Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Turtle Whisperer

Posted on June 3, 2011


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


Advice On Writing

Posted on April 29, 2011

A lot of people will give you advice on writing.

Some say you must sit in the center of a perfectly quiet room wearing noise-canceling headphones and horse blinders to be a writer. Just you and your Royal Underwood typewriter and a maybe a cat missing one eye.

Others say you must stand in the middle of bustling Grand Central Station, nude except for a suit and tie and shoes, also underwear, shirt, and socks. They tell you you’ll need a number two Eberhard Faber Blackwing pencils and a standard 6” by 9” Steno pad. And, as a writer, you need to smoke a cigarette while eating a donut.

Still other people tell you you require only a laptop and a comfy four-poster bed. They tell you to drink green tea and listen to soothing music about our vaginas, surrounding yourself with photos of frolicking African children. At noon, take a break to do yoga and create abstract expressionistic pottery that represents your writer’s soul. Only then will you be a true writer.

Others tell you to go out into the world to find something to write about. They say you should fight forest fires and parachute into war zones and impregnate a Brazilian prostitute. Better yet, be that Brazilian prostitute who starts forest fires in protest of man’s futile nothingness. Only then will you be a writer.

Some say you need to be born a writer. Writing can’t be taught; it is a question struggling inside you, yearning to make its way out of your fingertips. What is that question? Probably some weird Freudian stuff about boobs and poop.

Others say a writer must drink his or her way into writing--be it wine or ale or absinthe. Preferably absinthe, because it will fuck you up. They say you need to expand your mind with drugs and spirit-animal walks and autoerotic asphyxiation. Then they raise their eyebrows suggestively and nod toward the room in back that smells like candles and leather. That’s when you notice they have a creepy mustache.

Others say a writer must be a performer. You must speak the words fire before you can understand them. Take improvisational comedy classes and perform at poetry slams. Find a group of like-minded writers and spend long hours screaming at each other for never having watched The Wire. Spend every waking moment going to shows and not writing. That is how you become a writer.

Some say to bare your soul, to reveal every tiny detail about your childhood and hopes and fears and dreams and past loves and past bosses and number of orgasms and religious crises and adventures abroad and teenage pranks and health scares and gameshow failures. They say that writing is truth, and truth is life, and we must share every detail in order to writer.

Some people say all that. People are assholes, though. So, I don’t know---do whatever you want. Personally, I think you should go back to school to be an insurance actuary. But, what do I know? I’m just your father who loves you and wants what’s best for you.

[sigh] Go ask your mother.


Your Constant Input

Posted on September 21, 2010

Thank you so much for your constant input. I'm glad you feel comfortable sharing every tiny thought about what I am doing and how I could do it better.

For instance, the advice you gave me while I was driving--very helpful. You were correct that my hands should have been at 10 & 2. I was, indeed, signaling a bit too early. And, while I had seen the sign for the off ramp, it was nice having a backup scream as it approached.

Your incessant input was also appreciated at the conference hall. I hadn't realized my tie was ugly until you pointed it out. Good note. I'm sure everyone within earshot agreed. Also, I am more than happy to work on a "manlier" handshake.

You really are gifted at giving unrequested, unrelenting feedback. Not just to me, either. The wait staff during our business lunch—I’m sure they learned quite a bit about the quality of their croutons. If it weren't for you, our waitress might never have known she was "too tall." It's amazing how often you can find the opportunity to slip in those kinds of "teaching moments."

Thank you, too, for informing me how much nicer your hotel room was compared to mine. Next time I book a room, I’ll be sure to use your many, many helpful hints. The tip about faking deafness will prove especially helpful, I'm sure.

All in all, I'm just so grateful to have someone who assumes he's my mentor. I don't know what I would do without you. I can only constantly imagine.


New Job Dos and Don’ts

Posted on June 8, 2010

Now that the economy is picking back up (and your unemployment benefits have finally run out), it’s time to get a job. So, go out a get one … Did you get a job yet? Good. Then, here are a few dos and don’ts for your first day:

Do thank your new boss for the opportunity.
Don’t challenge him to an Indian leg wrestling match.

Do iron your shirt to make a good first impression
Don’t wear your homemade Twilight t-shirt.

Do fill out all your employee paperwork carefully.
Don’t fold it into an origami grasshopper, no matter how incredibly impressive that is.

Do make friends with the receptionist.
Don’t throw up.

Do learn how to transfer calls correctly.
Don’t cut the phone lines so that they can’t call the police.

Do make small talk around the water cooler.
Don’t whisper small talk from behind the water cooler.

Do bring a sack lunch.
Don’t bring your personal chef. People might figure out that you're just there to research your next film role.

Do set up a tricky password for your work email.
Don’t constantly brag about how tricky it is. Everybody already knows it’s t3am3dward.

Do clean up after yourself in the office kitchen.
Don’t clean yourself in the office kitchen.

Do learn about the company’s history.
Don’t cry at the sad parts.

Do put supplies back where you found them.
Don’t pretend you’re putting them to sleep in their little supply cabinet bedroom.

Do refill the photocopier with paper.
Don’t refill the photocopier with lasagna noodles.

Do get there a little early.
Don’t leave there until they promise you can come back tomorrow. Make them pinky swear.

Good luck. Remember, don't do any of the above don'ts. I'm serious.


Dream Interpretations

Posted on May 4, 2010


Here’s a quick guide to interpreting your dreams. Remember, every person is different. But, in general, the following dreams suggest common thoughts or fears from your waking life.

You are late for a test. This dream usually means that you are feeling under-confident about an upcoming task at work. Or, maybe you feel harshly judged in your social interactions.

You dream your teeth are falling out/breaking. This dream suggests fear of mortality and aging. It may also refer to worries of loss of beauty.

You dream you can fly. This means that you actually can fly if you believe hard enough. Don’t jump off a building or anything, but you can probably fly. Try easing into it by belly flopping into a pool, but at the last second don’t land.

You realize you’re naked during a presentation. This dream means you are allergic to something. Maybe your cat. Or strawberries. It could also mean that you regret buying a DVD player recently now that Blu-rays are coming down in price.

You dream you’re being chased by a stranger. This one means you’re a racist. What, just because he’s wearing a hoodie, you automatically assume he’s black? Have you ever stopped and turned around in this dream? Maybe this guy’s running to catch the train. Racist.

You dream you’re falling. Again, you can fly. This dream’s about how you’re lame for never having tried the belly flop thing.

You dream you’re a movie star. This one means a movie star accidently got his or her dream mixed up with yours. So, somewhere in Hollywood, some millionaire is wondering why he’s dreaming about his cranky boss at the bank.

Your house/apartment is flooding. This is means that you are currently peeing the bed. Wake up, you drunk! You’re peeing the bed!

You dream you can’t find your shoes. You are in love with your dental hygienist.

You dream you are having sex with multiple partners. I’m not sure. This one could mean a lot of things. Please, describe it in greater detail, and be as graphic as possible, because this helps me interpret your dream.

You dream you saw me sneak money out of your wallet when you left the table. Ignore this one. This one’s just a dream.

You dream your company picnic has been infiltrated by Russian spies, and they’re trying to steal the Frisbee, because it has microfiche taped to it with the secrets to the Lost series finale. But, you can’t figure out which people are spies, because everyone is dressed up as teddy bears, because you work at a teddy bear costume factory. This dream means that leftover taco from the back of your fridge was, indeed, spoiled.

You dream you win the lottery. Yeah, keep dreamin’, Buddy.