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O.C.'s hermit crab and State of Louisiana to set record straight at Feb. 1 press conference - Ocean City Sentinel: Arts & Entertainment

O.C.'s hermit crab and State of Louisiana to set record straight at Feb. 1 press conference

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Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 12:00 am

A long simmering “misunderstanding” between Ocean City’s renowned weather predicting Hermit Crab and the State of Louisiana will be aired and hopefully settled finally and for posterity. City officials deem the matter important enough to schedule a press conference for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1 at City Hall Council Chambers.

The controversy dates back to August 1975 when Martin Z. Mollusk, Ocean City mascot and celebrity shadow seeking weather expert, was married on the 10th Street beach. The nuptials were conducted by the late Mayor B. Thomas Waldman. Popular TV personality Captain Noah was the official witness. Over a thousand guests, mostly stunned beach goers, attended.

Martin was joined in matrimony with Mollie Shellfish, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Caleb Shellfish of Tepid Swamp, Louisiana. A wedding announcement was circulated to the media prior to the event. One such notice was published in the New York Times, that somehow judged it within their guidelines of “All the News that’s Fit to Print.”

The head of the Louisiana tourism office at the time read the story and immediately lodged a complaint with me, Martin’s spiritual advisor, chef and social secretary. I communicate with the crab through an arcane method of osmosis.

The folks in the tourism office complained that we were making fun of Louisiana.

Martin instructed me to inform them that nothing could be further from the truth ... that he loved Tepid Swamp. That the crabs there made him feel at home after he abandoned a bitter life as an orphan along the Zambezi River to seek a congenial place to live.

“I met my wife Mollie in Louisiana while attending a Frond Party at Tepid Tech,” Martin explained. “I have nothing but love for the place.”

But back in 1975, Louisiana officials refused to be convinced.

Fast forward 35 years. Martin Mollusk has just re-issued his biography, “Rhyme and Punishment.” He is concerned about his legacy. He is intent on settling differences before being called to “That Great Hermit Tree Crab Sandbar in the Sky.”

Martin directed me to contact current Louisiana state officials about the controversy to determine what could be done to make peace.

Jay Dardenne, Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor, and Jim Hutchinson who heads the State’s Tourism Office, decided to look into the matter although they were in grade school when the incident occurred. They have responded with long letters. The Lieutenant Governor has issued his answer in verse in keeping with Martin’s biography, “Rhyme and Punishment.” Hutchinson responded with pungent, witty reasoning.

Their letters will be read at the press conference at City Hall on Feb. 1, during which Mayor Jay Gillian will address the audience. Also at the meeting there will be an appearance by Martin himself. He will pose with his new costumed character, provided by the Chamber of Commerce, and sign clawographs of his biography. The World’s Only Wind Chimes Band will present a special tribute to Martin.

The public is invited to this historic event, the first press conference ever called for and featuring a hermit crab. For information, contact the Public Relations office, (609) 525-9300.


A Defensive Driving Course will be offered on Thursday, Jan. 27 starting 9 a.m. at the Henry S. Knight Building, 115 12th Street. Completion of the six hour course removes up to 2 points from driving record and may save 5 percent on the liability part of auto insurance. The course is for residents who have never taken it or have taken it over 3 years ago. Must bring $10 money order made payable to New Jersey State Safety Council. For information or to register call (609) 399-6111, ext. 9365.

American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held Wednesday, Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Civic Center, 6th Street and Boardwalk. Appointments are preferred. Call (609) 399-6111, ext. 9365. The need is constant.

The Ocean City Historical Museum, 17th and Simpson Ave., is hosting its Annual Tea on Saturday, Feb. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “How We Get to Ocean City: Trains, Automobiles and Planes,” and is perfect for children ages 6 to 12. They will be invited to play games, do arts and crafts and enjoy an afternoon tea. Pre-registration and payment is required at $3 per person. An adult must accompany every three children. To register, call (609) 399-1801 or stop by the museum Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Ocean City Free Public Library, 17th and Simpson Ave. will host Cape May Naturalist Don Freiday on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m., when he will give a talk on Winter Birding In Cape May. Bird watching is very popular here during the winter. Learn where to go and what you might find at various locations. The talk will be held in the library’s Lecture Room N110 on the 17th Street side of the library. Admission is free.

Call (609) 399-2434 ext. 5231 or access www.oceancitylibrary.org.

The Ocean City Library presents the Lucky Guess Show, a fun game event featuring professional performer and host Ron MacCloskey on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the library’s Lecture Room. The audience is invited to join in on the fun and can win a variety of prizes. Admission is free.

This show was a big hit during the First Night program on New Year’s Eve and Ron has been invited back to entertain the community. Ron has performed at Ocean City events since 1997, doing impressions of Ed Sullivan, Groucho Marx, Inspector Clouseau and others at Martin Mollusk Day, the Miss Crustacean Pageant and Doo Dah Parade.

The Ocean City Arts Center, 17th and Simpson Ave., will feature the work of abstract artist Luisa Velasquez in February. The owner of the Velben Studio in Philadelphia, Ms. Velasquez uses various materials to build and layer her paintings which bring a vitality and earthy look to her work. A reception is set for Friday, Feb. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Call (609) 399-7628 or access www.oceancityartscenter.org

The Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen Pageant is set for Saturday, Jan. 29 at Millville Senior High School, 200 Wade Blvd., Millville. Doors open 6 p.m., pageant starts 7 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and can be pre-purchased or obtained at the door. To buy in advance contact Joan Cooper (856) 825-6937. There is no reserved seating. Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen will perform at the Miss New Jersey Pageant in Ocean City this June.

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