Clam Unhappy, Despite Common Saying


Written by: Robert Renfro

“It’s really hard to stay positive these days, as a clam,” said one local clam. “I mean, we barely have a foot to stand on!”
Photo by Sharon Roth

New information coming from the sea suggests that at least one known clam appears to have an unusually low measure of satisfaction, atypical of a clam, whose normal levels have inspired many to normalize the saying “as happy as a clam.” The morose mollusk was observed digging in the sand last Friday, but according to several testimonies, the invertebrate sea creature “wasn’t really feeling it” and “was clearly upset about something, but only shrugged despondently when asked about it.”

According to a world-renowned clam psychiatrist, such unhappiness is rare in clams. “Usually when you observe a clam, it’s emotional state is very positive,” said Molly Usk, an animal behaviorist. “Anyone familiar with folksy similes could tell you that. However, it was never previously known to the scientific community what happened when they were deeper underwater. Are they stressed? Are they angry? Are they just feeling sort of blah? We just kind of assumed that they felt only happiness, but this new piece of information is intriguing. With this clam as empirical evidence, we in the clam scientific community now know that clams can vary in terms of their mood, and therefore do not actually have to be happy, as previously suspected. Frankly, this news has turned my whole world upside down.”

Beachgoers expressed surprise when they learned of this new discovery, and many expressed their sympathies. “If the clam wants to talk about it, I want it to know that I’m always here. I’ve met many clams in my life, as I have also lived for hundreds of years underwater, so I know it can be tough out there in the deep,” one man said.

But there is a price to pay for this knowledge, as some people have pointed out. Another beachgoer, wishing to remain anonymous, noted, “One thing I’ve always admired about clams is that they stay cool under stressful conditions. If you buried me in the sand, and I had to wait for the tide to come, I don’t know if I could handle it. But I’ve never seen a clam freak out about something like that. They’re as cool as a cucumber, and I respect that. I try to learn a lot of life lessons from clams, but now that I know about this one, I suppose it makes them look more human. Never meet your heroes I suppose.”

There have been many recent efforts to understand what may have caused the clam’s malaise, but success has evaded all recent attempts. When confronted with the question of why the clam was feeling unhappy, the clam responded cryptically, stating only “too much shellfishness.”

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