I don’t know if you guys have been following the saga of Flash the lost tortoise on the Reply All podcast (I wasn’t until today), but man, what a knuckle-cracker. Back in October, as part of Reply All’s “10 Minutes on Craigslist” segment, contributer Damiano Marchettie decided to further investigate an ad he found on the SF bay area Craigslist:

Lost tortoise: Flash has escaped. Last seen near Gregory Court in the Rincon Valley area. If you have seen this large tortoise, we would appreciate his return. He has been our pet for 36 years. He does not come when you call him. Thank you.

so he talked to the people who posted the ad, and it seems that Flash is quite a character. He likes watermelon, he destroys screen doors, Grandma thinks he’s pretty jazzy. So he went missing, the family did a big press to find him, and then some mailman thought he found him so he dropped some other lost tortoise off at this family’s house, and:

“So the last one we … we posted two days ago was that, ‘We lost our tortoise and in the process of looking for him we found someone else’s lost tortoise, which is too weird. So if you live in Rincon Valley and you have lost a tortoise contact us, this one may be yours.'”

It goes on. You should listen to this story or read the transcript (story starts about two-thirds of the way in; about 24:10 on the audio).

Anyway, the story came to a conclusion at the end of this week’s episode. Again, this starts quite a way in (at about 17:45 on the audio). I don’t want to spoil it more than I possibly have with the title of this post, but let’s just say that it may or may not involve fighting raccoons in storm drains. A turtle-y captivating story.

“We called him a tortoise because he taught us….”

I’m glad I stopped to take photos of these lost pet notices on Rowena Avenue earlier in the week,

because as of this morning, they were all taken down. I hope this doesn’t mean that they have given up on finding the turtle:

because that would be very sad.

I am choosing to believe that they found the turtle strolling around the neighborhood, and he was absolutely fine. Judging by his fancy hat, I think the turtle was just out shopping for a new outfit. Maybe an evening ensemble:

Very fancy! Glad you made it back home, turtle.

Velvet Turtle image derived from a photo by Claudia on Picasa; Claudia, if you’re reading this, I know I didn’t ask permission to use your photo, but at least I gave you a photo credit, unlike this guy.

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