Crabs? Yes. Crazy? Perhaps. Or more likely irresponsible.
There are so many things about this ad that scream WTF. You have to love the drawing of Suzy, though, but would any of you out there who own a hermit crab name it Sexy Snooky? I hope not. And I love the “actual ‘crazy crab’ photos” which in glorious 1970s comic quality print look like drawings done by a first-year art student. And Transcience? What is transcience? Is that like transsexual or transcontinental? What exactly are they trans-ing to and from?
I knew nothing about keeping hermit crabs as pets when I came across this ad, but I did some quick investigating and found this handy guide. After reading it, I was a bit alarmed at all the bad advice given in the ad. If this was the instruction set that people who bought Crazy Crabs used in caring for their pets, I’m sure 90% of them died very soon after they arrived.
For one thing, the ad fails to mention that hermit crabs need very high humidity and a relatively warm environment to survive, as well as access to both fresh and salt water. They also need soil to dig into while they molt. Without these things, they usually die.
And another piece of bad advice is feeding them cookies. They should properly receive fresh foods, and they need calcium supplements. They’re also social animals and need the companionship of other Crazy Crabs, and painting their shells may not be a good idea.
I can see lots of kids bugging their parents to buy them Crazy Crabs after seeing this ad. Hell, I want one too. But I know that if I would have had a hermit crab as a child, it would have been dead within a week, especially if I’d taken this ad for a care manual.
(From Betty and Veronica #258, June 1977)