Monday, August 15, 2016

Bonus content! T-time!


Meet T.A.R.D.I.S., the Russian tortoise. His hobbies include lounging in his food dish, glaring at humanity, and sleeping. (And, yes, ladies: he's single!)


Panda in Chief said...

I didn't want to be slow on the uptake and miss a rare opportunity to write the first comment for this post.
Slow on the uptake. That was a tortoise joke, get it?

Beth said...

Cool. Is he bigger on the inside than on the outside?

french sojourn said...

Rushing huh?, I'n never seen one of those. Cute lil thing though.

cool bonus!

DeadSpiderEye said...

How do you know it's a he?

Lisa Bodenheim said...

TARDIS? Love the name. Great pic!

Jen said...

OP here. So, the kids named him. We're all HUGE Doctor Who fans. :-)

Panda in Chief,
I'm a sucker for a good pun. Love! :-)

Apparently, male tortoises tuck their tails around their private parts once they reach maturity whereas females stick their tail straight out. So, we *think* TARDIS is a male? But we're not for sure... :-)

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Hah, I've always thought tortoises seemed very "judgey", and I love them for it!

I'm digging the bonus content. Who knew so many Reiders had pets sharing their lives?

Jen said...

Pets are all kinds of awesome. Wish I weren't allergic to fur and feathers for my kid's sake, though... :-(

Colin Smith said...

TARDIS the Tortoise!! How awesome! :D

So, Jen--who's your favorite Doctor? Companion? New Who or Classic or both? Some of your favorite stories? :D

Donnaeve said...


I had a tortoise that looked a lot like T.A.R.D.I.S. I named mine Chloe - and for all I know? Chloe might have been a male. But that was years ago - when I was 8. I let "Chloe" go when we moved to Michigan. And yes, I will never forget this - that turtle did move fast when he/she realized FREEDOM was at hand!

Kae Ridwyn said...

Thanks for sharing, Jen! It's lovely to start my day with a smile :D

CynthiaMc said...

Such presence! Beautiful markings.

Craig F said...

I had a Gopher Tortoise move into to the yard of the last house I owned. Road work a few blocks away forced it to move.

I spent a whole shitload of time trying to find someone who could take care of it. Gopher tortoises are a threatened species round here and I didn't want to get into trouble because of it. I always end up living next to the community's jackass if you want to know why I check all of the boxes for such stuff.

Turns out that since they (Gopher Tortoises, not jackass neighbors) have spent so much time in a specific area they can not be moved far. They have adapted to the micronutrients of an area and would die if moved more than five miles. There wasn't a facility that could take it within that distance so I was stuck with it. I ended up giving it to a school just a few blocks away.

Anonymous said...

Jen, your kids did a great job with the name. Looking back, I'm surprised my kids never asked for a pet turtle. Especially given the whole Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle thing. Although, we did have Gort the Iguana. Which is why I will NEVER eat kale.

BJ Muntain said...

KD: Now there's a story waiting to be told: "Although, we did have Gort the Iguana. Which is why I will NEVER eat kale."

(Not that I blame you for not eating kale.)

Anonymous said...

BJ, you know it's dangerous to ask a writer to tell a story, right? Then again, at least a pet story isn't too far off topic. Gort the Iguana. What can I say about Gort?

It all started at the State Fair when my son, who was maybe 10 at the time, played one of those arcade games where you toss a ball at a bunch of glass jars whose openings are smaller than the circumference of the ball. Only when he tossed it, the ball went right straight into a jar. Even the game operator was surprised. The choice of prizes was either a handful of ride tickets or a baby iguana, complete with a little plastic terrarium so you could take it home.

We practically begged that child to take the ride tickets. We even persuaded the guy to put the iguana on "hold" and said we'd come back and get it when we were on the way home, hoping my son would forget about it. But baby iguanas are really sort of cute, being bright green and not very big. And, you know, my son was 10. This was perhaps the Best Thing Ever in his entire life.

So Gort came home with us. And he grew. And grew. And he wasn't very cute anymore and he was mean and scaly and would try to bite you when it was time to clean his cage. But my son still thought that stupid thing was totally awesome. So every week I bought a bunch of kale for it, the only time I have EVER bought kale, because Gort gobbled the stuff up like it was manna from heaven.

One day -- and I want to make it clear that I WAS NOT HOME -- the kids decided Gort would like some fresh air. So their dad helped them carry his terrarium downstairs and put it on the deck. In the sun. And then they sort of wandered off or something, I don't know. I heard later, years later, that they tried to revive him in the bathtub.

They buried him in the back yard.

Oh wait, I take it back-- a couple years ago I DID buy some kale because my daughter was raving about homemade kale chips and telling me I just had to make them because they were SO GOOD, and I decided to give it a try. I couldn't even put the stuff in my fridge. I stood there with it in my hand and all I could see was Gort sticking out his thick reptilian tongue to scoop it out of his food dish. It went from the grocery bag straight into the trash.

I have to admit, that was one family pet whose passing I did not mourn. And I still haven't forgiven that guy at the fair.

There, now I've used up my comment word limit for the rest of the week. Month. Whatever.

Megan V said...


Brilliant choice of name.
You taught those kids of yours well Jen :)

JulieWeathers said...

I love the tortoise. We have them in West Texas, though I'm pretty sure they aren't Russian Tortoises. Well, who knows, they might be. Odessa was originally settled by Russian farmers who thought the area reminded them of the Odessa plains in Russia. That was before the big droughts and mesquites took over. Thank you Longhorn cattle for those mesquite, they are just so awesome.

Anyway, we have tortoises, but not as awesome as T.A.R.D.I.S. Of course, we have horny toads, too, but I think someone told me they aren't really toads.

Poor Gort. That was kind of funny, though. Not his dying, but the whole disagreeable pet no one liked but the son. I guess that's like my brother's horse Pal. I don't think anyone else like the pudding foot thing, but Jim loved him. Of course, I don't know how many horses you could tie writhing rattlesnakes behind the saddle and not have a major rodeo either.

Beth said...

KD, love that story. My husband had an iguana from Mexico as a kid, but he died of mumps. At least that's the story my mother-in-law tells.

Julie, when you speak of rattlesnakes behind the saddle, are you talking figuratively or literally? Inquiring minds ... BTW, I grew up on a cotton farm near Lubbock. Are you in the Midland/Odessa area?

John Davis Frain said...

"It doesn't matter how slow I go, as long as I keep going."

That mighta been me editing some nights.

JulieWeathers said...

Beth, literally. He used to rope rattlesnakes and pop the rope to break their necks. Then he'd tie them behind the saddle. Of course, snakes keep writhing for a long time after their dead, so they look like they're still alive. Sometimes he'd have several snakes tied on his saddle. It takes a pretty bombproof horse to putting up with all the wriggling and rattling.

I was in the Odessa area for years. Lived in Gardendale part of the time and worked for Graham Farms when he had the big stud farm there. We've been to Lubbock many times on rodeos.

Beth said...

Wow, that is an amazing horse. And quite an impressive cowboy.

JulieWeathers said...


Yes, Pal wasn't much to look at but he was solid as a rock. Jim sold the rattlesnake skins to a leather shop in Montana, so it was better not to shot them and mess up the hide.

I'm glad I wasn't around when all this was going on. I cannot tolerate snakes. I once offered to give a tractor and drags to one.

Joyce Tremel said...

When my kids were little, we had a turtle named "Soup." We were told it was a male, but one morning there was a broken egg in the aquarium. No turtle babies, but just an egg. But that's not the weirdest part.

We took Soup out in the backyard one day. At the time, we had a patch of pachysandra under our deck and my husband put Soup down to hang out there. Well, when we checked on her less than ten minutes later, she was gone. We looked everywhere and never did find her. I can't believe we had a turtle that ran away. (Frankly, I was glad. I do not like turtle scent. Ick.)

Catherine Vignolini said...

Dude's got a beach bod. Does T-man work out?

(Joyce, I'd run too if I were a main ingredient.)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Totally missed this yesterday. I love Tardis. Great name. I had a turtle when I was a kid. Bad Leroy Brown he was called. My cousin murdered him with Frosted Flakes. I am still miffed about that. Leroy was a great turtle.

Barbara Etlin said...

Very cool name. Tortoises are supposed to be symbols of longevity, although if you think about our success rate with turtles when we were kids (yeah, I had one, too), it's kind of ironic.

Panda in Chief said...

KD, LOVED the story of Gort! I was never intrigued by reptiles as a kid, though I did have some of those little green turtles, who always died. I feel bad about that now.
Maybe we need a flash fiction contest about the real story behind Gort's untimely end.

Jen said...

Thanks for all the kind words everyone. So sorry for the late reply. Haven't been near a computer (or WiFi) over the last couple of days.

Tennant is my favorite doctor, though I've only seen 9-12 from the reboot. Then Netflix took my beloved seasons away, and I haven't quite forgiven them. We now have Amazon Prime. :-)

I actually love all of the doctors, tbh. And while we're sharing funny stories: My daughter LOVES David Tennant, so much so that when we attended a convention nearby with a Tneth Doctor cos-play, she found a cos-player who looked *just like Tennant* and wanted her picture with him and everything. I don't think she stopped smiling for hours. Oh, and she's seven. :-) Introducing my kids to Doctor Who (and seeing them fall in love with the show) is one of my prouder parenting moments. :-)


I loved the story, though I'll admit it made me teary-eyed. My son would pick that little iguana over ride tickets hands down, and then do the exact same things. [empathy hug] :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm so late that nobody will ever see this, but I'll post anyway.

When my oldest was about 12, she brought home a turtle with an injured back leg. It was about the size of a dinner plate, but very gentle. We doctored the leg and put in a box for the night. Tried to feed it tomatoes and lettuce, but it wasn't interested.

Next morning, it had broken down the side of the box and was roaming free in the house. It was eating cat food, and climbed in the litter box to relieve itself. Now that's the kind of pet I like!

He was named Picasso, the missing teenage mutant ninja turtle. He ran loose in the house. When watching tv in the evenings, he would climb on the kids' backs if they were laying on the floor. If not, he would crawl up on my feet and beg until I picked him up and held him in my lap. I would rub cream into his shell and his skin.

It was about 3 months before we had a visitor. Alan walked into the house and Picasso started hissing and spitting at him. That's how we found out that the big, gentle turtle we held in our laps was a snapping turtle.

We had him for 2 years. He disappeared one day when we were getting ready to move. I miss him! He was a great pet.

Jen said...


OP here. I love a turtle with personality! Sorry he left. :-(