Motorman, David Ohle’s 1972 debut, which we’re not even going to attempt to sum up here because you should just trust us and read it, is one of very few novels that can honestly be described as wholly original. None other than Gordon Lish deemed the book one of his favorites. But after its release, David completely vanished from the literary landscape, not publishing another novel for 32 years. Motorman promptly went out of print and until recently could only be obtained via photocopied bootlegs that were clandestinely distributed among a cult of devout followers. The below story is a hitherto unpublished investigation of the mutant anatomy of turtle boys, appropriately accompanied by photos of the dissection of a turtle.
Reading certain books and pamphlets brought to the Professor’s mind memories of Angel Ozalo, the first turtle boy, Iceland born, who had a remarkable career exhibiting himself in medical fora and symposia (for a fee, of course). His home base was St. Thomas, and he was well known in Royal Society circles for his three-leggedness. Many wanted to amputate the extra leg for their museum collections, but he knew its show value and refused. The additional leg was an evagination of the sacrum, and it was insensate. The knee was fused and unbendable, but he could still flap it under his left thigh and strap it there like a flamingo does during sleep. Half of the flamingos known to the Professor were left-footed anyway. So Angel went on with seeming agility, unencumbered.
The Professor wrote a little commemorative poem dedicated to Angel:
Turtle Boy, oh, Turtle Boy,
Sprung from hot springs,
Only 18 inches high.
Wondrous legs, no kneecaps
To scrape or joints within them.
Play your drums, boy,
Play your drums,
Your flute and panpipes too.
King Dodo, after all.
One evening the Professor presented a learned lecture on a bird-headed turtle boy who he’d captured in Sumatra. It had to be smuggled off the island because he had no waiver and refused to pay duty. He spared no expense on the boy’s toilet and had imported two-headed-turtle-oil cream for lubricating his testicle bag.Continue