ago, a lobster-human hybrid in Maine pinched a man at a Chick Fil-A in the arm to get his attention. It couldn't have hurt, since he doesn't have a claw (no lobster-human hybrids do, that's a myth), but they called it an assault and the cops took him to jail. After they let him out on bail, they found him drowned in his own bathtub and called it a suicide despite his hands and feet being bound by zipties, the same ones they use in the supermarket tanks.
10. Longevity is really worth it. If you've decided to become a lobster-human, you've probably done so because you have a passion for life. The thought of immortality is a curse to some, a prolonged tortured existence before the final decline. But for you it's a gift, an endless highway upon which you now travel. Be excited. Be proud. Claws up!
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Author Comments

I recently read an article about the supposed immortality of lobsters, eventually foiled by their inability to escape their shells when they grew too large. This led me to wonder about what might happen if it were a human-lobster hybrid.

- Thomas K Carpenter
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