Martin Z. Mollusk sitting on his elaborate throne.
Of all the crazy and wacky events that have sprung from the inventive imagination of Ocean City public relations guru Mark Soifer, Martin Z. Mollusk Day has to be near the top of the list as most unusual. The TV channel Animal Planet certainly thinks so. Ocean City’s weather predicting hermit crab was filmed by the channel this past year and will be part of a one hour show called Pets 101 devoted to unusual pets on Saturday, Dec. 10, 8pm.
Also known as the crab’s spiritual advisor, chef, biographer and publicist, Soifer explains that Martin Z Mollusk resides at Old Salt on the City’s Boardwalk where he hangs out in a plush Hermit Crab Condo. His caretaker, Stacey Klause, attends to Martin’s day to day needs including health care. She explained the importance of providing the proper maintenance for hermit crabs during the filming.
It seems that many folks who adopt hermit crabs as pets are unaware of their nutritional and housing needs. Martin insists that literature is distributed explaining these necessities during his annual beach creep to determine the arrival of spring and at other personal appearances.
Animal Planet also filmed Martin riding in his miniature surrey on the boardwalk, eating pizza with friends, creeping on the beach during the resort’s annual “opening of the ocean” ceremony and enjoying a spin on the Merry-Go-Round at Wonderland.
A famed weather prognosticator, the hermit crab made his initial appearance in Ocean City in the spring of 1974 when he saw his shadow thus ensuring that summer would arrive one week early at this family resort. Since then he has seen his shadow every year except 1983 when he projected a partial image and correctly predicted that summer would arrive 3½ days early.
His biography, The Martin Z. Mollusk Story (Rhyme and Punishment) was recently reprinted due to popular demand. Copies are available at City Hall Annex, 901 Asbury Ave., (609)525-9300 for $5 with all proceeds donated to the Ocean City Food Cupboard. Sounds like a great stocking stuffer to me.
Martin’s Animal Planet segment will also be shown in re-runs throughout 2012.
MZM hobnobbing with his good friends Marilyn Monroe (Holly Farris) and the late Ted Prior, renowned Elvis performer who entertained during Martin Z. Mollusk Day. (Photos by Donald B. Kravitz, DBK Photos)