Death of a Turtle Association: Napkin to Restaurant to Dinner
Read this hilarious piece of napkin fiction by Millard Kaufman, the Academy Award-winning 90-year-old cocreator of Mr. Magoo.
By Millard Kaufman (more from this author)
6/28/2007, 11:12 AM
My wife ordered turtle soup which reminded me of something Bing Crosby told me years ago. We were talking I forget about what, but it wasn’t turtles. The 2nd assistant director walked up with a phone.
"For you," he said to Crosby.
Bing took the phone, listened attentively, said, "I'll be right there," and hung up. "That was Gary, one of my twins," he told me. "He's got 2 small turtles and 1 of them died. See you," he said and left.
Next day he was back. "What about the kids and the turtle?" I asked.
"What happened," Bing said, "I stopped on the way home, picked up a cigar box for a coffin and a square of black velvet to line it with. I dug a hole out back and put the turtle in it. We sang songs, the boy said a few words about what a great turtle it had been."
They shed a few tears laughed over stories as they told them. It was a fine funeral, enjoyed by all. To the extent that, when finally it was over, "Daddy," Gary said, "Let's kill the other one."
About the author: At 90 years old, Millard Kaufman might be the oldest debut novelist of all time. He was nominated for screenwriting Academy Awards for Take the High Ground! (1954) and for the legendary Bad Day at Black Rock (1956). He's also the cocreator of Mr. Magoo. His first book, Bowl of Cherries, will be out from McSweeney's Books in September 2007.