New Age Mutant Satanic Turtles
...Here in Indiana?
(Third and last page in a series, completing a trilogy of reflections on allegedly-miraculous, religion-related images — holy and profane and, yes, even a bit silly)
Although the catalyzing event in this story, a fire, occurred several months before the news links appeared, I'm thinkin' they were posted at this late date (or perhaps re-posted) due to the unexpected popularity of the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich saga. —BD
Satan's image seen on shell of turtle that survived inferno
MICHIGANTOWN, Ind. - A turtle that was the only survivor of a pet shop fire may have emerged with a hellish memento.
The palm-sized red-eared slider turtle, named Lucky, was the only animal to survive a fire last October at Dora’s A-Dora-ble Pet Shop in nearby Frankfort, about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
Owner Bryan Dora now says he sees an image of Satan’s face on the critter’s shell. He can spot lips, eyes, a goatee, shoulders and a pair of pointy horns on Lucky’s back.
“The marking on the shell was like the devil wanted us to know he was down there,” Dora said. “To me, it’s too coincidental that the only thing to come out unscathed would have this image on it.”
The image was not visible before the fire and Dora speculates the intense heat might have caused the shell’s color to change. The turtle is healthy and there was no change in its behavior, he said.
The cause of fire that destroyed nine businesses or offices in the 1912 building in downtown Frankfort has not been determined.
“Turtles can hold their breath quite awhile,” Dora said. “He may have taken one breath just before and held it through the fire. Except that the fire went on and on for hours.”
Dora has produced a DVD of the turtle’s story that he plans to auction on the Internet. He will also offer the winning bidder the chance to buy Lucky off-line.
Hey there, Pilgrim, it's me again: Your ol' buddy, Brother Dave.
Before I continue, I want to hopefully ease your potential concerns regarding Lucky the Turtle as depicted in the photo posted here.
I cannot, in all honesty, use the sort of disclaimer that's included near the very end of the closing credits for a typical modern movie in which an animal or animals appear... You know, the disclaimer that says something like, "No animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture." I'd like to say something like that, but, hey, all the animals in this story died for real, 'cept for lucky ol' Lucky. Sorry.
However, if you've been worrying about Lucky's condition while pondering his picture here, I offer this comforting disclaimer:
Please note: Although they are not visible in this photo, Lucky is not missing any of his extremities. Nope, he merely has all of his legs and feet, his little turtle tail, and most of his head (That's the tip of his nose at the top of the picture.) pulled back into the safety of his shell. So, please, don't be alarmed. He's just displaying natural turtle behavior, a defense mechanism that evolved millions of years ago to ensure self-preservation and the continued survival of his species. Perhaps Lucky is withdrawn here because he is inherently camera-shy. Or, as is more likely the case, when he heard someone scream out, "Oh, my God, there's a devil on that turtle's back!" he immediately went into the turtle-equivalent of DefCon 1, and pulled all his turtle parts into his shell, and freaked out, and started frantically yelling something like, "Devil!? On my back!? Help! Please, help me! Get it off, get it off, get it off! AAACK!!!" ...Or maybe not.
Brother Dave Lister's List of Hoosiers (and a Few Non-Native Former Residents of Indiana) Who Potentially Are, or May Have Been, in League with The Devil
But now, how about that design on the turtle's shell?
It's far from being a photo-realistic representation of anything other than, well, a turtle shell. But in the abstract, it's just another potential Rorschach test, isn't it? Then, because one of the few natural instincts hardwired into the human brain prompts us to search for and detect face-like patterns from wherever they may be discovered in our visual environment, and because this particular turtle shell offers a bilaterally-symmetrical mosaic design that provides sufficiently-compatible visual cues, presto-bingo, we see a face-like image.
A Rorschach test is designed to elicit individual impressions and personal interpretations of meaning from imagery that is otherwise meaningless. So what matters is not the ambiguous visual content of the image but, rather, the response one brings to the stimulus it provides.
For this particular test, this shell game, I easily (almost instantly) recognize a face-like pattern. And, yes, I can even see a demonic face, too. But that is not my first impression, or even the second.
At first glance, I see a straight-on portrait of a dragon's head, with its eyes looking directly back at me. (Well, sometimes the eyes are wide open, and other times the eyelids are completely closed. Go figure.) To me, the creature appears to be an interesting kind of hybrid, something between what I imagine to be a classical European/Western-type dragon and a traditional archetypal Oriental/Eastern-type dragon. And one moment the dragon seems sorta somber and Medieval to me, and the next moment it seems kinda Manga-modern or Saturday-morning-cartoonish. (Interesting too, the dragon does not seem to be the least bit evil or hostile or otherwise scary. Sometimes it seems sorta jovial and friendly and playful. Other times it seems wholly indifferent.)
Then at second glance, I see the portrait-view of a cartoon cow's face. (I think I'll call her "Bossie, The Domineering-but-Benign Bovine.") Yeah, I'm looking at the same elements that previously formed the dragon, but just re-interpreting them.
And perhaps it's 'round about the third subjective glance that I finally get the impression of a demonic face. But even so, I feel the demon looks more reptilian and dragon-like and less like some classical picture of Satan. (To my mind at least, The Devil's not in these details.)
If Satan exists and, for some inscrutable reason, wanted to put his mark on otherwise-lucky ol' Lucky, you'd think he'd want to be less ambiguous and more representational, so as not to have his unholy likeness being too easily mistaken for, say, Puff the Magic Dragon or for a trivial laughing cartoon cow. But, hey, that's just my thoughts on the matter. And you can tell a little bit about me, I guess, from the sort of playful and goofy impressions I derive from this little test.
What do you see on the turtle shell, Pilgrim? Like the pet shop owner in the story, do you see Satan first and only? If so, what does that say about you and about the unique blend of experiences and biases that you bring to the test?
One of my own biases that guides my responses here is that, like the pet shop owner in the story, I too am a resident of Indiana — a Hoosier, and it just seems unlikely to me that The Devil Himself would be popping up here in the heartland instead of elsewhere. I realize mine is a highly-subjective opinion, so that's why I readily confess my bias now. But I'd imagine that, rather than in Indiana, Satan would more likely choose to make his US appearance in, say, New York City or Salem, Mass. or Washington, DC or Southern California or Texas or Nevada or maybe Georgia (after he'd recently restrung his fiddle, rosined up his bow and, then, just happened to hear that old Charlie Daniels song again on his car radio).
Well, after acknowledging my particular bias here, I suppose it might be helpful to do a short survey of sorts to better assess whether my bias truly has merit or not. Thus, the following:
Well, that's not a very long list, is it? And removing the non-native interlopers would reduce the list by half. Sure, I've probably missed other deserving candidates here and I expect to add to the list as those candidates become known to me and are deemed worthy of inclusion. And while the death toll attributable to Reverend Jim Jones alone is indeed horrific, it still doesn't cause me to abandon my bias and accept that Satan might choose Indiana, over all other places, to leave his mark on a wee turtle's back.
- Sam Bass was a legendary bank robber. Although his name didn't quite achieve the same lasting criminal cachet as fellow outlaw Jesse James, Sam was Jesse's successor and equally worthy of his own notoriety in his day. Besides robbing banks, Bass also stole horses, robbed trains, held up stagecoaches, and engaged in the occasional shoot-out with law-enforcement personnel. This Mitchell, Indiana native died on his 27th birthday, July 21, 1878, after a gunfight with Texas Rangers in Round Rock, Texas. And then the songs were sung, some of which romanticized Sam as a kind of cowboy Robin Hood. Following is the first verse of the old cowboy song "The Ballad of Sam Bass." (I don't know what the actual tune for this song might be, but during my first read-through I recognized that the meter of the rhyme scheme is similar to that for Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susanna" — which had been written 30 years prior to Bass' death and was already widely-known in this country.)
Sam Bass was born in Indiana; it was his native home.
And at the age of seventeen, young Sam began to roam.
Sam first came out to Texas, a cowboy for to be.
A kinder-hearted fellow, you seldom ever see.
- Billy the Kid was not a native son of Indiana. But in 1868, young Billy McCarty (The more familiar "Bonney" surname was an alias assumed later in his life.), his brother, and his widowed mother lived in Indiana for a while. Billy was just... well, just a kid then, a kid of 7 or 8 or 9 years in age. A little later, after moving "out West" to Kansas and then Colorado and then New Mexico, Billy got into gunslingin'. Was he a bad boy, or was he merely a young accidental soldier whose fate was caught up in a local range war? In the end, Billy was hunted down and shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett on the night of July 14, 1881. Billy was only 19 or 20 years old then, still and ever after just a kid. Only 19 or 20 years old, but his six-gun had 21 (Count 'em, 21!) notches on the handle.
- Johnny Ringo was a Green Fork, Indiana native who became a notorious gunslinger in the Old West. He was killed in Arizona in 1882 by the legendary Marshall Wyatt Earp (or by Doc Holliday, or by Frank Leslie, or by suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, or by...).
- Belle Sorenson and her three adopted children moved into a farmhouse near LaPorte, Indiana in 1902. Within weeks, she met and married local resident Peter Gunness, who moved in with his new bride and her brood down on the farm. Not long thereafter, in 1904, it was alleged that, one fateful day while Mr. Gunness was working in a shed, a meat chopper fell from a high shelf and fatally split his skull. Ouch! Well, the grieving widow Belle got $4,000 in a life insurance payout — not a fortune, but still a tidy sum in the earliest years of the 20th Century. In retrospect, one might wonder if it was at this time that Belle figured: When mining gold from people, if you don't have access to a single high-yield source from which to make your fortune, then you must earn your profits by dealing in volume. In 1906, Belle placed ads in various newspapers around the country, soliciting the company of fiscally-solvent would-be companions. The first respondent to visit Belle's farm disappeared within a week. Many others also came to the farm, but no one ever saw them leave. Then on April 28, 1908, the farmhouse caught fire and burned down. While no Satan-marked red-eared slider turtles were reported to have been discovered among the ash and rubble, investigators did find four human bodies in the cellar: Belle's three adopted children and an unidentified woman's headless corpse. During a more thorough search of the premises, the remains of more than forty men and women were exhumed from shallow graves variously distributed around the farm. The obvious scenario was that Belle had committed all the murders, set the fire, and hit the road, taking her blood-money with her. She was never seen or heard from again. (Personally, I'd be curious to see a copy of Belle's original newspaper ad, to get some sense of what kind of come-on could possibly lead so many people to their deaths. I mean, if Belle was that skilled in formulating and realizing her ad campaign, why, I'd have suggested she invest some of her death benefits in founding her own advertising agency — a business that might well have become a regional, perhaps even national or global, corporate powerhouse and a shining testament to American Capitalism yet today.)
- D. C. [David Curtis] Stephenson wasn't born here (b. 1891 - Houston, TX), nor did he die here (d. 1966 - Jonesboro, TN). Nope. Between the cradle and the grave, however, he did spend most of the intervening years residing in Indiana. A failure as a salesman, Stephenson had abandoned his wife and offspring in Oklahoma in 1920 and came up here. It turned out, though, that Stephenson was actually very skilled in making sales after he found just the right products to push: Protestant Christian Morality, American Family Values, White Supremacy, and Hate of Blacks and Jews and Catholics and Foreigners, et al. Stephenson had found his calling in selling memberships into the Ku Klux Klan. Soon, in November of 1922, Stephenson was named Grand Dragon for Indiana and 22 other northern and western states. Under his leadership, Klan membership in Indiana alone reached a whopping 250,000 (8.33% of the state's total population, or equivalent to about 30% of all native-born white adult male Hoosiers). And because he got a piece of the action on every membership fee and each sale of official Klan products (white hooded robes, hate literature, etc.), Stephenson made his fortune. Through hate-mongering, Stephenson became an overnight success. He used his new-found wealth and power to support political candidates, most notably backing Ed Jackson for Governor in 1924. It was through his relationship with the new Governor Jackson that Stephenson met state employee Madge Oberholtzer, a schoolteacher in her late-twenties who worked in a program to counter illiteracy in Indiana. On March 15 ("Beware the Ides of March."), 1925, Stephenson kidnapped Oberholtzer. He raped her repeatedly. He savagely bit and chewed into her flesh all over her body, completely biting off one of her nipples and severely mutilating her genitalia. Finding no other means by which to escape her sado-sexual captor, Madge tried to commit suicide by ingesting mercuric chloride tablets, but it is thought that she vomited so violently that most of the poison was flushed from her system. A month after the kidnap and attacks began, Ms. Oberholtzer died from her injuries and/or the suicide attempt (a forensic medical examiner testified that the bites, which he compared to an attack by a wolf pack, and the resulting infection were sufficient to be fatal in themselves, even without the ingestion of poison). Stephenson was tried, convicted, and given a life sentence. He spent the next 31 years in the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. The Klan could survive, even grow and thrive, after news, say, of a lynching of another anonymous black man, or the burning-out of another Jewish merchant, or the busting of a few more heads belonging to Catholics or Foreigners or, better still, Catholic Foreigners. But the kidnap, rape, torture, mutilation, and murder of a young white Protestant Christian woman by the head honcho... well, that gave the Klan a bad name. Statewide membership in the KKK dried up. Embarrassed former-Klan Hoosiers put their sheets back on their beds, or at least stayed in their closets when dressing up in bigot drag. After his parole in 1956, D. C. Stephenson lived in Indianapolis for a few more years. Then he moved to Jonesboro, TN, which is where he finally KKKicked the freaKKKin' bucKKKet (ie., died) in 1966.
- Winnie Ruth McKinnell Judd was a "preacher's kid," the petite and attractive daughter of Reverend and Mrs. McKinnell of Darlington, Indiana. Most family members, friends, and acquaintances called her Ruth or Ruthie. But soon after two murders that occurred in Phoenix on the evening of October 16, 1931, Ruth would be known to the rest of the nation as "The Trunk Murderess" (which, if you stop and think about it, is a goofy kinda name... sounds like she might've specialized in shooting holes in car trunks or steamer trunks, or that she could somehow use an elephant's snout as a lethal weapon, or that she might inflict a deadly wedgie on anyone she caught wearing wet swimming trunks, or...). Mrs. Judd's story has many lurid features, including marriage to a drug-addicted doctor old enough to be her father, adultery, bisexuality and/or lesbianism, a fight-to-the-death(s) with a knife and a gun and an ironing board used as weapons, the hacked-up corpses of two women discovered in two black trunks (one a large packer trunk, the other an average-size steamer trunk) that were emanating stench and starting to leak on a loading dock at a train station in Los Angeles, and a few remaining body parts found in a beige valise left in the ladies' restroom in the depot. Ruth avoided execution by being judged guilty-but-insane. During her 30-plus years in a mental asylum (1933 to 1971), she escaped seven times — usually being AWOL for brief stints, but once being on the lam for nearly seven years. On December 21, 1971, the Governor of Arizona signed Ruthie's release papers. She moved to Stockton, California and lived there under the name Marian Lane until she died in her sleep at age 93 on October 23, 1998.
- John Dillinger was born in Indianapolis. He was a famously infamous Depression-era bank robber and a cold-blooded killer whose known associates included "Baby Face" Nelson and "Pretty Boy" Floyd. (Hmm, I wonder: Could it have been those sissy nicknames that drove Misters Nelson and Floyd, while perhaps in desperate fits of closet-clinging overcompensation, to take on lives of crime in hopes of earning butch reputations and avoiding certain embarrassing questions about sexual orientation?) The FBI regarded Dillinger as Public Enemy #1. Whether he invented this particular escape technique, or not, Dillinger is reported to have used the now-classic threaten-the-guards-with-a-fake-pistol-carved-out-of-wood-and-blackened-with-shoe-polish ploy to successfully bluff his way out of incarceration from the "escape-proof" Crown Point, Indiana jail which, by the way, was also being guarded by several extra police officers and even some Indiana National Guardsmen. Then, adding insult to injury, Dillinger stole the Sheriff's V-8 Ford to complete his getaway. Even though his chosen occupation was criminal, Dillinger displayed a certain sense of professional pride in his work. During one bank holdup, he is quoted as saying, "Now, nobody get nervous. You ain't got nothing to fear. You're being robbed by the John Dillinger Gang; that's the best there is!" FBI agents finally caught up with and killed Dillinger outside The Biograph movie theater in Chicago on July 22, 1934. (Even in death, the Dillinger mystique was attributed with another larger-than-life quality when a
post-mortem photograph suggested that he had an extraordinarily large penis. However, the official explanation for the anomaly is that, under the shrouding sheet, one of Dillinger's arms was locked into the suggestive position due to rigor mortis. So this "gun," too, while not being made of carved wood and shoe polish, was yet just another illusion.)
- Charles Manson is not a native-born Hoosier. He was born just across the state line in Cincinnati, Ohio. But he spent much of his adolescence, his Wonder Years (1947-1951, ages 13 through 17), incarcerated in various institutions in Indiana. Although he didn't kill the victims himself, Charlie directed members of his "Manson Family" cult in the grisly "Tate Murders" (actress Sharon Tate, her near-term fetus, and 4 other victims) on August 9, 1969, and the "LaBianca Murders" (Leno and Rosemary LaBianca) on August 10, 1969. (And there were various other unsolved murders beforehand for which Manson and his followers might have been likely suspects.) Charles Manson is still in prison. His eleventh and most recent parole hearing was on May 23, 2007. And for the eleventh time, parole was denied. Manson's next parole hearing is scheduled for 2012, when he will be 77 years old.
- Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil, Indiana in 1913. While serving as President of the Teamsters Union (1957-1971), it was alleged that he sometimes associated with some unsavory fellows (i.e., The Mob) and that "his empire thrived on violence, fraud and misuse of union money." Hoffa disappeared unexpectedly and without a trace on July 30, 1975. To this day, his whereabouts are unknown.
- Reverend Jim Jones was born in Lynn, Indiana. He was the leader of The People's Temple, a religious cult he'd created. Jones led 914 of his followers (638 adults and 276 children) into committing mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. (Add the 1 US Congressman, 3 reporters, and 1 would-be cult dropout who were murdered beforehand and the Reverend's final body count is 919, making Charles Manson and his own group of cult followers look like a bunch of hippie slackers in comparison.)
- Larry Eyler was born in Crawfordsville in 1952. He had been arrested for separate predatory sexual attacks on a young male hitchhiker in 1978 and on a 14-year-old boy in 1981, but neither case was prosecuted. Then, between 1982 and 1984, Eyler cajoled or kidnapped, then bound, tortured, sexually violated, and sadistically murdered several male prostitutes and hitchhikers, discarding their bodies along roadsides in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Finally, after his fingerprints tied him to the dismembered body of a 15-year-old boy in a dumpster in Chicago, Eyler was arrested, tried, convicted, and given a death sentence. While in prison, Eyler confessed to 21 killings in all. Before Larry Eyler could be executed for his brutal crimes, however, he died of AIDS in prison on March 6, 1994.
- Orville Lynn Majors — a Linton, Indiana native — was a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Vermillion County Hospital (now renamed West Central Community Hospital) from Spring of 1993 to Spring of 1995. Majors was arrested, charged, and convicted of killing six elderly patients by injecting them with lethal doses of potassium chloride. But get this: Out of 160 total patient deaths that occurred during the two years when Majors worked at VCH, 130 of those deaths happened when Majors was on duty and, yes, he remains the likely cause of a significant number of those deaths as well. The motivation for the murders remains a mystery, with imponderable reasons known only to Majors. He is currently nursing the first decade of his 360-year prison sentence.
- Herb Baumeister was born in Indianapolis, lived his whole life in the city or in nearby suburbs, and culled his murder victims from there. On the surface, Baumeister appeared to be a successful businessman and happily-married father of three. But from the late-1980s and into the mid-1990s, Baumeister also was a sexual predator who cruised Indy gay bars for young men with whom he could have rough sex and, then, kill. In June of 1996, with permission granted by his wife of 25 years, police investigators began searching Baumeister's wooded, 18-acre, million-dollar estate in the Westfield area, north of Indy. The first of what would become thousands (5,500) of human bone fragments were discovered merely lying strewn about on the surface of the ground. Altogether, the recovered bone fragments were determined to be from at least seven individuals, four of whom would eventually be identified. When Baumeister, who was out of town when the search of his property began, learned of the investigation, he escaped to Canada. There, he wrote a 3-page suicide note in which he cited his failing marriage and failing businesses as reasons for ending his life, but he failed to mention anything about the murders. And on July 3, 1996, Herbert Richard Baumeister, age 49, put a .357 Magnum revolver to his head and pulled the trigger. After his suicide, besides the seven victims discovered at the estate, police were able to connect at least nine other gay murder victims to Baumeister. And although proof is less elusive in still other cases, Baumeister seems a likely suspect in another dozen-or-so unsolved murders of gay men. (It may seem incredible that Baumeister's wife, Julie, did not suspect that her husband was gay. But more incredible still, the Baumeisters produced three children when, during their 25-year marriage, Herb and Julie allegedly had sex only 5 or 6 times. Why, that's some batting average!)
- Timothy McVeigh was not a Hoosier. Nope, he was born in Lockport, New York. McVeigh was the Oklahoma City Bomber who admitted exploding the truck bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people, including 19 children, and injuring hundreds of other victims. I don't know if McVeigh had ever even visited Indiana during his 27 years of life prior to the bombing. But after the bombing and trial and conviction and time spent incarcerated elsewhere, McVeigh's last prison transfer brought him to Indiana on July 13, 1999, where he spent the final two years of his life in the federal penitentiary just south of Terre Haute. And it was there on June 11, 2001 that McVeigh was put to death by lethal injection at 7:14am EST.
- Lucky the Red-Eared Slider Turtle? Crimes: None. (It is speculated, however, that Lucky may have offered his soul to Satan in hope of avoiding a fiery death and that he now bears the mark of his Dark Lord and Master as a consequence of that unholy bargain. If such is the case, it could be assumed that Lucky may be obligated to commit some heinous crime or crimes sometime in the future, all according to the devious whims and inescapable bidding of The Devil Himself. So, Pilgrim: BEWARE OF THE TURTLE!)
What's that? You say I've forgotten to add a current obvious native-born Hoosier candidate to this particular Mister Lister's List. Well, okay then, how's this:
Hmm,... maybe I really should rethink my position here.
- Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana. He's an internationally-known pop star and an alleged serial child molester. Jackson is kinda freaky-looking and, if he continues to have more plastic surgery in the future, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up looking like... well, just like something you might expect to find on the back of a sole-surviving red-eared slider turtle after a killing conflagration in an Indiana pet store.
After my daughter, The Kiddo, checked out the other pages on this website that pertain to alleged revelatory images, she sent me a link to a picture of a chicken nugget that purportedly looks like Garfield the Cat.
Imagine that: Garfield the Cat.
And, hey, it sure looks like Garfield to me: Sitting back all fat-'n'-sassy, with his right forepaw raised to wave a big ol' friendly Hoosier howdy. I get much more of a sense of seeing Garfield in this chicken nugget than I get of seeing the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich, or Jesus on a fence plank, or Satan on a turtle shell.
While Garfield may be devilish at times in the way he treats Jon and Odie and the sum-total of the rest of his world's inhabitants, I do not mistake him for The Devil or believe that he may be in league with The Devil. He's lazy and gluttonous and sometimes overbearing and often inconsiderate of others, but he is not demonic.
Garfield is, however, a native homegrown Hoosier — created by Jim Davis, and maintained by Davis and his staff at Paws, Inc. near Muncie, Indiana. FYI.
(Note: Another Hoosier son who would have found this Garfield chicken nugget to be of particular interest [perhaps to the point of being "Finger-Lickin' Good"™] was Colonel Harlan Sanders — a Henryville native and founder of KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken. And now I'm wonderin' whether his franchise still would have attained global reach and recognition if, instead, it had been named Indiana Fried Chicken or Hoosier Fried Chicken. Hmm,... I guess the answer to that will forever remain One of the Great Mysteries of Our Time.)
And so it goes. —BD
The two other pages in this trilogy of reflections on allegedly-miraculous, religion-related images are:
VIRGIN MARY GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
JESUS ON THE FENCE, CHRIST ON THE CROSS
And so it goes. Be well, m'Dear, be happy. Know peace, know love. Find true miracles and genuinely-sacred visions wherever they await you. Live in light, live in bliss. Bless your heart.
—Brother "I, too, live in a shell. But while I may have once had a monkey on my back, I've never had a picture of Satan there, thank you." Dave
PS: If, like me, you feel an undeniable need for some sense of closure regarding Lucky the Turtle, his current disposition and whereabouts, well, there is little available information to report. Too little for closure, fer damn sure. Sorry. One news item I discovered said the Doras had been offered $2,000 for Lucky, but the offer was rejected because it had been tendered four days before the scheduled close of the bidding on eBay. The Doras, no doubt, were hoping for still higher offers. Another item I read, however, included a Reader's Comment from a fellow Hoosier who said that "it is illegal to sell native species of reptile in Indiana" and that red-eared slider turtles are, specifically, a "listed and protected species." So, I wonder, with respect to the law and/or in fear of the mighty wrath of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, was Lucky pulled off the eBay auction block and then, perhaps, set free in some out-of-the-way pond so as to be able to live out the remainder of his days in whatever little peace one might best hope to find while living with a devil on one's back? Or, was Lucky unlucky enough to be sold on the black market, perhaps to some out-of-state, Goth-lovin’, mother-humpin’, Satan-worshiping weirdo whose intent might be to sacrifice the poor turtle in some ritualistic ceremony of unbridled evil or unholy soup? (Out of the fire and into the frying pan, so to speak?) …Well, I don’t know. But if and when I learn more concerning Lucky’s situation, I will share the news with you here, Dear Pilgrim. In the meantime, you might do as I do and, in moments of solitude and quiet reflection, wish Lucky well. —BD