Friday, December 16, 2005

Towards Victory

Well lookie here.

The Farmboyz have made me aware that I've been nominated for "Best New Gay Blog", by some blog site or other. I've never really won anything before; 'cept for one time.


One Saturday while wandering the woods in the charge of my older brother, we had fished a frogs egg cluster out of the icy waters of the small pond on the farm at the end of our street. I carried them in a found paper coffee cup, back up the dirt road to our house and their new home in a galvanized bucket just inside the door to the sunporch. They thrived. Though we made no real efforts on their behalf other than changing out fresh pond water (at my Dad's suggestion), I was filled with the pride of successful husbandry when they hatched into a squiggling mass, just in time for The Wilcox Park Pet Show. On the eagerly anticipated day, we scooped the pollywogs into an empty economy size Jiff peanut butter jar, and excitedly clambered into the station wagon for the drive downtown. The picturesque grounds had been over run by clamoring crowds of wild eyed children running around with cardboard boxes of mewling kittens and cages of frantic hamsters, tripping over the leashes of yapping pure breds and mutts, and weary mothers in ignored efforts to ride herd. After registering me in the amphibians division, Mom turned us loose into the chaos.

Distracted by the general commotion and lured by the impossible glamour of watching local Cable Vision tape the turtle races, I missed the call to present my tiny black beauties. I was devastated. It should have been my moment of glory, and I reacted as any five year old cheated out of certain victory by cruel fate; I began to cry. Not just garden variety bawling would do in this case of egregious misfortune. Oh no. Sniffling grew into tears and wailing, then morphed into heaving red faced, apoplectic sobs. At first, Mom did her best to comfort me, (avoiding till later the assessment that it was my own damn fault) but I was inconsolable. Soon I curled into a tight ball of affliction on the cold hard ground, the peanut butter jar of my denied charges slippery from hot tears and snot hugged tight to my broken heart. Unable to understand the depths of my grief, the pollywogs wriggled away unconcerned. Mom wasn't doing as well. Frustrated and embarrassed by my display to begin with, now, as she vainly attempted to lift the dead weight of my tiny prostrate self up out of the pine needles and dirt, the videographer had moved in on the spectacle. She became increasingly frantic, imagining the resulting broadcast which when viewed by the pitying eyes of more competent mothers, would demonstrate her inability to manage her wild and disobedient children.

One of the judges stepped in to rescue Mom from the clucking tongued specter of the ladies of South County. He deftly scooped me up, plucked the jar from my tiny hands, and shook me into a standing position in one motion, which startled me enough to stop the tears. He considered me at one hand, the jar in the other, and Mom in the middle. He spoke more to Mom than to me or the pollywogs, reasoning that since my hatchlings were obviously swimming, he saw no reason I couldn't enter them in the just about to begin fish competition, and that we should get ourselves over there. Now. He escorted my grateful mother and me, wiping away evidence of the tantrum with my coat sleeve, over toward the expectant gathering of other hopefuls, all bearing vessels containing their own contenders. A precocious child, I was well aware from regular viewings of PBS' Hodge Podge Lodge(on which a Birkenstock wearing pony tailed woman in a granny frock lead us through the woods beyond her tiny green cabin, in search of salamanders, empty hornets nests, and beaver dams) that my pollywogs were amphibians, not fish; but I wasn't about to let biological fact get in the way of my rise to pet show glory. We stood and waited our inspection.

I don't remember the "other" fish, the other prizes, or the surely disgusted expression on my brother's face at the prospect that once again, somehow, I'd cry babied my way to victory. I only remember the P.A. system announcing my name as the owner of "The Littlest Fish" while a blue satin ribbon was taped to the lid of the peanut butter jar and the Cable Vision man recorded my triumph.

So vote for me!

Or I'll cry.
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