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Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Proposal Moon

The following is the Tall Tale speech I delivered and won at the Area level Toastsmasters International competition. Enjoy!!

Jerome McCormick is an inventor who lives in a town a stone’s throw from Bliss ID. His latest invention is a powerful laser that will write messages on the moon. He will market it to companies that want to advertise on a global scale. When this invention was in prototype mode, he asked his friend, Billy Gleam, to help him test it. Billy promptly wrote, “Will you marry me, Denise?” on the surface of the moon. Denise, his girlfriend of, was so taken by this grand gesture that she immediately said yes.  After they married, this message is still on the moon, so each full moon, Billy shuts down the one main street to reenact his proposal to Denise.
Jerome wishes he could be this grand with the love of his life, Elizabeth Sooner.  What’s not to love about Elizabeth? She is the kindest, gentlest person in the town. Even the animal kingdom knew this. Why else would a runaway rhinoceros from the circus go to her front door, knowing that she would hug it and give it a good home!
Jerome decides to take a chance and use his inventive skills to catch Elizabeth’s eye.  In the wintertime, he used his hydroponic portable farm to spread daisies, her favorite flower, 4 feet along her lawn.   In the springtime, when Elizabeth went to the corner store, she was stunned to see the chocolate cupcakes’ wrapper have the words “the sweetest cake for the sweetest person, Elizabeth” on it. Unfortunately, Jerome didn't sign his name to any of these feats.
In the fall, Jerome decided he had to be bold or forget the whole thing. That night it was a full moon and he knew what he had to do. He positioned his laser writer on the word Denise on the full moon. He began to laser out her name and when that was done, he was going to replace it with Elizabeth.
Of course, he had previously spoken with Billy and Denise that morning of his plans. They were in agreement since they were on their way to the hospital because Denise was in labor with quintuplets. They would have no more time to close down the town for any more proposal reenactments.
As Denise’s name was completely removed, Jerome was about to write Elizabeth’s name, when he heard a gentle voice saying to him, “I am so glad you did this!” He turned around and there stood Elizabeth.
 “I have always thought that message on the moon was an eyesore!” Elizabeth confessed. “Do you know how many times I've been late to the soup kitchen because Main Street was closed down because of this moon sign? You have made it so that anyone who is tongue-tied can point to the moon to ask the one they love for their hand in marriage. Now, why don’t you read me this message on the moon?”
The next time there is a full moon, and if you look just right, you just might be able to see the Proposal Moon.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hey, hey that's a tractor!

For a few years now, I have heard the Country Western song by Craig Morgan “International Harvester.” Being from the city (Santa Monica CA and Las Vegas NV)  I had no idea what an International Harvester was. In fact it took a few listening of the song to figure that it was about farm equipment.  The gist of it is it’s about a farmer who is unapologetic for slowing down traffic. To quote the singer: “cussing at me won’t save you no time, Hoss!”  Some of the lyrics sounded like foreign words to me (County 4-H, combine driver??) Later on, when I would hear the first notes of the song on the radio, I would switch to another channel, I couldn't relate to it at all.
That is until I moved to the rural community of Middleton ID. There is an abundance of farm equipment on the spring time highways that you share the road. Crop sprayers, threshers and tractors abound during the morning commute. It was somewhat unsettling to me since I was only used to seeing cars, trucks and buses on the city roads.   It was refreshing to see a semi truck. Seeing in my rear view mirror a combine harvester with menacing-looking blades filling my back window nearly caused me to veer off the road.  Then there were mornings when I was trapped in a slow moving crawl of traffic with an even slower moving tractor in front. Times like these, I would channel-surf in search of this song-- now the lyrics made perfect sense to me! I’m not sure that I would go so far as to “tip my hat” like the song suggests, (since I don’t normally wear a hat!) but I sure appreciate the farmers just trying to make a living like the rest of us commuters.