Five things which should (but won’t) feature in A Turtle’s Tale

Later today, I’ll be seeing A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures. Obviously, my main concern about this engagement is that the healthy no-nonsense families also in attendance will assume that I’m a massive paedophile, but once I’ve suppressed that worry (and/or my depraved lust) there are still a few things about the film which are troubling me. Turtles don’t live quite the charmed life which I suspect Sammy (Dominic Cooper/John Hurt) is on course to enjoy; but can I honestly endorse a film which willfully rose-tints the chelonian lifestyle? Eek…


1) Sammy should (but won’t) be rendered down so his fat can be used in Mexican cosmetics

God bless the Mexicans – just when you’ve finally come to terms with the endless and bloody gang wars which are tearing their country apart, it turns out that after a long day of beheading policemen/being beheaded/stepping over decapitated bodies what they really like to do is relax by rubbing clarified turtle fat into their faces. Crema de tortuga, which contains pure turtle oil, is apparently excellent for treating sunburn and dry skin (probably why the turtles prefer not to have it scooped out of them). I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if Gemma Arterton picked up the habit during filming…

2) Sammy should (but won’t) be teased by Chinese people

You know how the Chinese have an aversion to the number four because it sounds like the Mandarin word for death? Well, this is even less logical. It’s a deadly insult to call a Chinese man a ‘turtle’, because turtles are regarded as somewhat lacking in virility; therefore, to draw a comparison with a turtle is to suggest that the man in question has been cuckolded. This is compounded by the inexplicable idiom ‘to wear a green hat’, meaning to be cheated upon; apparently green hats look like turtles. Or something. Anyway, the Chinese are dead wrong; you’ll find out why in a few points’ time…

3) Sammy should (but won’t) be forced to participate in a ‘turtle race’

There are some pretty shitty sports doing the rounds – netball springs to mind, as does rounders and anything which I was made to play at school – but nothing quite measures up to turtle racing. Here’s how it works: you draw a circle and put some turtles in the middle of it. They wander about aimlessly, as you might expect, and when one of them finally crosses the boundary of the circle the ‘race’ is deemed to be ‘over’. That’s literally it. The highlight of the event is probably decorating your turtle so you can recognise it, which is in itself a ballache because UHU doesn’t stick to shells.

4) Sammy should (but won’t) have his shell powdered and made into a medicinal jelly

According to legend, the Tongzhi Emperor was nearly cured of smallpox thanks to his regular consumption of guilinggao, a bitter jelly made from boiling a turtle shell with a variety of herbs and spices – unfortunately, his mum convinced him that he’d be better off worshipping a statue and he promptly died. Ouch. Nowadays, guilinggao can be prepared at home using instant turtle jelly powder (no, really) or even bought in a ring-pull can so you can guzzle some tasty gelatinous turtle shell while on the move! On the move to be a fucking oddball somewhere else, one presumes.

5) Sammy should (but won’t) produce a penis like a fleshy purple flower

Lacking virility, eh? Turtles are clearly very confident in their own masculinity, or they presumably wouldn’t want to have such girly looking appendages. Isn’t it lovely? Mind you, I bet Sammy never even gets it out, the prudish turtle bastard. Oi! Sammy! GET YOUR PURPLE FLOWER COCK OUT FOR THE LADS!

Wish me luck!

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