One could fairly describe Stewart (“Stuey”) Pfulph, as a small, unassuming, and generally introverted person, who, in an effort to look his true age and, conceivably, improve his disappointing social life, had been only moderately successful in his attempts to grow a man-size mustache. Modest in stature, but passionate by nature, he projected his potential ardor onto the lifestyle of a passionate lover of small, domesticated animals. Consequently, after the truly crushing disappointment of flunking out of veterinary school in his freshman year, he sought employment in some field, related to the care of domestic animals. Positions in this limited and unspecific area being extremely scarce; but he, as an intelligent, educated and self-respecting person, could not possibly accept the available lowly, part-time assignments as a dog walker. After much frustrated effort, Stuey was finally obliged to accept a nighttime position as an “Airport Canine Hygienist,” specifically consisting of the sanitary removal of dog droppings from narcotic- sniffing dogs, at the “Airport Arrivals” tarmac at LaGuardia Airport.
Thus, five nights per week, and, occasionally on weekends, he would routinely commute by bicycle to LaGuardia, arriving, promptly at 6:30P.M., and, with the exception of a 9:30 coffee break plus an early morning meal break, would continuously alternate, from one landing area to the other, toting a yellow, airport plastic bag, dutifully attending to his undertaken canine investigation responsibilities.
On one Tuesday evening, following the arrival and “deplaning” of a Pan American Airlines flight from Aruba, he espied a small leather bag, on the tarmac, apparently left behind by a traveler. The small bag had an identification ticket which read: Emma Ipecac, 13 Valentine Street, N.Y.C., Apt. 6B. Stuey, a bit nonplussed, since he resided at the same building address, in apartment 4B, decided, as a favor, to personally return the found bag, rather than delivering it, as usual, to the overstocked and disorganized, Airport “Lost and Found,” department, and carefully inserted the small bag in his jacket pocket, with that neighborly intention.
The following morning, Stuey, after a short nap and quick, nervous shower, arrived at Emma’s door, at 6B, and rapped softly. Emma had just had breakfast and was busily engaged in putting away the balance of her unpacked clothes from the previous evening. She answered, “Who is there?” Stuey, nervously replied, “Is this the residence of Emma Ipecac?” She answered in the affirmative and so he identified himself as a downstairs neighbor and related the details of his find, the previous evening.
Upon being admitted to Apt. 6B, Stuey, while handing Emma the lost small leather bag, was immediately smitten by her exotic beauty. Emma, happily relieved to recover her property, invited Stuey in, and if “he had time,” for a neighborly cup of coffee. To be candid, the petite, demur Emma Ipecac, felt a general and unspecific attraction to Stuey; conceivably, it was the appearance of the off- beat mustache, like her late father. They sat at Emma’s plain chrome kitchen table for coffee, each slightly blushing.
As Emma poured the coffee, she said,” I am sure you must be curious about the contents of the bag, assuming, correctly, from her initial impression of Stuey, that he did not, out of mere curiosity, inappropriately, open the small bag. In addition to some clean tissues and a soft moistened cloth, the opened bag revealed, three small, soft tan orbs, identified by Emma as marine turtle eggs. She confessed to her impulsive act in taking the three eggs from an exposed cluster of thousands laid by their maternal source. She stated that she now regretted the impulsive act, which was probably illegal and swore Stuey to secrecy. Stuey, still blushing from internal excitement, of course, agreed. They very gently, placed the three turtle eggs on a clean, soft towel, inserted as a liner in an empty shoebox, in Emma’s clothes closet, in close proximity to a warming lightbulb. Their remote hope was that the purloined eggs would successfully hatch, affording the opportunity for the hatchling turtles to be transported to the nearby shore and, thereby, perform a kind act and additionally, relieve Emma’s ailing conscience.
The joint and daily enterprise, of responsibly curating the turtle eggs for the required two months was successfully rewarded by the eventual appearance of three little green hatchlings. It was further rewarded by the hatching of the nascent love affair between Emma and Stuey. As the relationship happily matured, Emma, had been advised by Stuey, of his great love for animals and his negative and disappointing experiences in that endeavor. Emma excitedly advised him, that Mr. Horton Ipecac, her paternal Uncle, is the head curator of the nearby State zoo, and she, being his favorite niece, would certainly be willing to secure a position for him at the zoo, caring for and working with animals.
During the drive to the local seashore, in possession of the three hatchling turtles, destined to live a natural life in the Ocean, Stuey, clumsily, but effectively, asked Emma to marry him, which she joyously accepted. Thereafter, by virtue of the political connections of Emma’s influential Uncle, permission was secured to hold the wedding ceremony, meaningfully, at the waiting plaza, adjacent to the Pan American Airways “Arrivals Area”. The newly wedded, Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Pfulph’s lavish wedding, was momentarily interrupted by Stuey’s studiously ignored, declaration, he thought he “saw something” on the tarmac.
The newlywed’s honeymoon was enjoyed in Aruba, the West Indian Island Emma had originally visited, however, this time, no turtle eggs were taken. Eighteen months later, the married couple joyously announced the birth of healthy triplet human hatchlings.