Endangered Tommy

TOMMY_Desperate HousepetsEmotional Hook: LOOK MA, A TURTLE!! 
It’s tempting to assume that highlighting your lost pet’s medical issues will draw people in, but the more exotic (and endangered) the pet, the less likely you are to find someone to relate. And while tortoises aren’t exactly exotic, they’re unique enough that sharing their glandular issues is gonna be a bit of a stretch for your average pet finder. On the other hand, tortoises are our friends: slow-moving, fascinating, vulnerable friends who are either stuck up or simple, depending on your perspective. So despite the fact that you admit to skipping off on vacation without finding someone to keep an eye on your pet, it’s impossible for us to be uninterested in a prehistoric creature that’s decided to hit the road.

Graphic Appeal: BALANCE BEAM
This flyer’s tidy, balanced layout and minimal verbiage allows the situation’s inherent peculiarities to do the work. The owners even account for third-party Tommy sightings; they seem to know that people will share information about rogue dinosaurs long before mentioning a run-in with a panicky chihuahua.

All 20 of Tommy specimens we found were in plastic document protectors, well stapled to scattered telephone poles. This effort demonstrates t’s crossed and i’s dotted. As glacially paced as turtles and tortoises can be, the creator of this flyer planned to have it hanging around for some time. Good call.

TOMMY_Desperate HousepetsCoherency Index: HIGH
Where so many people feel compelled to assure the public they’re responsible pet owners, these folks here come right out and admit they were asleep on the job. Other owners insist on including everything from diet to the grief of loved ones, aforementioned medical conditions, and even photographs featuring luxuries their beloved animal evidently enjoys. In their desperation, they show a lack of subtlety, maturity, and emotional intelligence. These owners had the presence of mind to drop the gem of Tommy’s Department of Fish and Game registration a few lines down. It’s crafty in its effectiveness, because it takes a while to realize the owners just imparted three key things: #1 you may be in over your head,  #2 Tommy is a walking museum, and #3, don’t fuck with Tommy.

Saturation: WE’RE SOLD
As we said, 20 Tommys were found throughout a rural, equestrian neighborhood. There were probably more on bulletin boards in or around nearby feed stores, but confirmation wasn’t necessary.

Futility Factor: HARDLY FUTILE
Tortoises hibernate, sure, but when they’re up and strolling across someone’s front lawn, they’re pretty hard to miss. We hope the drivers of delivery trucks and automobiles in Tommy’s neighborhood keep an eye out for him, especially since these are likely his only real enemies. We do note that the owners fail to mention whether Tommy is an adult tortoise. Adults are big – real big, real heavy, and definitely not something you want lodged in your undercarriage.

Bonus Points/Cheap Shots:
Large adult tortoises are ideal for graffiti tagging, so a mischievous minded person may take advantage of this fact. One thing is for sure, this slow-mover would look pretty silly wearing a 5-gallon cowboy hat, which is exactly what we’d put on him before calling the number.

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