Dear Turtle Whisperer,
I have a pet tortoise that I think might have emotional problems. It was a rescue tortoise, and while it's really bonded with my children and husband, it has terrible separation anxiety.
Every time I leave the house, I can hear it slowly rustling, which I know is a sign of bad things to come.
I've tried crate training my tortoise, but I keep coming home to messes in the kitchen and partly chewed-up shoes. (It can’t really do much damage in only eight hours. We left for Orlando for a week, and we came back to a fully-shredded slipper.)
I’m at my wit’s end. I can’t imagine another sixty-to-eighty years of this. Can you help me?
Shell-Shocked in Shreveport
Dear Shell-Shocked in Shreveport,
How many times do I have to explain this to you assholes? It's right there in my goddamn name. Turtle Whisperer. Turtle. T-U-R-T-L-E. Do you see the word “tortoise” anywhere? Can you even read? I whisper turtles. I don't whisper fucking tortoises!
Every week with you people! Jesus Christ, you'd think someone would read my column at least once before writing in. Once. But, no---always with the tortoise questions.
"Oh my stars, my tortoise is eating my houseplants! My tortoise won’t stay off the couch! My tortoise has a urinary tract infection!" What the fuck do you want me to do about it? I don't know anything about weirdo tortoises. I'm a turtle whisperer.
Would you people ask a porpoise whisperer about dolphins? Would you ask a crocodile whisperer about alligators? You know, scratch that. You probably would, you monsters.
Who even owns a pet tortoise? What are you, some kind of serial killer?
You want my advice? Go fuck yourself. Fuck you, and fuck your fucking tortoise and your fucking house and your fucking two-car garage. I’ve never seen your face, but I bet it’s smug and shitty, and I’m pretty sure you’re wearing pearls and a sweater set. Fuck your sweater set.
I’m sick of this bullshit. If anybody out there has any questions about FUCKING TURTLES GODDAMNIT, you know where to reach me. But, until then, take your fucking tortoises and shove them up your assholes, you assholes.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have dozens of terrariums to go clean.
Fuck you very much,
The Turtle Whisperer
Let me give you guys a bit of advice: Life is like this chessboard here. You have to plan ahead. Know your moves.
For instance, take this little piece up front with the round top. How does it move? One square forward? Two? Eleven? I have no idea. Are there even eleven squares on this chessboard? Hold on a second while I count…
Hmm, this board only has eight squares. It must be defective.
Hold on. I’m writing myself a note to order a better chessboard online. Maybe black marble with green flames…
Anyway, instead of being this little piece in the front, you probably want to be this tall piece in back---the one with the cross on top. It must be the Pope.
You want to be the Pope, strutting around with your Pope sword and your Pope crossbow. And, if anybody gives you shit, you just be all like, “Ba-blam, thunk, Pope arrow to the face! You’ve just been Poped, mutha-fucker!”
And, then you just strut.
So, that’s one life lesson you can take from chess.
You know, you don’t have to be this Pope piece in life. You could be the horse dude, instead. Going around eating grass and taking dumps wherever you want. Just like, “Hey, I gotta take a dump. In this field? Sure. During a parade? Hell yeah.” So, I guess that lesson from chess is to act intimidating.
Also, there’s this piece like looks like a Muppet staring straight up. Like maybe he’s watching a jet fly overhead, and his mouth is hanging open? Let’s call him Bert.
You could be Bert. I’ve actually seen how this piece moves. (It was playing on one of those video screens at the airport next to the moving sidewalk. Probably an ad for some boner medicine.) Bert kinda moves like he’s doing the Electric Slide. And, if there’s one lesson I’ve learned in life, it’s that you for sure need to learn the Electric Slide. Nobody wants to be the only guy at a wedding who doesn’t Electric Slide.
I can’t tell you how many times my Electric Slide technique has gotten me laid.
There are other chess pieces, too. Like the castle, which I think just sits there. That’s fine for some. There have been times when I just sat there. Like when I was unemployed for a year.
But, in the long run, you get fat. Then you have to join a gym, which is expensive. Especially on unemployment. Suckville.
I’m not sure what lessons we can learn from the pieces being black and white. It seems a little racist. I mean, where are the yellow pieces? Or the brown ones? I tell you, as soon as I get my eleven-square chessboard, there will be room for all the races to fight each other.
That’s a promise.
So yeah, anyway, chess. There’s a shit ton of lessons there if you take the time to learn them.