So, recently, someone spotted a large 40 year old turtle under the el, crossing Rockaway Freeway. I don’t know how they knew the turtle was 40 – though he was a little paunchy and looked to be having a mid-life crisis.
The rescue attempt included a lot of …. can I pick it up?… ya think it bites?…ya think we could get it to walk into a box? Someone came along and said the turtle was a pet of a guy who lived a few blocks away.
As some marveled at the distance the turtle had traveled others wondered about its motivation. Someone said, the turtle had a look on its face like, I’m outta here. I can’t take it anymore.
Someone else said the turtle was just moving along, slowly, and if you looked closely it was carrying bag of cans and bottles, looking to make a few nickels.
Someone else said, they were gonna jump on its back because it was faster than waiting for the Q53.
And then a group groan erupted when another guy said, “I’m just thinking of some soup right now.”
The turtle story and the one about the raccoon surfing past houses on the night of the storm are funny whether or not Michael J Fox or Bruce Willis are doing voice-overs.
But the classic Rockaway animal story happened about 13 or 14 years ago. It was reported in the Wave at the time— and there was photographic evidence— but I can’t check the details because the original story was washed away in the storm. I can only use my lousy memory.
Anyway, it seems there was this little hokey circus or carnival set up in the Beach Club parking lot on Beach 116th Street. Somehow, a camel got out and was walking down 116th street when some Rockaway revelers were coming out of a bar.
They must’ve had a brief thought: what the hell was I drinking?
Even by 116th Street standards, a camel is something that stands out. Not the snot blowing or the double hump – those you see all the time — but it was the height or saddle that caught their attention.
Once they realized it was an actual camel, I do believe the revelers took the camel for a walk around the neighborhood until someone said, the camel is probably looking for sand. The poor thing, let’s take it to the beach.
Before this developed in to a full blown Lawrence of Arabia saga, saner heads prevailed (and maybe the cops showed up)…but in any event, the camel was returned safely.
I have a foggy guess about who was in the picture and what group of young men rescued the runaway camel but I can’t say for sure. I look forward to them giving me the details and I’ll probably kick myself for not remembering the really funny stuff. But even the vague memory is up there on the list of Rockaway chuckles.
Boyleing Points: Thanks to Kelley Brooke for a great fundraiser held at the concession at Beach 97th. What a great spot. With the new railing and the ocean right there it’s like being on a cruise ship without the fear of being stuck out at sea with overflowing toilets.
**Before checking out the concession, I stopped by Connolly’s for a pina collision or two. Only disappointing thing was getting there before Pat Brady came on duty. And speaking of the Cheese King, aka Other from Another Mother, he gives great bar etiquette advice in this week’s Slice of Life by Beth Hanning. Have a look!