“To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Never In the course of endangered species reintroductions have so few been given so much by so many.” And the “many” I’m talking about here are mostly female… just like us. It is no longer “a man’s world.” Truth is, there ain’t no chicken without an egg and there ain’t no egg without a “chick”…. despite the fact that all through history, the biggest eggs have been laid by males.
And so began #1-15’s commencement speech a few weeks ago as the Class of 2015 graduated from the circle pen to the half-moon training field. She stood at the podium, back dropped by the trike, facing her six classmates, only one of which was male, and the crowd of proud onlookers. After all, it is the season for graduations, where all over America the parents of college grads sit in the stadium bleachers baking in the hot sun waiting for the treasure of their union to ascend stage left, grab their diplomas and a handshake from that robed high priest or priestess of knowledge and descend stage right, all within a blink of an eye… the culmination of four or more years of hard work and harder earned dollars.
For crane chicks, early life is a seemingly never ending series of graduations: learning to eat and drink, to follow the costumed handler, to endure the noise of the trike engine, to follow the trike, to swim, to migrate, to survive. Each skill to be mastered before moving on to the next. “Shush up!” #3-15 exclaimed, turning back to me in exasperation. “Your thought balloons are making too much noise”! “Sorry” I replied.
#1-15 continued. “As we leave the circle pen for the last time, we carry on our shoulders the hopes and dreams of literally thousands of females who have contributed to our lives in more ways than we can imagine. Some of these females we know… like the ones in the costumes, of course. But most we will never know by name or what roll they have played in insuring our future. The name of Mrs. Nassir Pittman, the wife of the inventor of this very circle pen, comes to mind. The story of her contribution was nearly lost to the vagaries of time until it was recently revealed on an episode of “Antiques Roadshow.”
“The story goes something like this: One day back in the 1920’s, Nassir and his wife, Mrs. Pittman, were driving down the interstate inspecting some of the hundred or so billboards Nassir owned when he noticed that most people were too busy texting on the smart phones to look up at his billboards. What could he do to capture their attention, he wondered. And that’s when it happened. He accidentally ran over a turtle, which resulted in a resounding “Pop”! Mrs. Pittman, who just happened to be a turtle lover ever since being given her very own pink Easter turtle by her Uncle Frank when she was six years old, got so mad at Nassir that she inflicted upon him her own version of “Shock and Awe, Death From Above”.
She swung back her black and white checkered handbag still full of winning bingo tickets from the night before and pounded it down firmly on her husband Nassir’s head. Nassir squealed as he desperately hung on to consciousness while the shimmering cloud of sparkles began to exit his vision. And that’s when he experienced the epiphany: Why not put the billboards ON the cars, number them, and take the passengers out of the cars and put them in elevated seats up where the billboard stands!”
“But that would still only give them a quick glimpse of the billboards as they passed by. What to do? That’s when it happened again. Nassir ran over another turtle. “Pop.” He looked up just in time to see the sky open up and Mrs. Pittman’s black and white checkered handbag come screaming out of it, landing on his head with a resounding “thud.” The world’s loudest doorbell rang deafeningly in his ears for minutes before he regained consciousness. That’s when the second epiphany of the day arrived. He would make a circular track in front of the billboard seats and make multiple billboards race around it over and over… reinforcing the power of suggestion. He’d ensure the audience’s attention by removing mufflers from the cars carrying the billboards so the sound would be so loud, the audience would be unable to think of anything other than the advertisements. He would then install a finish line and the first billboard over it would be declared the winner by a black and white checkered handbag-like flag swinging madly overhead. The winner would then be handed a bottle of cheap Champagne to shake up and spray all over the people standing around him, shocking the audience into wondering how in the world they were going to get all the Champagne stains out of those fabric billboard jumpsuits and hats printed with the same advertisements that were on the cars.”
“Nassir formed a committee to expedite the idea and that’s when the circle became an oval, because as everyone knows, the definition of an oval is a circle drawn by a committee. Besides, science has proven that it is just as easy to chase one’s tail around an oval as it is a circle. And if you call it a “Race” the whole thing becomes a “Sport” named after it’s inventor, Nassir. However, the committee considered the name Nassir too ethnic for an audience that stands up and yells “Over here!” when someone calls out the name, “Billy Bob” so… they changed the name to NASCAR, which means “Turn Left, Go Fast” in Bulgarian. The whole thing became a major spectator sport in America, soon surpassing frog jumping and potato sack racing in popularity. But the critical roll Mrs. Pittman played in it all soon faded with time. My point here is that behind every great man or achievement in life, there’s a female with a handbag ready to strike.
“So I say to you, Class of 2015, go out into the world and reintroduce yourselves. Then reproduce yourselves. Avoid the B’s…. bobcats, blackflies, boxes and backpack transmitters. And never underestimate the power of following, because the followers of today are destined to become the leaders of tomorrow… especially where males are concerned. It’s not their fault. They just require direction. Soar high with the knowledge that the entire world is, indeed, your blue crab. While you’re at it, remember to duck when you hear those magical words ring out across the countryside, “Hey Bubba. Watch this!” And above all, don’t forget your sense of humor. You’re going to need it!”