This is Sad Lobster.
He got his name because of his eyes. Look at him. Isn’t he the saddest, most soulful-looking crustacean you’ve ever seen? Don’t you want to just buy him a lollipop and give him a hug? Don’t be sad, Sad Lobster!
(My parents were on a cruise and emailing photos of their fabulous seafood lunch. I wrote, “Where’s mine?” And this is what they brought me. Now you know where my sense of humor comes from.)
The kids adore Sad Lobster, to the point where he frequently goes missing from my desk and I have to search for him. They also like to hear him talk. “Woe eez me!” he declares, because apparently he speaks with a French accent (a very, very bad French accent. I am no Meryl Streep). “I am so sad. You mock my sadness,” he says. The kids apologize to him, giggling.
(Someday they’ll be old enough to know what that word means, and then it won’t just be funny to me.)
It’s been a sort of running joke around here. But apparently the symbolism has taken on a life of its own.
For an activity in religious education class, my son made a mural showing different emotions and aspects of his personality. This is how he represented “sadness.”
I can’t decide whether this is a good thing. Is it making light of actual sadness? Is it potentially causing confusion down the road? Is my son going to be uncomfortable in aquariums?
Or am I overthinking it? Maybe a lobster is a perfectly good representation of sadness. Maybe the sheer ridiculousness of the image is enough to chase sadness away. Maybe picking your own symbols for things isn’t such a bad idea.
As symbols go, at least, he’s quite huggable.