DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN- Nothing’s Funny
Nothing’s Funny by The Dillinger Escape Plan– Great song! If I was a standup comedian (wink wink) this would be the song that Rusty Fish Hook would come out to. Dope song, off a GOOD ALBUM, from an interesting band. I went through a little bit of a DEP compulsive listening phase which lasted a few months following my discovery of their reformed band in 2010. I knew of Dillinger Escape Plan from a guest vocal stint Mike Patton had done for them in 2002. I had never checked them out with their “new” singer, Greg Puciato, until after hearing him doing guest vox on Soulfly’s release of Omen in 2010. I could go on about all this, but let’s change the subject for a minute- I used to have a pet turtle. His/her name was Frances/Francis (depending on who you were talking to: the pet shop owner said it was a female, and the veterinarian said male. Maybe it was vice versa? I can’t remember who said what- the point is that there were conflicting stories regarding the turtle’s gender- Nothing’s Funny). We caught “Frankster” on a family fishing trip in 1990, which was the summer between 5th and sixth grade, and also the summer between my transition from catholic school to public school. Anyway, the summer of 1990 was when we added a reptilian sibling to our family. This turtle was my new best friend. My baby brother…or sister. I’d feed her worms and all sorts of bugs, but gold fish were his favorite. No matter what organism was in the cage, Frankster would be sure to let them know that they fucked up by landing in her cage. He’d rip them to shit and sometimes leave just the goldfish’s head gasping for breath as it floated upside down waiting to die in the blood-tainted water. Brutal! Other times she would catch the fish by its head, and bite off its entire face leaving a blind, twitching, virtually headless fish torso to swim around in circles fearful of its life, and streaming blood…until Frankster slowly and methodically went in for the kill. Nothing’s Funny.
It was always exciting to watch the fish try to escape their imminent death. Frankster had a rock in its cage for “sunbathing,” and much of the time the fish would swim behind the rock and hide. This was a good survival mechanism for the fish because Frankster couldn’t fit behind the rock. Sometimes the fish could last up to a day, but eventually they would fall asleep and drift out from behind it…and meet their maker. Other times, when I wanted to watch the feeding, the hand of the human “god” would swoop in to remove the rock…and let the torture resume. A sort of twist on divine intervention. Nothing’s Funny. Sometimes I felt like the turtle was my only friend. Don’t get me wrong- I had a few friends, but Frankster was like a brother. That turtle knew some of my deepest, darkest secrets. I was closer to Frankster than I was to my real brother. I could talk for hours about Frankster, but I don’t want to bore you (assuming that I haven’t already). Anyone who has dealt with turtles knows that their shit doesn’t smell like herbal tea. God Damn did that cage stink when it got dirty. The water would look like pea soup, and smelled like sauerkraut mixed with feces. I was used to the smell. After 23 years, one gets used to that sort of thing. YES, I said 23 years! I had that turtle in my last year of little league, ALL through my smoking years, then high school & college, in the slums of Los Angeles, then into my marriage, and FINALLY into the beginning years of fatherhood! Frankster was with me through it all!! Many lifetimes had passed since catching the Frankster. Nothing’s Funny…
Now, let’s deal with what happened: On October 1st 2013, I was a married man and father of a 1 year old girl…and proud owner of a turtle. Anyone with kids knows that once they pop into existence, other things in your life are not quite as important as they used to be- like your pet turtle. We had nowhere to really keep Frankster or the 10-gallon cage in our house, as our daughter was beginning to walk around, and was getting into everything. She tripped over lots of things as well. In fact, she stumbled off our patio and gouged her forehead on the corner of the glass turtle cage. There was blood, scarring, etc. Nothing’s Funny. Anyway, October 1st was warm. The “preceding” summer we had taken to keeping her cage outside underneath the stars at night. Frankster practically spent the entire summer of 2013 outside. Meanwhile, I was trying to give the turtle away to a good home- family members, or inlaws- but the fish weren’t biting. I had even planned to go to where we caught him and have a tearful release back into the wild. Anyway, I remember literally listening to Nothing’s Funny by Dillinger Escape Plan the last time that I cleaned Frankster’s cage with the hose. That night I brought a bag of garbage outside and within seconds it had been ripped open and I had trash all over my driveway that I had to pick up. While picking the trash up, I heard what sounded like an animal trying to break open a coconut. I saw the glow of some demonic raccoon eyes staring back at me in the dark, then it disappeared. The next morning I go outside to drop some lettuce into my turtle’s cage, and there was no turtle- just water and the rock. Nothing’s Funny
My first thought was ”The fucking neighbors stole my turtle!” I was ready to ring their doorbell, punch the dad’s lights out, then force my way into their house to investigate the whereabouts of my lost turtle for myself- as the police would be of no help in this case. Nothing’s Funny. Gradually, as rationality set in, I realized that it was probably an animal- THEN I remembered those demonic glowing raccoon eyes from the night before…and that “coconut” sound. Then I KNEW what happened. Nothing’s Funny. That was no coconut. It was a turtle shell. Nothing’s Funny. Raccoons have the dexterity of spider monkeys, PLUS claws. I did some research on raccoon-inspired turtle fatalities. It wasn’t at all comforting to read that much of the time raccoons eat the limbs and leave the turtle to die slowly. Nothing’s Funny. I was sick to my stomach. Nothing’s Funny. Was this turtle Karma for all the gruesome goldfish deaths that my Frankster was responsible for? I don’t know, perhaps. Every time I mowed my lawn for the next few weeks, I kept one eye out for a turtle carcass. Since that day, every raccoon that I see I want to kill! #TurtleVengeance. Anyway, Nothing’s Funny by Dillinger Escape Plan– my favorite song from 2013. Give it a listen.
PS- The story would be much less confusing if I knew the turtle’s gender…Nothing’s Funny
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