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In reference to clams being happy ...

In his book, <bold><italic>What Is the Sound of One Clam
Clapping?</italic></bold>, I. C. Wayves, published by the Chinese
publishing company, Loo Fli-Pra (for those of you who have been paying
attention) in 1959 (now out of print), states that he often noticed that
since bivalve creatures have very few options when confronted with the
"fight or flight" instinct dilemma (Oh, man! There's THAT word again ...
and oops! there's THAT OTHER word again!) ...

In a defensive posture, a clam may close his/her shells together quickly
which results in a backward movement of the animal as the water rushes
from the interior ... a sort of jittery and sporadic series of short
retreats ...

In the offensive posture, a clam will scowl at her/his adversary and
attack with ferocious abandonment by closing their shells quickly in an
attempt to "bite" and injure their opponent ... unfortunately, the water
rushing from the interior sends the clam squirting quickly in the
opposite direction for short distances...

They are not a very bright species ... which is why they have books
written about them by others; they can't write autobiographies...

In either case, battles are short-lived, and the pacifist clams applaud
the combatants by clicking their shells together in a show of support
which sends the non-combatants squirting all over creation as well ...

To the untrained eye, all these closing movements, castanet clicking
sounds, and quick, rhythmic, dancing patterns of movement might look like
an audience immediately after a shallow-water symphony of some sort ...
the patterns of movement might even seem to indicate a celebration of
some sort ... and indeed, when a creature is selected and captured for
interrogation about the incidents taking place, it will clam up like a
Las Vegas stoolie living in Louisiana!  Those of us who know better stand
clear of such shenanigans to avoid being entangled in the brouhaha and
eliminate the possibility of inadvertent serious bodily injury.

So, the term "happy as a clam" is the result of the misunderstood
intentions of clams by an untrained observer ... don't let them gang up
on you!  You'll really be in for it!

Aloha . . .  Earl J.

<center>earlj@moniz.org, emoniz@nccu.edu, OR earlj.moniz@mci2000.com

web site composer, life-long learner and self-employed librarian

Earl J. Moniz [ http://www.moniz.org ]

<bold><italic>An old Maui boy with a poor sense of direction...

</italic></bold>Fayetteville, North Carolina

Aloha, y'all. . .


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