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Friday, May 15, 2009

I Hear It Tastes Like Chicken

Another Friday! Can ya stand it? O Mighty iPod, deliverer of rhythms, recycler of the past, what does my weekend hold in store?

Day of the Eagle by Robin Trower
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers by ZZ Top
Waitin’ for the Miracle by Leonard Cohen
Just a Song Before I Go by Crosby Stills Nash & Young
Nausea by Beck
Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash
Substitute by The Who
Black Thumbnail by Kings of Leon

The Mighty iPod seems to have hit some sort of time-warp-style pocket here, for the most part. Also it seems to have developed an existential problem, what with all the waitin’, comin’, and goin’…

At any rate, there’s no need to bicker and argue over what it all means. We did that throughout the work week, didn’t we? Shall we just proceed to the weekend?

But first! A story.

When The Boy and I were young, we were quite poor. There was a time, when I was 26 and he was four that we could no longer afford meat. We grew our own vegetables that summer, and we ate a lot of oatmeal. The Boy became very good at picking green beans, tomatoes and onions; and I often had my oatmeal without milk so that he could have mine.

It was at this time that I grew to understand the origin of the term “salad days”.

I had finished school and picked him up from daycare one summer day when I saw something very large in the road. It was a four-lane paved road in Wisconsin – two lanes in each direction – and I was shocked to see the largest snapping turtle I’d ever seen – to this day! – in the middle of it. That turtle's shell must’ve been two, maybe three feet across.

I pulled over and turned to Dylan, who was belted in next to me.

“You stay here. That turtle’s got three lanes to cross and I’m going to help him.”

I slammed the door.

I ran out to the turtle. There was a lull in the rural traffic, and I stood next to him.

“Hey, Turtle. What’s up?”

The turtle turned, his oddly bird-like face looked up at me. It was then that I remembered that a good-sized turtle like this could take a finger off.

“You stay here.”

I ran off to the side of the road. I’d find a large stick, push it toward him, he’d chomp down, and I’d pull him off the road with it. Voila! Turtle is moved off the road safely, Boy learns how it’s done, I can safely dream of migrating turtles.

That was the plan.

I found a good thick stick, a perfect turtle-baiting stick. I turned to see cars coming.

Four cars.

The first one went by. The second one saw the turtle and swerved – unnecessarily. The third car, freaked out by the second one’s swerving, swerved, too; and the fourth car?

The fourth car struck the turtle.

There was a loud, exploding CRACK followed by loud, explosive screaming.

The crack was the turtle’s shell.

The screaming was me.

I ran into the road, tears running down my face.

“Oh, God. Oh, Turtle. Bite this. Bite this!!!” I pushed the stick at the turtle, who snapped weakly at it – and laid his head on the tarmac.

Another cry escaped me as I threw the stick in the ditch, grabbed the turtle by its shell and dragged him off the road and into the cool grass of the ditch. He must’ve weighed 30, maybe 35 pounds…

He didn’t open his eyes.

When I straightened up, I could see that Dylan had removed his seat belt and was standing on the front seat, watching me. I stood across the road from him, waiting for the traffic to go by, sobbing. I saw his lips move: Mommy.

“I’m a coward,” I said, climbing into the car. Dylan put his arms around me and pushed his little face into my neck and I cried harder. “I’m a coward, Dylan. I went out to save him and I didn’t do it fast enough and now he’s dead.”

Dylan rubbed my back and made “shhh shhh shhh” noises in my ear. I had stopped crying and was hiccupping when I put his seat belt back on him and we pulled the car back onto the road.

It was quiet.



“You sure he’s dead?”


He was quiet, and I could see him weighing his words.

“Maybe we could eat him, huh?”

The thought of cracking open that enormous shell was too much for me, but to this day, I admire The Boy’s practicality.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I’ll be here Saturday and Sunday, if you’ve nothing else to do…


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I think the iPod is telling you that you're going to possibly drink too much at a bar this weekend, and wonder whether you should leave or not.

And, the turtle story? Tragic. But the boy does seem awfully practical.

Pearl said...

iNDefatigable, it's Art-A-Whirl this weekend, a Northeast Minneapolis art fest. I will be spending the majority of my time wandering from art gallery to garage sale to Kurt and Kathy's back deck, where the possibility of drinking too much beer is very much in the cards. :-) Honestly, though, I'm going to concentrate on water and Diet Coke.

mapstew said...

pearl, a wonderful story, well told! Have a great weekend.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Pearl Honey...

That made me laugh and cry.

Damn you.


powdergirl said...

Aw, poor turtle. Kids are so practical.
It must have been scary to have a small child and worry about having enough to feed him.
Sounds like it all worked out though : )

Pearl said...

mapstew, thank you! Enjoy your gigs!

Sweet Cheeks, sorry. :-) So much of life is both funny and sad...

powdergirl, oh, it all worked out! The Boy's very good with a dollar, is a hard worker and has an amazing sense of humor. The early hardships were good for him!

Jess said...

Awwwwwwwwwww! Poor turtle, turtle! However, I have had turtle soup and it is quite good. Still, makes me sad. Of course I cry when I hit birds and squirrels while driving.

The Jules said...

lol - good lad!

Anything that comes in it's own bowl deserves to be eaten.

Sticky (not too) said...

I cried, then I laughed. The usual fare, thank you.

(I have to admit -The Jules comment above me made me laugh even harder! "it's own bowl..." *snort*)

Lidian said...

Those are some great songs you've got there - I especially like "Substitute" and "Should I Stay" (etc- too lazy to type out rest) which is great to run to. In my case, at the moment, to stagger around pretending to run to.

That is a good turtle story. I would have reacted exactly like you.

SweetPeaSurry said...

Oh what a bitterly sweet story. I loved the practicality of it. How does one prepare turtle?

Chris said...

Never waste a good turtle, I always say. Once you get past the taste of Michelin steel-belted radial, they're really not bad.

Greenfingers said...

The Who Pearl!!! THE WHO!!! You do know your good stuff!!!

whatan@hole said...

That boy will make it what ever road in life he chooses.

darsden said...

Oh Pearl I am sorry that happened to Mr. Grandpa turtle you know how old that dude was..he was probably looking for Kovaean..(suscide dude) I know both are mispelled. But I am on drugs LOL. Anyway you tried to help. I always try to help to sometimes I am not successful and end up sobbing! We had no baby ducks or baby birds make it this year. Hard spring on all the babies around here! We have 3 bald eagles that have taking up residents here...Rudey tubbo dog isn't even safe along out there now!

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

sooo sweeet!!! And, such a pet!!! He must have been hungry for some meat!!!

Tamsin said...

First I nearly cried. Then I nearly face planted into my keyboard laughing.

Thank you, Pearly Pearl Pearlington :)

Warty Mammal said...

Wow. That story made me both laugh and tear up.

VENUS vs. MARS said...

Ha, turtle soup. You could had a feast. Eew.

Poor turtle.

Love the retro-ish ipod list. I just bought the Cranberries album,anyone remember them?

Blogging Mama Andrea as Venus

Douglas said...

The Boy is definitely a survivor. They always surprise us, don't they?

lizspin said...

Yikes! Godd for you to trying to save the turtle. . . and good for the little one for trying to eat it!

nsiyer said...

Great Pearl! So much for kids.

Eskimo Bob said...

Pearl -

Sigh. Love the boy - I think we'd get along quite well...

tracy said...




Vic said...

This is a story I'll remember.

Joanie M said...

The boy is a genius. That would have made one hell of a lot of snapper soup.

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

When I wasn't laughing I was holding my breath! What a story. As my grandma would say, "if his name was on the list,his name was on the list." I think she meant the St. Peter list. Not the Santa list. Either way I am sure he was a good soul and someday you two can have a long talk over cocktails in heaven about how you tried to save him. And how he appreciated it..
great work!

KMcJoseph said...

The Clash rules!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Now THAT is one hell of a story! The only time I ever saved a turtle - it was a small one. I was running on a bike path and a group of cyclists came flying toward me and as they passed, one of them yelled "save the turtle!" I had no idea what he was talking about and only noticed the turtle after I had passed it. It was sitting in the middle of the path just waiting to be hit by an unobservant cyclist. But really, now that I think of it, the man or woman on the bike that hit it was in just as much danger of injury... Anyway I ran up to the turtle, picked it up (this is huge for me since I'm terrified of wildlife) and placed it safely on the side of the path. Then I continued my run to thunderous applause (or some cheers from a few other cyclists who witnessed the rescue mission).

But my god - a 30 lb. snapping turtle?? You are brave. And so was Dylan - what an amazing boy.

♥ Braja said...

You're here Saturday & Sunday? Cool...me too :) Seeya then?
It's a date xxx

Pearl said...

Jess, I have heard that turtle soup is good…

The Jules, I hadn’t looked at it that way before, and now that I have, I’ll never look at a turtle the same way again…

Sticky, Jules is a funny man, and we must find ways to keep him coming around for our amusement!

Lidian, glad you like the songs. And I’m a great admirer of runners. I ran cross-country in high school; but the last time I tried running, the bouncing of my rear-end made me feel as if something were chasing me. :-D

SweetPea, I suspect there’s the cracking of the shell to contend with, which is where my brain refuses to think about it!

Chris, funny man! Had not considered the taste of burnt rubber!

Greenfingers, I’ve been in love with Pete Townsend (with no regard to his own sexuality) for years and years. I do love the literary/musical bad boys.

whatan@hole, I do hope so. He’s intelligent, funny, good-looking, and quite the smart ass. I like that in a guy.

Darsden, yep, that was one old turtle!

Roshni, I know! Poor Dylan. For a while there, when we could afford meat, he would kiss each piece and tell it he was sorry that it was dead. I told him about vegetarians and told him we could do that, that I would become a vegetarian if he preferred that we not eat meat. He thought about it and then told he would like to continue to eat animals. Weird little kid!

Tamsin, I’m so glad you liked it!

Warty Mammal, good. :-D If you know what I mean.

Blogging Mama/Ms. Venus, I do remember the Cranberries! I loved them. That woman’s voice is fantastic.

Douglas, children are bright and adaptive. One of these days I need to record and post The Boy’s drumming. He’s a good drummer, a very good drummer.

Lizspin, compassion and practicality. Really, it’s all I ask.

Nsiyer, hi! Children surprise us, don’t they?

Eskimo Bob, yes, I think you would. :-D

Tracy, hi! It’s amazing what we see when we look back in time…

Vic, Hey, I’ve been meaning to say how much I like your new picture. You look like a movie star. :-D

Joanie, I know! What kind of pot would you need for snapping turtle?!

Beverly, you know, I tried. The funny thing about it, I wonder who I was really trying to save? In ways, the turtle felt like me… It was a very tough time!

KMcJ, ha! I’m listening to “Tommy Gun” by The Clash right now!

Kate, Dylan is a good boy. :-D He can cook, he makes his bed, sews his own buttons and does his own laundry. Now if he would remember that he still hasn’t taken HIS MOTHER OUT FOR MOTHER’S DAY! I would be happy. :-D

Braja, with any luck, I’ll be around on Monday, too! :-D

Anonymous said...

you forgot, it wasn't a stick, it was an ice scraper.