I sent Eric a series of jackassy texts on Friday.
Here is proof:
Everyone always assumes that bizarre texts are a result of auto-correct. So I thought it would be a fun joke to deliberately send some oblique-but-possibly-real messages and escalate their weirdness. I figured Eric would have to know I was joking and hilarity would ensue.
That’s not what happened.
Instead, he sweetly tried to figure out which keys were next to T-U-R-T-L-E. After a few minutes, he gave up and called me. I couldn’t talk because I was laughing so hard. At my own joke. (Cool!)
Eric knew right away what was up and said I’d cost him “five to seven minutes of valuable TV-watching time.”
Whew. If he’d said I wasted minutes of his life, I’d have felt guilty.
Same facts, different conclusion—it’s all about the story we tell ourselves.
Which is powerful stuff, but not the point.
The point is that my auto-correct “joke” was a big fail in the moment, but it delivered all weekend, because we kept laughing about bunnies and turtles.
And it’s why, when we were with Aarthi on Sixth Avenue and saw a group of girls holding turtles in a box, we took it as a Sign.
A few steps later, right in front of the IFC film center, we reached a man in his 50s, wearing a white Gilligan’s Island hat, selling turtles on the street.
He had about a dozen, each in a clear box case. They were arrayed on the table, like the jewelry for sale on the sidewalks of SoHo.
Normally I wouldn’t stop and talk to a man selling turtles on the street, but because we’d had them on the brain all weekend, we asked a litany of questions, about:
How much they cost. ($10-$20.)
What they eat. (Turtle food, which comes in a can like Kraft parmesan cheese.)
Where they’re from. (A turtle farm in one of the Carolinas.)
And then I asked how big the turtles could grow.
“Oh that depends on what you put them in,” he said. “If you put them in a big cage like this,” he gestured with his hands about two feet apart, “they grow to be half that size.”
“But if you keep them in this,” he pointed to one of the small cages on the table, “they get to be about half that size.”
A turtle could grow anywhere from six to 12 inches, depending upon where you put him.
And then we all looked at each other, the lesson obvious.
Are we like turtles? Do we only grow to be as big as the cage in which we keep ourselves?
Yes, that’s exactly my point.
Keep yourself in a big cage.