THE SINISTER STOOP
If the Grinch had a twin brother, he would be the Sinister Stooper. He has no regard for the pure art of shelling, only in deceit, deception and, ah, de- shelling. He thrills in targeting inexperienced shellers in order to turn their joyous interaction with nature into crushing disappointment.
His methods vary, but always with the same goal. You will find him tying string or thread to a rare shell, just to yank it out of reach when an unsuspecting victim approaches.
Or he’ll dab vibrant color with a marker or paint on a drab shell, knowing it will catch the eye of an amateur, whose delight will be dashed when he realizes it’s a fake. The treachery reaches a high ( or low) art form with his patented
what- the- shell discovery. While shuffling through the sand, he suddenly becomes transfixed on a shell and appears positively paralyzed with amazement. With typical over- the- top drama, he extends a shaky hand towards the object and breathlessly brings it up to his face, now flush with excitement.
What follows can be described as a dizzying dance in delirious delight as he loudly proclaims his extraordinary find in utterances usually reserved to more intimate situations.
Naturally, the performance quickly draws a curious crowd. He raises his hand up slowly to draw attention and reveals: It’s just another shell. He feigns astonishment.
“I could have sworn it was the rare …” he says, his quivering voice trailing off.
As the disappointed shellers disperse, they invariably hear a muffled evil chuckle wafting in the breeze.
Perhaps his heart is just the size of a baby olive— a type of tiny seashell.