Thursday, April 24, 2008

Die Turtle, Die!



My grandfather hated turtles. I'm not just talking about the intense but generally diffuse dislike of tomatoes and baseball like I have, but an intense murderous hatred of the hard-shelled reptiles. I'm not exactly sure what the cause of his hatred was. I think he may have thought that the turtles ate the catfish that he stocked in his fish pond, but we're not talking alligator snapping turtles here. We're talking the normal little pond turtles you see sunning themselves on logs at any pond or swamp.

He was known to take potshots at them when he saw them and even went so far as to have my dad install a floating turtle trap in his pond. My dad paddled out in the little inflatable boat we had bought him as a gag gift the Christmas before and anchored the big PVC pipe and net construction in the middle of the pond. My dad checked it a few times but it never seemed to have any turtles trapped inside. It actually is still floating back there in the pond twenty years later, grass and weeds eking out a tenacious existence in the grime that has built up in the crevices on top of the device and the turtles love it. It's the perfect place to come out and sun, safely removed from the shore of the pond. It probably really pissed granddaddy off that he gave such a wonderful gift to his much despised nemeses.

My dad, on the other hand, loathes ladybugs. He's convinced they're the ones eating the leaves of his bean plants every year. I once even showed him an article on ladybugs that talked about how they actually eat the herbivorous pests and are used in organic farming as pest control, but that knowledge didn't seem to stick. He still curses and crushes them every chance he gets.

Oddly, these two men were and are unusually rational and open minded for their eras and geography when it came to racial issues. I guess they saved all of their bigotry for the wildlife. I do have to admit that I sometimes get the urge to take out my shotgun and bust a cap some turtle ass just for old times sake, though.

8 comments:

Mickey said...

I really can't think of a less offensive creature than the turtle. I guess that's why your grandfather's hatred is noteworthy.

Ladybugs bother me a little, but only because they find their way into the apartment en mass this time of year. I just try to shoo them outside because they make a mess if you crush them.

Chris said...

Ladybugs really do love to sneak inside. I usually find piles of them dead on the floor before I ever even notice them flying around. Is our home that toxic?

We've also got these odd beetles flying around this time of year. At night, I can hear them pop against the front and back doors, trying to fly through them. Stupid beetles.

sid said...

LOL! That is ridiculous. Turtles? Ladybugs? We used to dip out tortoises into our swimming pool thinking that they were turtles ...

Courtney said...

Aww, don't hurt the turtle. He's cute.

JustinS said...

Don't get me wrong, I totally understand blood-lust and the need to make little critters pay for your rough day, but my rage against God's creations is all-encompassing.

Turtles? And ladybugs? If I were to be speciesist about my destructive tendencies, I think they'd be pretty low on the list.

Hedgehogs, though? Fucking toast.

Jacob said...

Mickey: I also just liked the line "My grandfather hated turtles." It popped into my head while driving to Atlanta and I managed to keep it there until we got to the hotel and I could type it out last night.

kate said...

I'm with Grandpa on this one; I hate them too! I distrust anything that carries its home with him. Snails are on notice too. I guess the homeless and their shopping carts too.

Julie said...

I rather like turtles. There are a ton of them at the lake across from my office and I enjoy watching them if I take a walk around the lake during lunch.