I Saved a Life Today

I wish I could find my Lifeblood button that has that saying on it. I’d put it on and wear it for all the world to see. Everyone in my subdivision, anyway.

On my bike ride this morning, I passed an apartment complex with one of those man-made “lagoons” (because, you know, Memphis is noted for its lagoons), and what should I see easing down the curb lane?

A turtle!

This isn’t the actual critter, but it looked something like this one. It was about a foot long with its head extended and about 8-10 inches across. And it was crawling down the street! And not facing traffic, either.

Now, I’m not a wildlife kind of girl, particularly when the life is of the reptilian persuasion. (Turtles are reptiles, aren’t they?) No matter. It had a scaly look about it, and that’s enough for me. Besides, I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout pickin’ up no turtles, and I was afraid I’d hurt it.

The goofy creature kept trying to crawl into the street, so lacking a better idea, I got off my bike and rolled it along between the turtle and the street, trying to keep him close to the curb and all the while trying to flag someone down as they blew by me in their gas-guzzlers. It was scary times, lemme tell you. Memphis isn’t known for it’s kindness to cyclists. I suspect turtles would fare even worse!

There was about 10 feet between us and the “lagoon”, which I assumed was his home. I couldn’t find a break in the curb anywhere that I might corral him through (turtle wrangling not being one of my strong suits), and I could only hope that someone would come along who would help.

The turtle and I reached the entrance to the apartment complex and asked two gangsta types lounging at the gate if they could help us. (I did most of the talking.) Sunday a.m. business being slow, they crossed the street to take a look, but like me, they were skittish about picking it up. Before they left, the guys confirmed my earlier suspicions about the life expectancy of the turtle by reporting (in vivid and colorful detail, thanks so much) that an even bigger turtle had been obliterated on a nearby cross street.

Pokey and I continued our torturous journey, he having some apparent destination in mind. Or so I thought. After a while, he stopped and stuck his head up, gazing longingly (it seemed to me) at the water.

And then a miracle happened! A car stopped in the turn lane and the driver asked what was up. I explained that I was just out taking my turtle for a walk, which he totally “got” as a joke and laughed.

I’ll pause here to report that this guy was very handsome. Think young Denzel with a brilliant smile. I seriously regretted not taking the time to put my contacts in or a dash of makeup. Oh well, considering the approximate 25-year gap in our ages, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.

Back to the story: Denzel got out of his car and walked over to survey the scene up close. He didn’t want to pick up the turtle either. I observed that if he had a cardboard box or even a piece of cardboard, we could maybe build the turtle a ramp to get over the curb. Denzel looked at me funny and started backing his way to his car. I was considering begging him not to abandon us, when he returned with a floor mat from his car! My hero! I mean, Pokey’s hero!

We managed to scoot the mat under the turtle and carry it to safety. The ungrateful lout paid us back by peeing all over Denzel’s floor mat and, since that was my end, my hand. Eeewwwww! Turtle pee!

With a smile and a wave, Denzel was on his way with my profuse thanks on Pokey’s behalf, but alas, without my phone number. :( When he was gone, I pushed my bike alongside Pokey, much like we’d been doing on the street, as he made his way to the water’s edge and dove in.

Dumbass landed on his back and had to thrash around a bit to right himself. I was NOT going in that “lagoon” after him. I suspect he’s not long for this world. Poor Pokey.

What I learned from all this (other than to wear sunscreen for even the shortest of rides) is that I need to be better prepared on these excursions. I needed my cellphone to call Animal Control and ask how to pick up a turtle, and a towel would have been useful in place of Denzel’s floor mat.
I could’ve also used a brick or two to toss through windshields of passing motorists and some disinfecting wipes (refer to turtle pee section). To that end, I think my 90-lb. reward will be a rack pack for my bicycle. Sure, I can use it for groceries and such, but it will also contain a Turtle Rescue Kit, just in case.

The rest of the ride was boring uneventful, but I cut it short at 30 minutes. Too much excitement in one day, you know. It’s not every day you can get your cardio in and save a life.

And have a turtle pee on your hand. ::shudder::

How sad is it that I’m blogging this? :)

Not as sad as Monday staring us in the face. Have a happy one, everyone! And don’t forget tomorrow is Makeover Monday. Something a little more serious on tap for this week.