Since January’s review of Taken, the most action this blog has seen has been when I log on to delete all of the spam comments I receive, and I think it’s lain stagnant long enough. The next two weeks of vacation should provide me with ample time to do some sort of abridged six-month retrospective on some of the funny things that have happened, in no particular order.
So to begin where we left off but a little later, I’ll start with…
The Tale of Guacamole Jr, the Little Axolotl that Could…n’t
Once upon a time, Laura was scanning YouTube for entertaining clips, as one often does. After following a strange rabbit hole-like trail of videos that she later could not recount, she somehow landed upon this fated gem: the axolotl song.
I had never heard of an axolotl. It sounded made up. But evidently, not only does it sing and dance with maracas, it also has some fairly fascinating physiological characteristics. While researching, we found the Scottish website www.axolotl.org to be quite informative and the FAQ section to be quite entertaining, but the main gist of the axolotl is that it is an animal that can either stay in its neotenic or larval state for its entire life without ever transitioning to adulthood, or it can pull a transformer and morph into a salamander.
Anyway, the song became sort of a cult hit (I say that in the loosest possible sense of the term… really I mean that amongst the ten or so of us we just started singing it a lot… or a lotl, if you will.)
Shortly thereafter, the Salon d’Agriculture came to town. The principal attraction for me was the goats, Lauren was after the sheep, Jillsa wanted to see the cats and dogs. We passed a lovely afternoon with the farm animals and were just about to leave in search of food when, lo and behold, there they were: tank upon tank of axolotls. And unlike the cows and horses and pigs, the axolotls were for sale. It took Bastien all of two minutes of consideration, five minutes of selecting the right tank and tank décor and the axolotl was ours.
He came in a plastic bag, his little white nubby eyes taking in his new family, his creepy little fingers wiggling in excitement. Because axolotls are native to Mexico, and because we had previously had an unsuccessful attempt at growing an avocado named Guacamole, our new axolotl friend was dubbed Guacamole Jr.
He went to live happily at the boys’ apartment with a panoramic view of Paris and the Eiffel tower. Periodically people fed him chips and beer to supplement his normal diet of bloodworms. Sometimes he would get to come out of the tank and do things like go in peoples’ mouths, or crawl around on their stomachs. It was the best of times for young Guacamole. He had his whole future ahead of him. He could become a salamander! He could stay an axolotl! Either way, he could spend all of his days in the City of Light with people that loved him!
Well, most people loved him. There was one. There was one person that had other plans for young Guac. Thomas was waiting for the right time. The others couldn’t be there, they couldn’t know, they would try to stop him, he might fail. He devised a ploy, an alibi, the perfect cover story for the perfect crime. He would act like he was cleaning the tank. He would say he was taking care of the pet, being responsible, and then…
Thomas poured out half of Guacamole’s tank water. Guacamole wiggled his creepy little fingers in excitement. New water! He gazed at Thomas adoringly, admiring his black-framed glasses, wishing he had a little Guacamole Junior sized pair of his own. Thomas placed the tank in the sink. He spun the faucet and turned on the flow of water.
Hot water. Like boiling hot magma water. By the time Laura came into the room, Guacamole was upside-down and looking rather not alive. She suggested the refrigerator. They waited. News of the boiling spread.
That evening, the announcement came. Guacamole Jr had indeed passed on, victim to the fiery waves of Thomas’ wrath.
The boys wrapped him
unceremoniously ceremoniously in a napkin and placed him outside on the balcony to mummify while we waited for the weekend when the proper funeral arrangements could be executed. Eulogies were drafted. We imagined little Guac finding his salamandy mate in some sort of amphibious heaven, finally emerging from his neotenic state, losing his weird feathery gills and turning a gross greenish-brown color. But not Lauren. Lauren imagined dissecting the axolotl, curious to know what was inside that slightly translucent, weird little body.
And with a souvenir corkscrew from La Rochelle, she did it. Until Loic put an end to things and sent Guacamole Jr to his watery grave via the goldfish route.
And that is the definitely-not-approved-for-PETA tale of the little axelotl that was.