I ate a frog leg today. I was eating dinner at a Chinese buffet with my dad, Pastor Pepe and his family, and some missionaries to Argentina, and they had a big pan of fried frog legs nestled in next to the sesame chicken and crab cheese, so I decided to try one. Dad and Pastor Pepe assured me that frog legs taste like chicken. They don’t. They taste like frogs. They’re also kind of chewy.
Tag Archives: story
After an intense second week of camp, I had settled down for a relaxing day of rest when Tek popped up on MSN. He said that he was cleaning something up that was directly relevant to my personal interests. I was curious as to what exactly he meant, so I waited for a while until he said it was ready. Then he linked me to this:
This blog post is dedicated to my good friend Jon Coleman. He was the sound technician here at Lake Ann for the past several years, and we had a lot of amazing adventures together, not the least of which was the day that I tried to hit him with fruit and failed hard. Here’s to you, Jon. I’ll miss you this year, and I hope you have an amazing summer. Oh, and watch your back; I won’t miss next time.
The situation was perfect. There was Jon Coleman, his careless blond hair clean and dry, just waiting to be spattered with watermelon juice. I had just finished eating a slice of watermelon, and the dripping rind was waiting anxiously in my hand, like a daredevil ready to risk his life for his audience. Jon was driving a dull red golf cart, he called it the Red Dragon, and he parked it just within watermelon range, looking obliviously in the other direction. The black metal grate behind his head would shred the tattered, pink flesh that remained on the rind into tiny, sticky pieces, and those pieces would have nowhere to go but all over his head.
I checked the direction of the wind, hefted the rind in my hand to get an idea of its mass, tilted my head and squinted my eyes in an effort to gauge my trajectory. All of my summer camp coworkers at the picnic table nodded and smiled, half of them watching me so they wouldn’t miss the throw, the others focused on the back of Jon’s head, already imagining the beautiful mess it would be when my melon exploded. I stretched my arm behind me as far as it would go, took in a deep breath, and hurled the rind with Herculean might at my unsuspecting target.
I’m not sure when the junior higher with the pink ball cap walked up to the Red Dragon and struck up a conversation with Jon, but I do know that he was right there, two feet to the left of the intended splatter zone, when the fruity missile smacked the hat right off of his head. The boy was shocked, but I was absolutely terrified. Camp training had planted a holy fear of lawsuits deep inside of me. All of the leaders and directors reminded us regularly not to touch the campers the wrong way, talk to them the wrong way, even look at them the wrong way. I had just pummeled one with a hunk of fruit, and I was pretty sure that “I was trying to pummel someone else, your honor” wouldn’t fly in court.
At first, my fear was content to manifest itself in a chill in the middle of my spine. As long as I could avoid detection by the boy with the pink hat I would be just fine. Nothing to freak out about. As he turned towards my picnic table and began to walk, my adrenaline kicked in. My face was burning, my extremities were all trembling like the figurines on an electric football table, and I covered my eyes with my hands.
I could tell by the looks on my friends’ faces that even if the boy didn’t already know I had been responsible for his messy uncapping he soon would, so when he approached our table, held up the condemning green crescent, and demanded, “Who threw this?” I confessed. He stared at me with an unreadable expression just long enough for several disastrous scenarios to play out in my mind, most of them ending with a newspaper headline reading “Camp Shut Down Due to Watermelon-Related Child Abuse.” “I’m sorry,” I managed to squeak. I think he heard me over the laughter of the spectators, because the slightest smile lifted his eyes, he shook his head in mock reproof, and he dropped the rind and walked away.
Thankfully, I never heard from that boy again. The camp is still running, I’m still allowed to work there, and Jon Coleman is still my friend. I even got a great “most embarrassing moment” story out of the deal. I did lose one thing as a result of that encounter, however. To this day I can’t bring myself to wear a pink hat.
The other day, a few friends and I took a hike out to our camp’s petting farm, Acorn Acres. There are a lot of entertaining animals who live there, and we were going to feed them grass because that is what you do at petting farms. As we approached the wire-and-wood-fenced enclosure, we caught the attention of one animal in particular. His name is Stupid Goat. Stupid Goat is small and brown and very, very bad at critical thinking. He got this weird gleam in his dull orange eyes as we approached, like he was struggling to deal with the awesomeness of the situation. I imagine this is how the thought process went:
People are coming.
They have grass.
People are good.
Grass is good.
People + grass = probably the best thing that has ever happened to me.
As soon as his mind finally made that connection, he ran as fast as he could toward the fence to greet his heroes, the Grass People. In his blind zeal, he thrust his head through a hole in the fence to get as close as he could to us, which made him very happy for about thirty-eight seconds while he munched on the grass we brought him. Then he tried to pull his head back into the safety of his enclosure, and he realized that he was stuck. As it turns out, Stupid Goat’s horns are curved perfectly to allow him to push through the fence forwards, but they are also curved perfectly to catch on the wires of the fence and thus block any attempts to pull his head back out.
This caused Stupid Goat a great amount of distress. He had no idea why he couldn’t escape, he just knew that he was stuck. His mind was overcome with one thought:
I can normally move.
Now, I cannot move.
At this point, it became apparent why Stupid Goat only has one and a half horns. He flailed around helplessly trying to get out, and the more we tried to guide his horns properly through the hole with our better perception and increased motor skills, the more he tried to stiffen his neck and be generally unhelpful. At one point, we got one of his horns through successfully, but the half-horn stubbornly hooked on the wire and Stupid Goat managed to wriggle his way back into full-on hyper-stuck-mode in moments.
We finally got him free after about fifteen minutes of intense coaxing and combat, but I don’t think he even realized that we were the ones responsible for helping him. In his mind, he had finally overcome the mysterious force holding him back and yanking on his head all by himself, and he couldn’t have been more proud of himself.
I can move again.
I am awesome.
Those Grass People must be so impressed with me…
After a bevy of technical difficulties with my editing software, my vlog is finally finished and uploaded for this week. This one is inspired by a video from my favorite YouTube comedian, Olan Rogers. He can be a bit loud, but he’s a funny guy with a clean sense of humor. One of his videos about mints in a bathroom reminded me of the mints at the Campus Post Office, and this story is the result. I hope you enjoy “Sympathy Mints”, and I’ll see you tomorrow with another post here at The Author’s Apprentice.
Lately, whenever anyone asks me about my passions, the only way I’ve been able to sum it up is that I love stories. It doesn’t matter to me what form they’re in – books, poems, songs, plays, movies, TV shows – I just love to tell, hear, and revel in the beauty of a well-told story. The stories that fascinate me the most, however, are the ones that people live out day to day all around me. Our lives are so intricate, so nuanced, every moment building off of the last and no two days the same. It’s impossible to truly look around at the billions of stories being lived across the globe and not stand in awe of the Author who imagined them all. All of our attempts to create fascinating worlds, complex characters, and beautiful endings are but a reflection of His utter creative mastery. All of history, every story played out since time began, was the work of His infinite imagination, and I’m grateful for nothing more in this life than that He has given me just a fraction of that creativity. If I’m not harnessing it for His glory, I am nothing, but if I live day to day seeking to guide my story by His truth and turn as many of my fellow characters toward their Author as I can, my life couldn’t be more meaningful. Tonight, I just want to worship our great Author for all that He is, and encourage you to do the same.
This is all for You, God, the Author of the greatest story ever told. May you always gain glory, not just from the words that I write, but from the thoughts that I treasure, the activities into which I pour myself, and the influence I exert on the world around me.
I love You.
*Contented Sigh* After three fifths of a month of intense (and sometimes even frantic) writing, I have reached the thirty thousand word mark! It feels good to be able to look back at my story and see how Whitaker went from sweeping theater floors to dropping books on people’s heads in a frantic effort to escape arrest, how he and his friends are growing and changing and moving toward their climactic final scenes. But now *Gasp* I realize that I still have twenty thousand words to go! There’s still a lot of work ahead of us Wrimos, but it will all be worth it on December first when our stories have resolved and we see the creative worlds that we have imagined and set to words. Keep on, fellow novelers! Thank you for your support, family and friends! This challenge wouldn’t be one fifth as fun without you, so with two fifths of the month left to go I can say from the bottom of my heart: I’m looking forward to finishing strong with all of you! Happy noveling!