Lawyers for a lobster who waded ashore to celebrate his 140th birthday on Canada's Newfoundland coastline have secured his release from the confines of a tank at a New York restaurant.
Lonnie the giant lobster, weighing 9kg (20lb), was caught by a brain-dead Newfie fisherman as he lay on the pebbled beach enjoying a spot of winter sunshine warming his bottle green shell.
The centennial monster crustacean was bought for $100 by the Scratch Ur Crabs seafood outlet in New York and quickly adopted as its mascot, posing for pictures with restaurant patrons.
However, when 9-year old Slutsy McTwat thought it might be fun to poke Lonnie in the eye with a fork he grabbed her submerged wrist in a vice-like claw and dragged her into the tank.
When her squeals alerted restaurant staff and patrons to the situation, Slutsy was hauled out of the tank, albeit minus her left hand.
Hysterical roars of "boil the monster" from the offending brat's parents were taken up by other diners until police arrived on the scene to quell the disturbance and promptly tasered everyone old enough to scream.
Animal rights group Petal (People for the Ethical Treatment of Aardvarks and Lobsters) got involved with the case and sought the crustacean's release, commencing a legal battle to secure his freedom.
Ingrid Dingledork of Petal told reporters "We recruited the best pro-bono ambulance chasers and bottom feeders on the New York law list to represent Lonnie's case."
"He shouldn't even be in New York without a passport and visa as he's a Canuck crustacean. Homeland Security and the INS want butt-fucking for that screw-up."
Lawyers acting on Lonnie's behalf have also elicited a court ruling that entitles him to half of all monies earned by posing for photographs with restaurant customers, and too those fees paid to Scratch Ur Crabs for press and television interviews and film footage relating to their main attraction.
Petal announced that Lonnie's earnings, invested wisely, would serve to pay for a prime area of private beach frontage around Kennebunkport, where lobster trapping is banned, so Lonnie can live out his days in peace, enjoying an afternoon nap in the sunshine, or perhaps even dancing a Lobster Quadrille with his lady friends on the moonlit sands.