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The Turtle
by Eli S. Evans, January 10th 2023

The man, in the interest of general fitness and robust longevity, was out for a jog despite the weather, when his need to defecate, in and of itself hardly surprising considering the circumstances, took on an unprecedented urgency. Luckily, he was not far from his home, to which he returned forthwith, repairing directly to the bathroom.


After several minutes, he emerged.


“That was a close call,” he reported to his wife, who was in the living room making various calculations. “By the time I got here, the proverbial turtle’s head was already poking out of its gluteal shell.”


Immediately, his wife filed for divorce, a process the completion of which required a visit to the local judge.


“She’s claiming irreconcilable differences,” the judge explained to the man. “Do you have any objections?”


“Yes,” said the man. “The truth is, what’s behind all of this nothing more than the fact that, with respect to an urgent need to defecate that I had recently experienced while jogging, I told her that by the time I got home the proverbial turtle’s head was already poking out of its gluteal shell.”


Upon hearing this, the judge sent the man straight to jail, where he was assigned to share a cell with a brawny fellow who after days of ominous silence divulged that he was in for Capital Murder and various other Class A felonies, including battery with a battery.


“What about you?” he then asked the man.


“Basically,” the man explained, “what it all comes down to is that I was out for a jog and almost shat my pants, but luckily I made it back home just in time, and after doing what I needed to do in the appropriate location, I came out into the living room and told my wife, well my ex-wife, that by the time I got home the proverbial turtle’s head was already poking out of its gluteal shell.”


Emitting a great and terrible roar, the man’s brawny cellmate grabbed him by his hair, dunked him face-first into the fetid water festering in the bowl of the metal toilet that was pretty much sitting right out there in the open on one side of the cell and furthermore did not have a lid, and proceeded to flush it.


“Gurgle, gurgle,” said the man.


Following this incident, the man was directed by the team of guards that soon arrived on the scene to gather up the small number of possessions he’d been allowed to bring with him to jail – a toothbrush, a couple of pornographic magazines, and nothing much else of which to speak – and prepare to be relocated, for the sake of his own safety, to a single-occupant cell.


“It’s not your fault,” one of the guards escorting him to his new cell said as they walked. “He’s a very violent person.”


“I guess,” said the man. “But honestly, everything between us was pretty much fine until I told him about how I told my former wife, in reference to an urgent need to defecate that I had recently experienced while jogging, that by the time I got home the proverbial turtle’s head was already poking out of its gluteal shell.”


In a flash, the guards set to bludgeoning him with their clubs and cudgels. Then they threw him into solitary confinement, a.k.a., “the hole.” For weeks, he sat in a windowless room so small he could not even stand or stretch out his legs to sleep. Periodically food was passed through a narrow slot that opened for this purpose in the otherwise solid metal door, but since the food was always the same – flavorless and of an indeterminate texture – it gave him no information about what time of day or night it might have been.


Soon the solitude and sensory deprivation drove the man so insane that he began conversing, as one does, with the walls.


“What’s it like being walls?” he asked them.


“You know,” the walls replied with a shrug. “I mean, what you see is pretty much what you get. I wouldn’t say it’s boring but, you know – it’s a job. Would I do it for free? Well, technically I am currently doing it for free, so yes. But given that I literally am a wall, I’m not really sure what else I’d do besides be a wall. I mean, advertising would be my first choice in terms of an industry I’ve always been able to see myself working in, but by the same token, you don’t see a lot of walls working in advertising.”


“Hey,” said the man. “Believe it or not, I worked in advertising before all this crap started. Well, marketing. Telemarketing, I should say, but the point is, I had a good life. Man – if only I could go back in time and never tell my then wife, in reference to the urgent need to defecate I’d just experienced while jogging, that by the time I got home the proverbial turtle’s head was poking out of its gluteal shell.”


Momentarily, the walls began to shake with such fury that soon enough they crumbled, giving the man a perfect opportunity to escape his ongoing confinement. Sirens whooped and strobe lights swept back and forth across the great open fields behind the prison, but the man ran and ran until he reached a bog or possibly a swamp into which, having nowhere else to go but back where he’d come from, he plunged. Then, step by painstaking step, he began to slog upstream, in what he hoped would turn out to have been the direction of the Canadian border.


Hours later, worn out from so much slogging and in commensurate need of a rest, the man spotted a rock on the muddy banks of the swamp or bog.


“That looks like a fine pillow,” he said. “To put it otherwise, if you’re tired enough, anything’s a pillow.”


He climbed out of the muck and lay down, settling his head upon it.


“Hey!” said the rock, scuttling out from underneath him.


“Holy shit!” said the man. “A walking, talking rock!”


“I’m not a rock, you idiot,” said the rock. “I’m a turtle.”


“Now that’s a coincidence,” replied the man.


“Oh yeah?” said the turtle. “How so?”


“Well, I almost hate to tell you this,” the man said, “but the whole reason I’m in this mess is that, describing an urgent need to defecate that I had just experienced while jogging, I told my now ex-wife that by the time I got home, the proverbial turtle’s head was already poking out of its gluteal shell.”


“Why would you hate to tell me that?” inquired the turtle.


“Oh, you know,” the man said. “I guess because, being a turtle, you might feel like I was implicitly comparing your head to a piece of my poo.”


“No, no,” said the turtle. “I’m a real turtle, whereas what you were talking about was a proverbial turtle. There’s a big difference. Big difference”


“That’s very reasonable of you,” the man said. “If only people were that reasonable – well, no need to dwell on the what ifs, I suppose.”


“Hey, listen,” the turtle said. “It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to deduce that you’ve been having a bit of a rough go of things recently. As long as you’re here, how about I give you a little blowjob to calm your nerves?”


“A blowjob?” the man said.


“Did I stutter.”



“From a turtle?” the man said.


“I’ll let you in on a little secret, my friend,” said the turtle. “Turtles actually give amazing blowjobs, which is mostly owing to the fact that we have no teeth, but very muscular tongues.”


“Geez,” the man said. “I mean, on the one hand, I could definitely go for an amazing blowjob – and that does sound like it would make for an amazing blowjob. But on the other hand, I don’t even know whether you’re a dude or a chick.”


“Having established that I’m a turtle,” the turtle inquired, “does my gender really make a difference?”


The man was forced to concede that, all things considered, it did not.


“So, what’s it going to be?” the turtle asked. “I might be a slut, but I’m not slutty enough to wait around all day for you to make up your mind.”


The man thought it over a little longer. “Fuck it,” he said, at last. “Why not?”


“Great!” said the turtle. “You won’t regret it!”


But the man did regret it, because no sooner had he taken his dick out than that backstabbing bottom feeder bit it right off.

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