Whilst viewing a hilarious photo of two dogs in what appeared to be SpongeBob underwear knock-offs (but actually proved to be a remarkable invention for dogs in heat), I remarked casually that THIS is why I can’t own pets.
‘Cause I WOULD dress ‘em up.
Which brought to mind the nearly-forgotten (well, I’m sure my MOTHER hasn’t forgotten…) specter of … SUPERTURTLE! (And I’m not talkin’ the Mutant Ninja version, either….)
”Yes, I can fly … all I need’s the CAPE!”
I have recently confessed (see blog ‘Comic Interludes’) to my early childhood comic book addiction. And one of my favorites was the GIANT comic book edition featuring the exploits of SUPER-PETS. SuperHorse, SuperCat, Krypto and SuperMonkey, to be specific.
At age 7 I looked ‘round and found something obviously lacking in my childhood. Yup, I’m talkin’ a SUPERPET. One who would love me ‘just because’ – and whom I could DRESS UP. And the rental house we lived in didn’t allow dogs or cats, so in their infinite wisdom my parents had bought me a small land turtle.
Having just read all about Superpets, I went outdoors to take a dubious look at Crawler. Nope, he was still clocking about 1 foot per hour, by the looks of it. At this rate his lumbering path to his water bowl would take all day. How could I transform the slowest (potential) super-hero in history into a rapid land mover that would win races with any sassy hare?
Kryptonite influences aside, the one thing all my comic book super-pets obviously shared was a red cape. So it was easy to surmise that one could make one’s own ordinary pet ‘super’ by a mere wardrobe enhancement.
SUPERTURTLE – sans cape
Mom was surprised when I asked her for some red felt, and even more shocked when I requested only a small piece. Her surprise stemmed from the fact that (a) I usually regarding her sewing lessons as akin to bathing: loathsome, but (after much protest) an opportunity to experiment (often with disastrous results) with my surroundings and (b) most of my requests involved impossibly-large quantities. My casual response (to her query) that my intentions were “a secret” likely raised huge warning signs, since in the past my ‘secrets’ tended to go ‘boom’ or involve unpleasant quantities of water.
I neatly cut out a turtle-sized cape and only gouged the dining room table four times during the attempt. Also, I can authoritatively say that Scotch Magic will NOT stick to a tortoise shell (unlike Dad’s duct tape.)
Suffice it to say that when I was finished, Crawler was festooned in a mighty powerful red cape with a crooked black ‘S’ hand-lettered in the middle for added emphasis, criss-crossed by said duct tape (which always sticks better when used in quantity).
He was surreptitiously placed out in his back yard home and my newfound clock skills were employed to ascertain that, indeed, a red cape alone did not impart super-powers. Crawler still was apparently taking his sweet time at about one foot per hour.
But wait! I was forgetting an essential piece of expert information. Crawler (as with all Super-Pets) undoubtedly harbored a SECRET IDENTITY. No way was the mere addition of appropriate clothing going to reveal his true powers in broad daylight!
And that’s why my parents caught me out in the back yard at 12AM with a flashlight checking on a small turtle with a red cape duct-taped to his back, who was lumbering along busily preserving his secret identity even in the face of stealthy midnight snooping.
I have no clue why they thought this so hilarious. But the next day Dad gently freed Crawler from his fancy red attire, explaining that a turtle’s shell needs to BREATHE to stay healthy. (Personally, I just think the possibility of harboring a Superpet embarrassed the heck out of him … for some unfathomable reason…)
Yeah, right. There was only one reasonable explanation: the Parental Units were involved in preserving SuperTurtle’s secret identity!
That, or perhaps there was a Landlord Clause against keeping super-pets in one’s San Francisco back yard!
Either way, Crawler ultimately proved a disappointment.
And the dress-up piece?
Likely why I STILL have no pets…even living on 2.4 acres.
What … you don’t believe in SUPER-DEER??? So who decimated your salad garden at super-speed last night??
Meet Superdeer: mild-mannered deer by day…
SUPERVILLAN at night!