Monday, June 4, 2012

Middle-aged Mutant Turtle Hero

Why did the turtle cross the road? I don't know – maybe because her GPS is broken? Or maybe because she's laying eggs? Who knows with turtles. Their brains are the size of lima beans.

Seems like everyone has a saving-a-turtle story lately. Just last Thursday my friend Leah came into work and announced she had picked a painted turtle off the road and deposited it safely on the side. "As soon as I picked it up, it peed all over me," she said. "Just let go. Shusssssssssshhhhhhh." She made the peed-all-over hand motions because even though Leah isn't Italian she has Italian hands that wave for dramatic effect. All I could think of, as she was waving her hands around, was microscopic drops of turtle piss flying into everyone's coffee cups.

The very next morning I looked out the window and saw a painted turtle in the middle of our road. Dave was already gone to work and I was still in my pajamas. "Ah, man?" I thought. "Ya mean I gotta go outside and rescue that stupid turtle?" Obviously there was no one else in the house willing to do it. I put on my flip-flops and a hoodie – my turtle rescuing superhero outfit – and marched outside to do the dirty deed.

Now,  I may not be a girly-girl in most respects but there's one thing I draw the line at and that's touching ooky things. Ooky includes bugs, spiders, fish, worms, snakes, frogs, toads, leeches and turtles. And other stuff, probably; I may not be able to list all ooky things but I know ooky when I see it. Cat barf? Ooky. That video of popping the biggest zit in the world? OOKY. Did you SEE that video? OMG. I mean, there's nothing I love better than popping a big zit, but this one was like a tube of toothpaste, or squeeze mayonnaise. Oh yeah, totally like squeezable mayonnaise. Here's the link but I warn you, it's the most disgusting ooky thing you will ever see. CLICK WITH CAUTION!

So where was I? Oh yes, flapping outside to rescue the stupid turtle in the middle of our road. On the way past the garage I grabbed the old broom pole we keep by the door to prop it open. I figured I would use it to prod the house-on-claws to its way back to the river, you know, without actually touching it. In fact, I thought a gentle nudge would do the trick. Nuh-uh. The turtle just turned-turtle and pulled its head and feet in. Oh great. Standing in the middle of the road in the pouring rain with a turtled-turtle. I poked it again. Nothing. Fine. My only alternative, other than picking it up, which wasn't going to happen, was pushing it across the road with the broom pole.

And that's precisely when I noticed the huge mudder-tucking leech glommed on the turtle's hiney. It was SO gross! Ooky to the nth! Poor turtle. I tried to wipe the leech off its back with the pole. Didn't move. I gently tapped it, trying to squish it or convince it to leave. Didn't move. I threw sand and pebbles at it. Hung on like, well, like a leech. I would have ran back to the house for salt if the turtle wasn't in the middle of the road like a kamikaze suicide pilot waiting for the next available mini-van to come by and toaster-size it to turtle-pizza glory.

"Fine," I thought, and started pushing the turtle towards the river, using the pole. Have you ever tried to push a round object with a stick? It doesn't go straight ahead. It kind of turns. Is this how hockey was invented? Some poor idiot in her pjs schlepping a spinning turtle across the road?

Stick-handling the turtle across the pavement wasn't too bad, although the turtle may have road rash to contend with, but once we hit the shoulder, gravel and sand started building up in the turtle's front end. She'd stick her head out as if to spit out her mouth full of gravel and I'd say, "Well if you don't like it, put your feet out and WALK." But she'd look at me with her best "meh" expression and pull her head back in so I was, like, "FINE, eat dirt then, stoopid turtle." She finally got the idea when we got to the riverbank. Suddenly she plonked out her four wheel drive and made a beeline to the edge of the two-foot drop and then, whooooooosh, dove off the edge and onto the sandy beach below.

Like peanut butter on toast, she landed upside down.

Stoopid turtle.

With a sigh I climbed down the riverbank and used the pole to set her upright. She swam away without a thank you or a backwards glance, the leech still glommed onto her ass, sucking turtle ass-juice for all it was worth.


51 comments:

  1. Hmm, I can't decide of I should let the tortoises read this post or not... :)

    My husband actually rescued a turtle the other day - it was crossing a busy road and definitely would've gotten smushed sooner rather than later. We have no idea how it got on that road...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you should let them read it. It's like a public service announcement for all tortoises to STAY OFF THE ROAD.

      Delete
  2. I am soooo glad I wasn't drinking my coffee when I got to the part about her landing on her back b/c it would have been all over my computer. lol Um....you had a broom in your hand, the turtle is roundish, you live in Canada....have you not heard of curling? Or at least seen "Men with Brooms"??? ;p I'm with you on the not touching anything ooky too, yet you fish and camp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CURLING!! YES! THAT'S WHAT I WAS TRYING TO THINK OF ! D'OH! Thanks JoJo!
      And yeah, I love fishing and camping but I certainly don't TOUCH anything!!!!!! :)

      Delete
  3. Yes, turtle curling!
    Gross or not, you did a good thing. Even if the turtle didn't appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well you're a good soul to conquer the ickies and help the turtle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got karma to accumulate. Might as well start with the reptiles.

      Delete
  5. I also have a pair of dramatic Italian hands, LOL Loved that bit.

    I don't even approach anything ooky. I gotta give you props for that. And, OMG I did not click on the zit popping, some things just can't be unseen, know what I mean? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Jaybird, go ahead... you know you wannnnnnnnnnt to....:)

      Delete
  6. Bwahahaha! We had a pet turtle growing up. We let it loose around the house (we had a fence and a gate so the turtle wasn't going anywhere. Then we promptly forgot about him--partly because we didn't know where he was. Turtle shells are really good at camouflaging under bushes). Finally, after a year or two, we found him swimming in the little fish pond my dad built for our fishes (we were always buying fishes with our allowance money, and my mom was sick of cleaning the indoor aquarium). Someone in the family had this bright idea to paint Mr. Turtle's shell with white and red dots so we wouldn't have a hard time looking for him. Yeah, didn't work. He continued to evade us for another year still. Turtles are not nearly as ooky as leeches. If you pick him up by the shell, and his head and legs go inside, it's almost like holding a rock. Leeches on the other hand...major OOKY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So maybe the turtle is still in your backyard? Only he's the size of a dinosaur now? A dinosaur with polka dots? Suddenly i"m thinking your turtle looks exactly like Dino from the Flintstones... no ooky there, he was pretty cute!!!

      Delete
  7. The nerve! How un-thankful that turtle was. I'm glad you saved it though. I had two turtles that I raised from little babies. It got to the point where I couldn't take care of them anymore and so I decided to give it to a friend who had a pond in his yard. I thought I was being a responsible pet owner! #Epicfail! His older sister came by and made turtle soup. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NO WAY! Turtle soup? Out of your pet turtle??? OMG!!! I'd still be in therapy over that if I was you. Again, may I say, OMG!!!!!

      Delete
  8. Turtles, fish and spiders are all thankless creatures. Do you know how many fish I've thrown back...and not a single thank you note. Seriously, they should read some Emily Post...:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not only are they slimy, Lisa, they're just plain rude.

      Delete
  9. I don't think I've been by here since the A-Z Challenge but I', certainly glad I stopped by today! Thanks for the laugh!! And kudos to you and your pj-hoodie wearing turtle-rescuing super powers ;)

    Oh, and that video? I am not easily grossed out. THAT was disgusting!

    Happy Monday!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You watched it, Jen? HAHAHAHAHAHA! I think you're the only one! So brave, you are!!! And wasn't it GROSS??????
      Grossest thing ever!!!!
      :)
      Happy Monday to you, too!

      Delete
  10. Aw...so nice of you to get out there in your jammies and help the ungrateful little so-and-so. It wasn't too ooky til you got to the leech part...oh, yuck! I'm sure there's a special place on the hero's podium for rainy-day turtle-curlers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, leeches are the ookiest. I'm never swimming in the river again. Nev. Ah.

      Delete
  11. Cathy in a half shell... turtle power!

    ReplyDelete
  12. In the midst of an "interesting" situation, we sometimes miss the obvious. Like a hockey stick (you are Canadian, right?) or a shovel.

    Anyhow, everyone survived, which is the important thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But Rob ( I say in my whiny voice), the hockey stick and the shovel were IN the garage, which was locked, and it was an EMERGENCY so I had to improvise!!!!

      Delete
  13. A member of our house has been known to stop traffic going both ways to usher a turtle to safety. I am not that person, though I'm glad to provide moral support . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually I give my moral support very far from the ookie creature in need of saving. Sometimes, though, a gal has to do what a gal has to do...

      Delete
  14. LOL, the leech did me in. Honestly! ICKKKK. There's no way I'm clicking on that zit-popping link...as much as I want to I'm concerned it would ruin my appetite for the rest of the day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm.... thinking zit flick might be diet secret I've been waiting for...

      Delete
  15. You know, there's usually a sign to warn drivers of deer, those four-legging beauties that can total a car if hit. I wonder if there should be some sort of "beware, turtle crossing" sign put out in more places?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES, Angela, yes! In fact, just last week I sent an email to our local mayor asking for more turtle signs in more areas!

      Delete
  16. A "People, pee before reading" warning stuck in somewhere around Leah and the pee would have been a kind gesture on your part. Maybe you should keep gloves by the door propping stick. I've always transported turtles without them, but some people keep gloves handy. I think the peeing thing was exaggerad. All in all, you are a really nice lady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the peeing thing was exaggerated, of COURSE it was!!!! But what's the fun in giving it straight????
      heheheheheheh!!!

      Delete
  17. Salt works on leeches? I had no idea!
    Or did you just make that up?

    I can't believe you put that link in. That's so gross. Not the video; I didn't go look at it, because that's SO gross! :P

    How are you liking the book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Andrew, absolutely! Salt is guaranteed to get rid of 'em. So is the heat from a lighter or a match.

      I am LOVING your book, Andrew. No kidding. I haven't had a lot of time for reading this past week and I have been missing Tom, Sam and Ruth immensely. You're a very, very good writer and the characters are fun and real and obnoxious, just like my own kids!

      Delete
    2. Well, just as long as you don't use fire on tics. They've discovered some bad things about that.

      Glad to hear you're liking (loving) the book :)

      Delete
  18. Turtles freak me out. So feel free to keep your ninja turtle saving cape all to yourself. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're definitely ookie. Ookie on wheels.

      Delete
  19. I've never seen a splattered turtle. Honestly, glad for that. Can only imagine how sad it would look. Closest I've come is writing about robots trying to pop an ankylosaur.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you, John. Even last night Dave and I were out for a drive and saw one splattered on the road. I've actually seen people drive off the roadway and on to the shoulder to kill a snapping turtle, but those people are an entirely different and evil kettle of fish.

      Delete
  20. "Is this how hockey was invented?"

    I'm laughing out loud here and getting some strange looks from people. I should know better than to read your posts in public. :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your blog is great and the pictures are adorable! Like it! :) happy summer to you and your family!!

    xoxo
    Susanna
    http://susanna-behindmyeyes.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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