By now, you likely have heard about the great turtle invasion at JFK Airport, but if you are in the dark, let me enlighten you.
Last week, a herd (flock? pack? pod?) of diamondback turtles caused flight delays when they crawled out of Jamaica Bay and crept across the runways, heading for nesting grounds on a beach on the other side.
On Wednesday alone, about 150 of the reptiles had to be retrieved from the tarmac and relocated by Port Authority workers, who rounded them up and eventually chauffeured them to the sands, where they (the turtles, not the PA workers) could lay their eggs. This apparently happens every summer.
My favorite description of the incident came from George Stephanopoulos, who called it a “sort of a slow-motion stampede.”
Personally, I am glad the PA is a quasi-autonomous agency, because if Mayor Bloomberg had his way, I am certain he’d have ordered the creatures killed, as he did the Canada geese living near the airport. The geese reportedly will be served to the homeless. At least terrapin stew is not yet on the menu.
However, there is a bit more to this turtle saga.
Remember last week when told you about alien visitors living among us in human or animal form? I addressed the human-form variety, but not the other. I can now reveal that the turtles-heading-for-nests is just a cover story.
My sources tell me that what actually happened is this: A charter-flight UFO landed in the swamps near Jamaica Bay and all the passengers, disguised for their earthly visit as diamondbacks, got sick of waiting on line at customs and broke free, heading for the beach.
It’s understandable. Most of them were on 10-day discount packages (all-inclusive: meals, nest, turtle costume) and they didn’t want to waste time hanging around an airport.
These were just tourists, but other animal-form extraterrestrials have extended visas, or even permanent residency. Some have even become celebrities. Just about any night, you can see one on Craig Ferguson’s show: Secretariat. Trust me. The horse is an alien.
So is the rodent that lives on Donald Trump’s head.
And the Aflac duck.
And the little piggy that cries “Wee, wee, wee!” all the way home.
And Snuggle, the fabric-softener bear.
I’m sure you could name some others about which you have had suspicions.
Of course. What ordinary dog is smart enough to memorize a script? And in a foreign language, no less?
P.S. In response to last week’s column, a friend emailed me a story about UFOs being sighted the other day over central London. Her comment: “Hey, it looks like they got themselves a better travel agent!”