OK, so Wailey is here. I was sooo nervous opening the box, so worried he wouldn't be OK. But he is! :) Look at those big strong arms! I was going to get some pictures at lunchtime, but left my camera on when I uploaded that blurry picture up top, so my battery's now dead. Darnit.
During my lunch, I decided I'd take Wailey for a walk. I was going to drive him home, but I doubt he cares if he's here or there, especially considering I have a space heater in my office. So I took him to the little patch of grass by the parking lot. That patch is also right next to an apartment building. I was standing there with him.. well, following him as he hauled his little tail around, presumably looking for a hiding spot. Then I noticed that the courtyard of the apartment had much nicer grass. The stuff Wailey was in was a little sandy and there were cigarette butts around (another reason people suck).
So I took him over to the deserted courtyard and let him walk around in the grass and the mulch around the trees. Then some women pulled up and came to knock on one of the apartment doors. "Oh, that's a turtle!" one said. "Yep, a tortoise. He just got here today, so I'm letting him get some fresh air." They inquired as to where his head was (stuck inside his shell) and we made small talk. Friendly. Then I said, "Yeah, I work right over there so I figured I'd let him walk around a bit during my break."
Their demeanor instantly changed. "Well, you do realize this is private property, right?" Um. "Yeah, but I'm just letting him walk around in the grass, I'm not hurting anything." "If management sees you, they're going to say something." "That's fine," I answered. Then the older of the old bags said, "You realize we have an association. And she's on the board," nodding her head to the other crotchety woman. Okay, I thought, so it's a condo. She must be pretty proud of herself for wielding THAT much authority.. on the Board of some tiny condominium association!
I was flabberghasted. I was WALKING IN THE GRASS in a VERY OPEN COURTYARD in what I thought was an apartment building that SHARES A PARKING LOT WITH MY OFFICE. Who the heck cares? It's not as if they have some private, lush paradisical garden or something.. It's a big square of grass that their walkways line. I finally just shook my head and said, "You know, that's what I love about Florida. Everyone is just SO FRIENDLY." Luckily they detected my thick sarcasm and the one responded, "Well, we just wanted to let you know. This is private property." So I put the tortoise back down and let him walk some more, with these women ten feet away from me. "Walk away, little Wailey."
What is wrong with people, anyway?