Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Final Frontier.

market day 2

We didn't have any big prizes for talent shows when I was growing up.  We didn't even get 5 seconds of fame. 

Basically your mother sold your soul to the devil and promised someone you would sing for the show and she announced it to you with reinforcements by way of your grandfather fingering his belt.  It went something like, "There is a talent show for the school/church/United Farmers Association of Combined Wheat Fields and I signed you up to play your guitar and sing.  I thought you could do a lovely job of "What a Friend We Have In Jesus."  And then I would think about whining and possibly swearing, but the belt would be ever present in my view and I would smile weakly and nod and start imaging things that could happen to me between now and then that would prevent the humiliation.

market day 4

Short of dying, nothing was going to get by them. They may have propped me up on the stage and had someone puppet by dead body like you see in some of those really old pictures.  Remember it did not have to be great, it just had to have the appearance of being a swell family and doing the right thing for the community.

So I would go, I would sing, kids would laugh, and some kid that played "In The Sweet By and By," on a tuba with a dancing sheep would be pronounced the winner.  Not that I ever wanted to take anything away from the sheep, it really could dance.  Well, it moved its feet twice during the song and baaa'd a little.  Have you seen how farm boys dance?  THAT was dancing, trust me.

That was it.  No big write up in the paper.  No recording contract.  No-one phoned in a vote.  Cows had to be milked, best head on home.    No-one cared.

Well except the kids on the school bus the next morning.  They cared that the lame losers who had performed in the show be identified, everyone else back up to be safe from the blood splatter, and someone run get the body bags.  There were also the ones who had jack knives that could etch rude things onto the metal bathroom stalls . . . future steel workers, honing their trade.  At least I was smart enough to never include animals in my acts or those bathroom wall etchings would have been even more brutal.

I volunteered for a talent show once I moved to the city.  I sang a song I wrote accompanied by  my myself on the guitar I taught myself to play.  The girl who won played Edelweiss from The Sound of Music on the piano.  She had the book in front of her, she kept stopping and looking down at her hands and made several mistakes.  She had bigger boobs than I did, and she was popular.  

The city was no better than the country.  They both sucked.

I learned that day that even the best of talent is no match for sheep or big boobs. 

market day 3

I got some wool socks, stuffed my bra and headed out into the night with a beer in my hand.  I took a long drink, burped, and looked up at the sky.

Space, the final frontier.

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