Turbo Signs the Birthday Card

Here is a classic gem from the Greyhound List. Marcia Wood (Hecker) is a writer who can really tell a wonderful tale! Marcia has just sent us this photo of the famous card signer!

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997

Subject: CHAT: Turbo signs the birthday card

Turbo in a more calm moment.

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday, so I’ve been rushing around today

getting the presents and the cards and everything–Fred likes a big fuss

made on his birthday and I always try to oblige. I found a neat card at

one shop and thought–hey, I’ll try to get Turbo to put a pawprint on it.

I thought the best thing to use as a medium would be watercolor paint.

Easy to clean up, I thought–but we don’t have any watercolor paint.

And I *won’t * go buy some just for a pawprint. Poster paint–no. Oil

paint–no. Ink–no. Oh, I know–food coloring! But, heh, heh, I’m so

smart–NOT red because that’s the devil to get out. As it happens I

have a little bottle of green in the cupboard. Let’s try that.

I figured we could do it like stamp art–soak a sponge with the

coloring, then press Turbo’s foot to the sponge and then to the card.

Couldn’t be easier, especially since Turbo’s so serene. Did I think to

do this outside? No. Did I think to do it on a drop cloth? Did I think

to do this with him lying down? Did I think–at all?

We got down to business on our almost-new white kitchen floor. I got

the sponge soaked with food coloring, got the card all ready to slip

under Turbo’s paw, and even got a wet rag all set to wipe him off with.

I called him in, he came, I asked for his paw, he gave it to me, I

pressed the paw against the sponge–and Turbo decides to get curious.

Gets his nose in the green, gets his green paw on my white (stupid!)

pants, gets his green nose in my face, becomes fascinated with the

noseprints–and hey look, pawprints too!–he leaves everywhere. I toss

the sponge, but that doesn’t matter because all he needs to do to get

his other feet inked up is to step on his own footprints. And his

tail–oh no! Oh Nooooo…

Green on the fridge, green on the dishwasher, green on the wastebasket

and of course green all over the floor. Green on the walls, green on

the chandelier. The only ungreen square in the entire kitchen is the

birthday card, a pristine island in the sea-green floor. Not a single

speck of color on the birthday card–not even the swipe of a nose.

And then Turbo decides to do with his green self what he does with all

his treats and new toys–take it to his nest. In the living room.

Across my oriental rugs. In a split save worthy of Grant Fuhr I block

the kitchen door, herd Turbo closer to the sink while dancing around the

green puddles on the floor so I don’t start leaving footprints myself,

and …

And what??? The water’s up here in the sink and Turbo’s down there on

the floor. And how do I grab a bowl from one cabinet and a washcloth

from another without letting go of his collar? And if I let him go can

I grab the bowl and the washcloth and get him back before he escapes

from the kitchen? And at this point, does it really matter?

Next year I’ll do it the easy way–I’ll teach Turbo to write his name.

On the bright side, I got Fred what he wanted for his birthday–a big,

BIG fuss.

Marcia (empress of dumb ideas)

Turbo (kiss me, I’m Irish)

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article and any photos or artwork contained within may not be reproduced or reprinted without express written permission from the author, artists, and/or photographers. 

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