Love, a play in one act. One scene, actually

Curtains open to reveal a kitchen.
Man: Dude, are you fucking your lettuce?
Tortoise: What? No.
Man: Cause it looks like it.
Tortoise: Erk, erk, erk.
(Woman enters)
Woman: Good morning.
Man: Good morning. Would you like a cup of coffee?
Woman: Sure.
(Woman sits down at table)
Woman: Is the tortoise stuck on his lettuce?
Man: That’s what I thought at first. Remember when he was little and he tried to walk over a leaf of lettuce and it rolled up into a cigar and he got high-centered on top of it?
Man: Here’s your coffee.
Man: But he doesn’t appear to be stuck this time, strictly speaking.
Man: I mean, I think it’s optional.
Tortoise: Erk, erk, erk.

Small world

Beta works at a government ministry in Vienna. Yesterday she told me her boss told her another staff member at the ministry took a picture of our tortoise, which had escaped, and was, I guess, on a sidewalk here in our village, and posted the picture to Facebook prior to secretly returning the tortoise to its flowerbed.

I guess that’s why he is a boss at a ministry, guy knows EVERYTHING.

Also, the staff member is KEVIN BACON.

Or something.

Edgar Allan Poe and The Season of the Tortoise Dish

Edgar Allan Poe wakes from fitful sleep his eyes burning and swollen. He looks at the alarm clock but can’t focus his eyes and can’t find his glasses. He dresses and goes downstairs and looks at the clock in the kitchen which says two in the morning. Upstairs his wife is coughing. He looks for laudanum but they’re all out of laudanum.

A red cat rubs up against his pantleg, covering it with hair. Edgar Allan Poe opens the door and lets out the cat.¬† In accordance with the Law of Preservation of Red Cats, the other red cat comes in and demands food. Edgar Allan Poe goes back into the kitchen to get cat food because even though it’s too early if he gives the cat food it might let him sleep. If he doesn’t, it won’t.

In the kitchen, he steps into the tortoise dish.

These are the facts of the tortoise dish: it is too warm for the tortoise to hibernate, but too cold for the tortoise to spend all day outside. So the tortoise lives in the kitchen. That’s why there is a tortoise dish in the kitchen. The tortoise dish is full of water. The tortoise drinks from the dish, and walks through it before having a bowel movement.

Of the three nasty things you can do with the tortoise dish, stepping into it turns out to be the least nasty, as it spills the least water. The second-worst is to kick it by accident, which spills more water. The worst is to step on the side, which flips it over and empties it out, throwing algae-and-worse-filled-water a long distance.

Edgar Allan Poe goes back to bed, but the cat he let out is meowing so he lets it back in.

In this manner, he fails to fall back to sleep.

His alarm goes off at 4.30. He gets up, feeds the cats, eats breakfast, makes a cup of coffee and his wife asks him to take out the garbage.

He goes around the house gathering  the residual waste from all the half-filled garbage cans into a single garbage can. When he empties out the bathroom garbage can, something remains stuck to the rim of the bin. He looks closer. It is a sanitary napkin.

He sighs, and reaches to take it, but his wife is walking past and plucks it off and drops it into the other garbage can.

Edgar Allan Poe gathers residual waste from the rest of the bins in the house. He goes outside and empties it all into the large garbage can. The sanitary napkin is stuck to the rim of the small garbage can again. Edgar Allan Poe says, It’s the Tell-Tale Sanitary Napkin, or something. He plucks it off, and throws it away and returns to the house.

He opens the cabinet to get cat treats to lure a cat out of the living room, and kicks the tortoise dish.

Edgar Allan Poe drives his daughter to town on his way to work.

It’s beautiful isn’t it, he says. The weather. Like a new season. Too warm to be winter, too crisp in the mornings to be summer. They should invent a new season.

Dad, dad, dad, says his daughter.


Man: Yeah, right here on my forearm. A turtle. Tortoise, I mean.

Young woman: Yes, that would be cool.

Man: Think so?

Young woman: Yeah. And you could tattoo a rock on your bicep, so that when you flexed your arm it would look like the tortoise was fucking the rock.

Man: [blink] Totally.

Apocryphal fables: The man and the tortoise

Man: [Waters flowers, gives tortoise fresh water] Hi, little turtle. Tortoise.

Tortoise: You’re a little close to my rock, you’re making me nervous.

Man: Sorry. [Steps away from rock]

Tortoise: Hey, nice shoes!

Man: I… carry on, don’t let me distract you.

Tortoise: You have any more of that lettuce? For once I finish here? What’s up, you look down in the dumps.

Man: No, nah. I’m fine. I have time on my hands, is all. Just not infinite time, so I’m forced to prioritize my goof-off agenda, which re-stresses me.

Tortoise: Have you vaccuumed?

Man: Yep.

Tortoise: Mopped?

Man: Just finished.

Tortoise: Made the bed?

Man: Eh, yeah, sure I made the bed.

Tortoise: Decided what to cook on Sunday and done the shopping?

Man: I’ll do that tomorrow.

Tortoise: [Nods]

Man: I mean, should I play the cello, fire up the theremin, try to compose something, record something, write something?

Tortoise: Have you weeded the vegetable garden?

Man: I did that last week.

Tortoise: It grows back, you know. Mowed?

Man: I’m putting that off until tomorrow, in the hopes that it rains and gives me an excuse not to.

Tortoise: Respect.  [Stares at man]

Man: What?

Tortoise: Did you really make the bed?

Man: Mostly.

Tortoise: If I were you, I would write an erotic novel entitled Transit of Venus.

Man: I think that’s been done.

Tortoise: Can’t copyright titles, dude.

Man: Plus, aren’t you supposed to write what you know?

Tortoise: I would totally write it, but I’m busy.

Man: Maybe I will try to come up with a name for the musical genre in which I compose. Unfortunately creepcore is taken.

Tortoise: Crashcreep?

Man: Hrm. Nice.

Tortoise: Don’t mention it.

Because you were wondering

The tortoise woke up. I checked on his box in the wine cellar, where he spent the winter under a bunch of leaves, and heard a rustling noise (“yee haw, let’s get these dogies outa here afore the posse shows up!”) and carried him, box and all, into the library, where it is dark and by the next day he was up and running around again, mesmerising the cats. He’s moved to the kitchen and I can’t wait for the weather to warm up to above 10 degrees C. because being outside will help him with his obsessions and monomanias. Right now these include finding a way to get behind the refrigerator, and carrying the metal fruit shelf thing on his back. And painting, of course. I’m already tired of cleaning up after him.

Also, he will be happy to be reunited with his stone, I imagine.

Tortoise update

Nice thunderstorm last night, complete with lightning and thunder (duh) real close, and cloudbursts. In the middle of it all, I checked on the tortoise, to see if he’d gone into his house. He had not. He was atop his stone.

My interpretation was that he was just, you know, c’mon baby, who cares about a little storm!!?!

My wife’s was that he was protecting his stone from the elements.

I put both of them into his house.

This morning, after I finish my coffee, I’ll put his rock back in its usual spot. I’m afraid he’d never come back out of his house if I didn’t (he = tortoise, not rock).

(Apparently the rock = female).