Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Old Man River, He Loves His Zucchini

Today was the Great Zucchini Boat Race, because you cannot have enough free-floating produce in your life. This was Kim's idea - she got it from one of those "family fun" magazines that I really ought to read more than I do, though every time I try all that happens is that I am overwhelmed with Martha Stewart Guilt that I am not doing enough to provide quality entertainment and educational opportunities to my children. That's how those magazines make their money, though, so I suppose they are effective at least. I suppose I shall just have to muddle on in my inefficient and bumbling way, though, as I find that reading those magazines tends to induce blinding migraines and really how entertaining and educational would I be then? I'll let Kim handle the magazines - they seem to have no ill effect on her.

Through the kindness of friends, Kim procured the two largest zucchini in the western hemisphere - vegetables large enough to use as FEMA trailers, and about as structurally sound - and gave them to the girls to turn into canoes. This was met with enthusiasm, to say the least. Stage one was Excavation, which also involved a great deal of Flinging About and not a little bit of Sticking To Everything. This was followed by a short period of Cleaning and an even shorter period of Amazement At Just How Much Material Exists Within A Zucchini.

Stage two was Painting and Decoration. Lauren's boat ended white, with two racing stripes running the length of the hull - one blue, the other red. I had a Hotwheels car back in the 70s with just this color scheme and arrangement, and I loved it dearly. It's still buried under the sod behind the old house, probably. Tabitha painted her boat with designs and words - "I (heart) Cats" and a picture of, not surprisingly, a cat, on one side, and "Tabby II" on the other side. Both girls made nice flags for their boats, and Tabby even put a couple of sailors in hers.

Tonight we took the girls and their boats down to the river and for Stage Three: the big race. It was a slow race, conducted at civilized speeds, and to be honest Tabby and I missed the end of it due to more urgent needs, but Lauren reported that it ended up in a tie so no harm done. After the race Kim retrieved the zucchini boats, now almost entirely denuded of paint (sorry fishies!) and we took them out to the water skiers' platform, where the girls dropped them off for their final trip downstream. Eventually they will reach New Orleans, where they will be used for gumbo.

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