Everyone is in place, waiting. Money and honor are on the line. The gate comes up. Bang! They're off!
They are crabs; Chesapeake blue crabs to be specific. A crab race? Really? Yes.
In 1947, the town of Crisfield decided to host a hard crab race outside of their post office as part of a summer Fishing Fair, highlighting their seafood bounty. In Maryland, summer is synonymous with eating blue crabs out on a deck by the water, and Crisfield, located on Eastern Shore between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is a town that revolves around watermen and fishing culture.
I came across these great clips from WMAR-TV's coverage of the 6th annual crab race via the University of Baltimore's archives, which got me to look into the history of the event a little more.
(This entry talks about sex in a historical and cultural way. If you don't like that, stop reading here.)
The answer is no, and luckily, the Dutch and Swedes don't have as much of a problem with sex as we do in the puritan legacy of the United States. (Fun fact, while doing a presentation on sex education way back in high school, I learned that the Netherlands starts sex education in preschool. You can read more about global comparisons of that here.)
The result at the Swedish Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska Museet) is an exhibit by multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke and film director Peter Greenaway about "identity, longing, and man's sexuality at sea."
Come in, the stacks are open.
Away from prying eyes, damaging light, and pilfering hands, the most special collections are kept in closed stacks. You need an appointment to view the objects, letters, and books that open a door to the past.