Practical joking lobstermen dress up crustacean in

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December 22, 2003

No pot of boiling water for this dolled-up lobster

Associated Press

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, Maine — A female lobster crawling around off the Maine coast has cheated death at least 10 times, thanks to Barbie and a couple of Mount Desert fishermen.

As a gag, Jim Bright and his stern man, Chris Costello, outfitted the lobster in doll clothes _ a blue blouse, red and white checkered skirt and pink high heels _ before placing her into a friend´s trap last September.

"It´s a monotony hauling traps day after day," said Costello, "and we just wanted to break it up a little bit. It totally worked."

Barbie Lobster, as she is known, has been hauled up by various fishermen at least 10 times along the 26-mile channel between Baker´s Island and Mount Desert Rock.

The VHF radios used by lobstermen would buzz with chatter and laughter each time a new sighting of Barbie was reported.

Costello made a special trip to Wal-Mart in Ellsworth to buy the Barbie clothes.

The fishermen had wanted to dress up a jumbo lobster, but it was too fat to fit into a Barbie doll outfit. They chose a svelte 1 1/2-pound crustacean instead.

"They slipped right on, just like Cinderella," Bright said of the tiny pink shoes he and Costello slipped on Barbie.

Costello disagreed, saying it was a challenge to put the high heels on the little lobster legs. There are four legs on each side so the men attached them to the center two.

"You try squeezing Barbie shoes on a lobster," he said. "That was the most time-consuming thing."

Barbie hasn´t been seen since early December and apparently was unkempt and nearly naked, with just her pretty pink high heels still hanging on.

If she and the shoes survive until spring, she may be home free for another season, Costello said. "We have our spring fashions all ready to go," he said.
 


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