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June 08, 2002

Annoying the Wife - Chapter Three - Keeper of the Turtles

Since only the newly arrived Yankees take the highway anywhere in the Triangle, we're taking a back road on our way to Target this morning. As is my wont, I'm not actually paying attention to anything on the road as mudane as other vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians. I spend my time scanning the treeline for birds, identifying roadkill, giving color commentary and pointing out the occasional plane to....to....

Okay, here's my problem. I'm talking about a trip to Target with my Toddler, yet I am not Lileks, Master of the Taking Toddlers to Target genre, and presumably jealous creator of the memes thereof. I could just go the straight plagiarism route and call my Toddler "Gnat", but even I am not quite that lazy. So I will refer to MY toddler as "Not Gnat", or Ngnat for short. It's pronounced "nat". Along for the ride, well, really the impetus for the ride, is the Sainted Wife and Mother, hereinafter known as SWAM.

Apparently we need kitchen curtains. I suggested a nice corn-print, but the SWAM dismissed that idea with a "not even Hilda would do that."

So there we are on the way to Target. "Possum......Possum.....Plane! Ngnat, Plane! ..............Poor Kitty.....Oooooo Hawk!......Possum........Possum.....Turtle?..TURTLE!!" Sudden deceleration. Gear shift. Reversal of previous vector of travel, which naturally enough brings a query from the Swam.

"What are you doing?"

"There's a turtle in the road!"

"I didn't see a turtle."

"Honey, you weren't looking for turtles, now were you?"

"I don't see why we have to do this all the time."

"We don't do it all the time. I can't just leave him there to get run over."

"We haven't seen a car since we turned onto to Alexander!"

"You think those possums squashed themselves?"

"Who died and made you keeper of the turtles.?"

"Keeper of the Turtles?"

"Keeper of the Turtles!"

"............I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

"You're the most annoying man on the planet."

I can't leave turtles on the road. She knows this. She's known this for 7 years, since we started dating. In that time, I have pulled turtles big and small off of neighborhood streets, main throughfares, and once, off I-40 during morning rush hour. (She (the turtle, rather than the wife) was on the side median, heading in. I didn't have to dodge 18 wheelers or anything. In answer to your question, you can tell the sex of a turtle by looking at the plastron.) I'll also rescue snakes, and once I stopped the car to save a mouse. Turtles are a lot easier to catch, though.

So, leaving a mildly irritated spouse to talk to Ngnat about her bothersome father, I got out of the truck to walk the 20 yards or so back to the turtle. Except, when I got there, it wasn't a turtle. It was a croissant. It had chocolate on it, which I mistaken for a shell. It was still warm. Crap. After a couple of indecisive seconds, I picked up the pastry, walked it across the road, and gently placed it in the tall grass at the verge of the woods. Then I walked back to the truck.

"Well, what kind was it?"

"Eastern Box."

Posted by Bigwig at June 8, 2002 11:01 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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