I confess, I love American Idol. I think it’s wonderful that somebody gets a shot at a dream.
The show certainly has grown. This year they auditioned 75,000 singers. I’m assuming that their screening process has improved, because an alarming number of people think they can sing, and it may be true on their planet, but not this one.
Shelter Island has always existed in its own world, and has its own version of American Idol.
“Island Idol, I’m telling you, Max, it’s an idea whose time has come. We set up a competition, sell ads and clean up.”
“We don’t have enough singers for a competition, Pete. There’s maybe a dozen good voices here—not enough, I tell you.”
“We don’t need good singers. That’s the beauty of my idea. You know how some people shatter glass with their voice?”
“So we do it Island style. We have a contest to see who can hit a note that can crack a crab shell.”
“Hey, I think you got something there, Pete. You know Brenda, Jack’s wife? You can hear her from any deer blind on this island.”
“I’m thinking we could have it at Crescent Beach. We could line the crabs up along the shoreline—sponsors could decorate their crab and sell tee shirts with slogans like ‘We Back our Crabs’ or ‘Crabs—Lets Give Them Something to Talk About!’”
“You’re getting it now, Maxie. Who on this Island doesn’t love crabs? This is the only place in the world a guy can come home with crabs and get gratitude.”
“Prizes, what can we do for prizes?”
“What, are you kidding me? How about a hundred ferry tickets for first prize?”
“Yeah…how about a hundred gallons of gas for second prize?”
Fast forward three months…
“And we all want to thank Pete and Max for organizing this event. Now to business. Our first contestant, Susan Swack. Susan, stand behind the line, which is 25 feet from the first crab—wait, why is that crab moving? Where’s Pete?”
“Right here, what’s up? Hey, why is that crab moving?”
“Pete, why are they all moving? I thought you and Max got dead crabs, just the shells, for this competition?”
“Our bad, everybody. Max got live crabs and it looks like they’re making a break for the water.”
“Alright, Islanders, the screaming to crack a crab shell contest has been amended and the crab boil is on! We need volunteers for butter and beer runs! And everybody else, grab these crabs before they figure out what’s going on and start to pull out their iShell phones and get on their Fritter apps and warn each other!
Be careful, they travel sideways to outwit our frontal assaults—they may be crustaceans, but they are clever! Butter on everybody!”