By Connor Lees
Some two years ago, the fateful decision to end Crabfest and turn the annual event into a more general ‘Oceanfest’ was made. Crabs were, as a result, stricken from the menu in favor of other sea dwelling delicacies like lobster and shrimp. However, the effects of this decision not only reverberated throughout the student body, but in the oceanic world as well.
In the wake of the decision to stop hauling truckloads of crabs into the festival for the enjoyment of the student population, crabs of the Commonwealth of the Chesapeake Seafloor suddenly found themselves in the midst of a startling epidemic. Crabfest, which had previously acted as a cruel but necessary population control for crabs of the famous Maryland bay area, was no longer a factor in slowing the rapidly expanding crustacean population. As birth rates remained steady, the harvesting of crabs ceased and the population began to bloat to unsafe, and economically disastrous, levels.
One year after the end of Crabfest, the effects of the baby boom on crustacean population were subtly noticeable. The first signs of the urbanization movement began to show as many crabs began migrating to the metropolitan areas of the Commonwealth. In search of lower-income housing and employment opportunities, the crabs that did head into the cities were unaware of how much of a struggle life would become.
Now, at present day (a full two years after the end of Crabfest), the cities have become wild nests of overpopulated housing projects and vagrant, homeless crabs. The unemployment rate has risen from 8.2% to a whopping 22.9%, and shows no signs of slowing in the near future.
The times do indeed look dire for our crustacean friends:
· Social Security payments have been slashed 7% to support the baby boom generation.
· Homelessness has risen 11.9% due to a lack of adequate housing.
· The stock market has collapsed as a result of consumer insecurity, and Stocks in the Crustacean Exchange have lost an average of 63% of their original value.
· Income on average has fallen 14% and loans are harder than ever to get.
· The Commonwealth of the Chesapeake Bay Seafloor has been in a legitimate economic recession for the last six quarters, and the seventh looks to continue the trend.
When asked about his thoughts on the future, a crab who asked to remain anonymous stated, “The times now sure look bleak, but the hope of our Commonwealth to resurrect itself remains strong”. Another crab responded to the economic stimulus package being proposed to try to turn the fortunes of the Commonwealth around, “The Democrabs are really pushing for this bill, and while I see the potential, it is simply putting more money into the hands of greedy corporate financiers who will put the working class to ruins at this rate”.
The Republicrab opposition to the bill is expected, but a bipartisan effort will be necessary to pull the Commonwealth out of its current tailspin. At the moment, there is a major food shortage in the Commonwealth, and politicrabs have done little to abate the frightening conditions. The housing situation is no better, as settlements much like Hoovervilles have been set up in the suburban areas immediately surrounding most cities in the Commonwealth.
Social unrest has recently become a legitimate concern, and increased gang violence has become a disheartening signal of the changing times. No one could have guessed that the end of Crabfest would have such drastic effects, and yet it seems to have wreaked more havoc than this society could handle. Well adapted to the annual population control of Crabfest, the Commonwealth decided to make unlawful any form of birth control under the guide of the new, conservative senate. However, despite recent events, the legislature has been slow to overturn the acts to help ameliorate the rising birth rate. While politicrabs sit deadlocked in opposition as to how to solve or at least ease the crisis, the populace is left to suffer.
With little signs for hope, the Commonwealth of the Chesapeake Seafloor can only claw for an imminent solution to the constantly deteriorating conditions.