The Crab Bucket A short read about not being the next meal life serves up.

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You’re trapped.

Perhaps you know the series of choices that led you to this point. You fell in with the wrong crowd and now you want out; or you’re stuck in a dead-end job; or a relationship that has not quite worked out how you thought it would. And now you’re trapped.

Or maybe you don’t know why you are in this predicament. Maybe you’re in this situation because the universe is trying to restore the cosmic balance that has been upset by a mouse passing wind three galaxies away. The fabric of reality is creasing and crumpling to regain its equilibrium. You’re just on the wrong end of the fallout.


Whatever the reason, you’ve been caught and now you’re here. Here with all the other crustaceans from places and spaces unknown.

Welcome to The Crab Bucket, kid. Life’s coming home soon and it’s going to have a fierce appetite. No points for guessing what’s on the menu.

You can see the rim, just a few centimetres above you. An escape. You’re reaching up, you’re doing everything you can to get out of this bucket destined for the chopping block. You seriously need to get out. Crab cake is a bad way to go out.

But you’re trapped. The harder you fight to reach the rim the further it seems. Your circumstances (self-made or accidental–remember that mouse’s fart) pull you back; your social circle wraps itself you and drags you back into the writhing mass whenever you make a dash for the light at the end of the tunnel. Or, more likely, you’re holding yourself back. Your confidence has taken a couple of left hooks to the jaw and now you’re reeling and stumbling all over the ring desperately trying to ward off the blows. Your psyche’s telling you that you cannot do this, that this is as good as it gets, that this is better than things were anyway.

“Things could be worse, right?” your mind whispers.

Yes, but things could be better, too. There’s something beyond that rim. And you need to reach it.

But look here, kid. You’re doing it all wrong. Life’s pretty adept at trapping crabs. It’s been doing it for a long time. And it knows the best way to imprison a crab is to put it with its brethren; you’ll keep each other in this pail until it’s time to cook and serve you with some garlic sauce drizzled over your soft bits.

You’re not the first crab Life’s caught, you’re just its freshest catch.

Stop fighting to reach the rim. There’s only one way to get out of this crab bucket: tip it over.

And make a run for it.

The Crab Bucket
The Crab Bucket: Click on the image to download a hi-res version. Designed by: Rémy Ngamije.