Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A friend told me that Snapping Turtles can be hypnotized. I wish I had known that little factoid when I wrote the last blog! So, I went online to find out about this perhaps invaluable skill. You never know when you might need this kind of information. I found this in the Evansville Courier Press, Courierpress.com It's just simply too freakin' funny to not include in tandem to my Ohgrabme post. I wish I had been there! And I thought the gene pool in Maine is a little dilute!

Calvin "Clicker" Embry talks a little funny these days. You would, too if a 15-pound snapping turtle ever latched onto your tongue and wouldn't let go.

This bizarre story started to unfold just before dusk this past Fourth of July. Embry, 41, a laborer from Wayne City, Ill., was at a local fireworks display when one of his buddies asked if he'd show everybody how he can hypnotize a snapping turtle and kiss him right on the snout.

"I started doing this trick years ago, and it's a great crowd pleaser," the legendary turtle hunter said. "I guess I've kissed about a hundred snappin' turtles and never been bit — until this last time."

Embry just happened to have a 15-pound "snapper" with him at the fireworks show, and he proceeded to demonstrate his bizarre animal hypnotism routine.

"I got him out of the truck, tilted him down at just the right angle and started rubbin' his belly," Embry said. "If you do it just right, they get all relaxed and everything and you can kiss 'em right on the snout."

Well, Embry did everything the same way he had the previous hundred times, but something went wrong.

"I must have tilted him the wrong way, 'cause he woke up," Embry said. "I can usually kiss him on the snout, then lick their eyeballs before they wake up, but something went really wrong."

What went wrong was the 15-pound turtle woke up and latched onto Embry's tongue as he was preparing to lick the creature's eyeballs.

"When it happened, everybody started running around like crazy and were yelling," Embry said. "Do you know how hard it is to talk with a 15-pound snappin' turtle hanging off the end of your tongue?"

Embry finally was able to communicate to a friend to get a knife and stick it into the turtle's mouth and work it back and forth. "They'll let go every time," Embry said.

Once his friend had pried the turtle off his tongue, "Clicker" decided it was time to go to the emergency room to see what was left of his tongue.

"That doctor hadn't ever seen anything like this, so he took some pictures for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine," Embry said. "I got a tetanus shot and he sent me home."

Embry later saw his family physician and got some antibiotics. The chunk of tongue that's missing makes "Clicker" talk a little funny, but it's not serious enough to stop him from kissing snapping turtles on the snout or licking their eyeballs.

"I kept that old turtle and will probably have him mounted by a taxidermist one of these days," Embry said. "For now, though, I'm keeping his water changed every day and don't have any plans to dress him out."

If anyone's keeping score, that's "Clicker" Embry 100, snappin' turtles 1.

n Contact Len Wells at (618) 842-2159 or lenwells@wabash.net


  1. Yeah, well let me tell ya about the story I heard about a guy who went skinny dipping in a pond that had a snapping turtle in residence. Well, no, I won't actually tell you what happened - you can probably guess. But what does it say about the victim, if the turtle mistook "that certain part of a man's body" for a worm? I guess he would need some of that magical male enhancement stuff they sell on TV.

  2. What some people will do, maybe the fellow should try hypnotizing lobsters. abt or anonymous in dc. Poppy told me she wants to be
    on your blog

  3. Well, that makes me feel better about the mental capabilities of your average Mainer. They are smarter than the average Illini. Kissin' snapping turtles and selling senate seats!! What will they think of next? Maybe the Cubs can win the World Series---- naaaaw!!!!

  4. Some people will put their life at risk for no apparent good reason! I
    witnessed the power of snapping turtles as a kid and have a VERY healthy
    respect for them! Doesn't quite ring true though--a turtle that size
    would not hang on to the tongue, it would have bitten a piece right out
    and fallen off, don't you think?

  5. p.s. I sent the turtle story to my reptile/amphibian loving son and his
    comment was "I've kissed plenty of animals...but licking the eyeballs is
    not my style"