I got this turtle, right? Maybe you didn’t know that.
I picked it up in the woods one day “for the kids”, but let’s be honest: I wanted a turtle. I had some once, when we lived in Italy. 2 little bitty turtles, kept in a plastic container on the window sill in the stairwell. 2 happy little turtles, swimming in the sun, all the time, la-dee-da. They didn’t shed. They didn’t eat $40 a month in dogfood. They just be-ed awesome, until the day they died and we buried them in the backyard and my dog dug them up and ate them.
So when I saw this box turtle on a walk one day, I sure as heck picked it up. Its giant turtle eyes stared right into my very soul and it instantly loved me like a Christian.
The kids were ecstatic. We put it in a cardboard box and proceeded to offer it all kinds of fresh fruit–strawberries, we found out, were its favorite. The turtle actually chomped away on them, right in front of us! And, even better–his mouth was lined with bright red fleshy goo and he looked like a zombie! It was awesome!
And then the kids got tired of him. And I ended up cleaning his cage and letting him out for morning walks and tending to his every reptilian need.
I loved every bit of it.
And watching him eat strawberries never gets old.
And I think having a turtle is awesome.
Until my first stomach ache hit the other night and I thought I was going to die. And I broke out in cold sweats and foamed at the mouth.
I tried to figure out what the heck kind of germ could cause that kind of pain and suffering, and I had come into contact with Zero ill people.
Except turtles carry salmonella.
And today, even though I’m a stickler about washing my hands after touching that thing, about 2 hours after cleaning his cage and taking him for a stroll in the backyard, I felt it again. And I prayed to God in the high heavens to just take me now and watch over my children because I care not what happens to anyone else in the whole world because stop everything I’m about to throw up all my internal organs.
I want to die.
I am teaching art classes this afternoon and there’s this song in my head that Mia and Merrick sing when they’re being silly: “We give you salmonella! We love salmonella!” And I should probably go to a doctor.
I haven’t barfed yet, and the terrible gross tummy feeling is passing, so the lessons are still on…but gaaaah.