Ashes to ashes, dust to dust …. Yesterday Thing 3 and I commended her turtle, Tiny Tina, to a muddy grave lined with camellia blossoms. Amen. I have never liked turtles, a Chinese auspicious symbol of longevity, ever since I received one on my 5th birthday from Elizabeth Gregorio as a present. My mother made me clean the turtle’s bowl regularly. Turtle output is copious. I think I did this for a few weeks and then said, “Enough”. I was directed to return the turtle to the giver; I can still remember the face of Elizabeth’s younger brother, Richard, as I handed him back the turtle in a brown paper bag as if it was a hot potato and said my carefully rehearsed speech: “I am sorry. I can no longer keep the turtle.” I then turned on the heels of my red leather Mary Janes and hoofed it back home as fast as I could. It’s really no wonder Elizabeth punched me in the arm at the bus stop for years. Then again, her parents were getting divorced.
So when Thing 3 asked to adopt a turtle from Thing 1’s friend, I was leery. “You have to clean the bowl,” I told her. I told the teen-aged giver of the turtle I was onto her and that she had to agree to the return of the turtle if Thing 3 was overwhelmed with, well, shall we say, turdle output. I had been making vague promises about turtles ever since we visited the Projeto Tamar sea turtle project in Brazil several years ago. Thing 3 was fascinated by Tiny Tina and cared for her lovingly (we know it was a her because girl turtles apparently have longer tails). For about a month. I had even gone so far as to negotiate on Tina’s behalf an attractive porcelain turtle bowl. So much for longevity. My suspicion is that the cat scared her to death. Arms and legs stuck straight out of her shell and eyes wide open all pointed to the fact that Tina met her maker in a panic. The cat has been known to get on the table ….
In other news, Carrefour is a dream to shop in now that it is being boycotted by the Chinese. A groundswell of text messages and emails from the populace have created a China Tea Party. Dodos, the French, biting the hand that feeds them. Sarkrazy is for sure not my moral arbiter. The headlines today were beyond absurd. While the French government has apologized for the roughing up of the torch bearer in a wheelchair (who does that?) by a pro-Tibet activist, they did not apologize for boycotting the Olympics themselves. Hunh? So while I can now freely wheel down the aisles of my least favorite grocery store, it makes me sad. There’s nothing like being lumped in with the French, eyed with disdain as you purchase your milk and cheese. For those of us living here trying to make a positive, and I don’t just mean capitalist, contribution to the culture, boycotting the Olympics is not a solution.