A crayfish in Lewisham has crawled his way to celebrity status – and in doing so has become an unlikely indicator of the borough’s impending gentrification.
Commuter Johnny Donmar, so the story goes, passed the crayfish on his way to work on Wednesday, so stopped to snap a picture of it.
He then uploaded the snap to Reddit, capturing the imagination of more than a thousand people.
“I saw a live lobster walking down the street in Lewisham on my way into work day,” Donmar wrote.
The sighting prompted a rather obvious, but very accurate Kanye West reference, “That shit cray”, and talk of the ‘lobster’ “forgetting his Oyster”... and so forth.
Others pointed out the sighting said a lot about the changing tide of Lewisham. “Signs of gentrification: hipster coffee shops, beardy craft beer taprooms, lobsters freely roaming the street,” one user wrote.
Of course, keen crustacean admirers will have figured out that it isn’t in fact a lobster, but a crayfish.
Of course, headlines have now been written and lobster-puns were plentiful.
Donmar spoke to the Standard on Friday but only to confirm he didn’t initially know what a lobster looked like.
He gave no indication of where the crayfish was headed, leaving the story to become a modern-day mystery.
Donmar’s lobster tale isn’t the first involving a walking crustacean.
Legend has it that 19th-century French romantic poet Gérard de Nerval had a pet lobster named Thibault that he famously walked through the Palais Royal gardens of Paris with a blue silk ribbon serving as its leash.
When quizzed about this most peculiar penchant, the writer who died in 1855, apparently said:
“Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? Or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk?
“I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea, they don’t bark, and they don’t gobble up your monadic privacy like dogs do. And Goethe had an aversion to dogs, and he wasn’t mad!”