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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Carving Out a Name For Myself

Oh, sure. It would be so easy for me to simply ride on the coat tails of my predecessors lengthy lists of accomplishments. I could so easily rest on the laurels of their impressive, purposeful lives and noteworthy links to the upper eschelants of multiple societies.

But that's not my way.

I cannot, in good conscience, gain my own sense of worth and value from the hard-earned status of say; my brother W's notable inclusion in the "Smart Car Enthusiast's Club". Tempting though it may be to simply drop his name in social contexts, and thereby earn the respect and envy of those around me, I must struggle and aspire to my own levels of greatness.

It is also true that my brother K left the world a better place, working tirelessly in restorative justice- foregoing the pleasures of breakfasts at Stella's, Ethiopian restaurants, and access to luxuries such as The Love Nest, while he toiled away at legalities in the cold tundra of the North.

And I'd be amiss not to throw a bone to my eldest brother, who sacrificed the better years of his life to live in a milder climate and accept lowly positions of humility such as "Country Director" in the little known organization; "The United Nations". Responsible for making decisions about worldwide food distribution, and organizing teams, travelling the globe, responding to crises such as Haiti, Darfur, and Pakistan, my brother has done what he could with what he's been given.

But they will now likely fall to the temptation of dropping my name to bring them prestige in the eyes of their colleagues.

Was it any of them who received a life-changing notification of their brilliance, complete with a prize of impressive dimensions?

I think not.

No, it was one of Niverville's very own who correctly guessed the weight of the giant pumpkin placed in all its brazen glory on the main street of our forward thinking mini-metropolis.

I had just put in the last moments of a particularly trying day in my high level corporate job as bum-wiper and snot-mopper. I was nosing around for some type of sedative to take the edge off my anxiety when the phone rang. It was none other than the Matriarch of Monaco's Greenhouse on Main.

I waited for her words with breathless anticipation.

"We are pleased to inform you that you have correctly guessed the weight of our town's new mascot: El Gigantico Pumpkin-eso" (I may have paraphrased ever so slightly on our actual dialogue)

The trials of my day suddenly fading in the glorious light of these glad tidings, I immediately made arrangements to retrieve my extraordinary spoils.

Sure, there was a wind warning for our area, and rain had been pelting down for days. My daughter came home from school that day informing me that the strength of the winds were equivalent to a hurricane on land; known in these parts as "a weather bomb".

Better than a sedative, I say.

There was no vehicle available for m mission, and even if there were, I didn't imagine that with my decreased stature and increased fat content I could possibly hoist a one hundred + pound pumpkin onto the van; hurricane notwithstanding.

So I donned my hand-me-down raincoat and let the wind carry me towards my mission.

It was conveniently contained in a child's wagon; in all its orange, lopsided glory. Gripping my "Boo!" bag of prize candy in one arm, I hauled on the wagon with the other.

Straight through the heart of town, past the gas station, the world renown furniture store, a couple of the fifty odd churches in town, and straight up to my own back door. I, and It, had arrived.

I knew that life was forever changed. Marked by this remarkable day when my public image, my place in this world, and my status both in my family and in the wider world would never again be the same. Gone were the days of anonymity- carefree strolls through my town, effortless trips to the grocery store, gas station, and post office.

The requests would soon begin to flood the space of my already cramped privacy. My mother would expect me to carve it into the shape of a large carriage, and parade her around town in it. The children would beg to create a giant puking spectacle. The daytime kidlets would harass me endlessly for treats from the B00 bounty.

I felt the weight of social responsibility fall, not uncomfortably on my (suddenly wider) shoulders.
I would not let my brothers and sisters down. Neither figuratively, or literally. I would carve that monster. Tame her. Love her. Photograph her.

And when my name appeared in all its infamy Das Carillon, I would remain humble,



never forgetting the days before; the days of heady life in the pumpkin spotlight, and the fate of the people less gifted with the numerical code than I.

6 comments:

jenn said...

Hilarious! I loved this post.

Yesterday, I overheard Jill saying "Go Joyce Go".

I asked if she was thinking about you rolling your pumpkin up on to the deck.

She said "yup".

Anonymous said...

You are a complete NUT!!! Love it...L-lew

Karla said...

And to think.... I KNOW you!! I'll be famous by association! It's perfect!

janice said...

Yes, I have dropped your name in conversation numerous times this weekend. Everyone was totally impressed that I (kind of) know you.

joyce said...

hmmm.
Fascinating, how suddenly FOUR people claim to "Know Me".

hmmmm.

christine said...

i couldn't read anything past "The Love Nest"......