Like a mocking Moriarty (or: The tortoise torch song)


Remember Zeno?

You know, the guy who said Achilles was too slow to overtake a tortoise?

No? Then just Wiki it – no, don’t go away: I’ve got a link here

Right, so now you know.

Of course, even a tortoise may suffer from a certain type, or subspecies, of athlete’s foot: the famous Achilles heel.

What?! Good grief! There we go again

Anyway, while a tortoise may outrun a crippled demi-god, it can’t run as fast as rumour can spread through a crowd, or faster than wildfire…

… or as fast as any ordinary house brand fire, to be honest:

‘Fire officials say a lumbering pet turtle sparked a fast-moving fire in a New York City apartment after crawling out of its tank and knocking over the terrarium’s heat lamp.’

Unlike Achilles though, the tortoise was made of sterner stuff:

‘Giovani, a 6-year-old African tortoise about the size of a basketball, survived.’

On the other hand,

‘Another turtle that lived in a water tank was killed.’


So, forget Zeno – and don’t bother with any doomed heroics: What we need here is a Hercule Poirot (alright already…!) and his little grey cells.

Accident, schmeccident: This reeks like murder most foul!

Or, as the old nursery rhyme goes:

‘A tortoise is an evil thing
We know for we had two
That ate and slept the livelong day
It’s all they cared to do

Until we tried to make them race
It wasn’t any fun
One burned the other inside its shell
And then went on the run’

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