As far as transit faux pas go, letting live crabs loose on the subway might take the (crab) cake.
Photos posted to social media this week show several live crabs taking up a row of seats on a Toronto Transit Commission train.
The man behind the move told Global News it started off “as a joke.”
Johnny Ghicas said he boarded the train at Finch station and was travelling south. He said he bought three crabs at a supermarket and put the crustaceans on the seats.
“My thing in my head was, ‘I want to see if someone is going to say something’ and if they did, I was going to take them off but I didn’t think [the rider] was going to whip them against somebody,” he told Global News Thursday evening.
“Everyone was having a fun time about it and people wanted to take pictures. They were laughing. It was funny thing.”
However, the joke didn’t seem to translate to other riders. One witness who posted to Facebook said tensions reached a boil on the train after a passenger took issue with the animals taking up seat space. Global News is attempting to reach those who witnessed the incident for comment, but hasn’t heard back by time of publication.
Things went sideways after the rider confronted the apparent owner of the crabs, and smacked the animals off the seats. Two landed on other passengers, the post read.
Ghicas said people bring their pets on the TTC “and no one says anything.” He also claimed he paid additional fares for each crab.
“It’s not going to bite anybody. It’s not going to crawl on anyone. I’ll make sure of it. So I put each one on each chair,” Ghicas said.
“They’re paying customers. Each customer gets a chair.”
He said after the crabs were thrown by the rider, two died instantly and the third died later on. He said he threw all three crabs in the trash.
LISTEN: Live crabs spotted on Toronto Transit
Meanwhile earlier in the day, TTC spokesperson Brad Ross encouraged riders to refrain from similar behavior.
“Leave your crabs in a bucket. Anything less is just ‘shellfish’ behavior,” he tweeted.
— With files from Nick Westoll
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.