Idol Prize Fight | Week 2 | 1038 words
My Mount Rushmore
Genius idea came to me in a dream last night, one that could save this town from becoming more than a stoplight with a dead 7-11 and a herd of tumbleweeds.
Perfect, right? The only economy we've got around here is agribusiness, so how else are we going to bring people in? Yesiree, there's hope for us yet!
Well. Tourism of what, though? This is Kansas. Nobody wants to see wheat fields and tornadoes—except on the news. We need something that'll make people pull off the road and spend some money!
Other places have done it—sometimes with nothing more than corn mazes and giant balls of string. I don't think that'll cut it for us, though. Too ordinary.
What if we mixed offbeat with artistic, which is basically the Butter Cow idea? Except not butter. Or cows. Because it's been done.
This might take a while…
Patty mentioned monuments today at breakfast. Now there's an idea! Things like the liberty bell, the Lincoln Memorial, and the mountain with the heads of presidents. Those are way more impressive than corn mazes. Bigger.
We don't have that kind of history around here, but yes, we could potentially build something. I've got tons of land, for whatever we want to haul in and create. I've even got a rocky hill, if we want to carve into it.
So much possibility!
I've always loved comic books. Who doesn't? So, I was thinking about a superhero tribute: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. I think people would really want to see that!
Maybe giant outdoor paper maché sculptures, so they could be painted different colors? But what about the wind? Because paper maché is really light. I mean, I don't want it blowing away to another zip code. And I'm not sure it'll hold up in the rain.
Great. Sturdy plus waterproof is really limiting. And boring. I might as well be talking about putting up billboards. Better keep thinking.
Patty said my superhero idea was trademark infringement. Well, crud. People police everything nowadays, I swear!
Okay, so what else is all-American and makes people happy? Besides PBR and football… Oh hey, what about Mickey Mouse? Like, a huge statue of—
Crud. Patty says that's trademark infringement too.
Okay, I've got it now. What's more American than a bald eagle? That's where I'm going to start!
I've got ropes, ladders, and all kinds of tools in the shed. Not sure the belt sander is up to the task, but it's worth a try. And I've done chainsaw art before and—
Well. Patty says she takes exception to my calling it 'art.'
Fine. You know, I really think that woman could be more supportive.
After a LOT of work with the sander and sledgehammer, I've started to lay in the basic outline of the eagle. I've been thinking about what else to put up there, and the answer came to me this afternoon when I had to scramble down off the ladder to keep from getting fried by a sudden thunderstorm.
Ben Franklin! Now, there's a guy who could use more love.
As soon as I knock off this bird, I'll start sketching out a plan for him.
Well, the eagle's coming along. I've got the front of its face now, which is mostly beak. Kind of looks like a can opener, but I'm sure it'll get better.
The eyes are good, though, and I'll work on the feathers tomorrow.
Disappointing results today. The feathers look more like dreadlocks, for some reason.
Patty left to go visit her sister in Tulsa. Indefinitely. She says everyone at church is laughing at us, and it's too embarrassing to stay around here.
Heck, so sue me for being a dreamer!
Tragedy! There was a hailstorm yesterday that destroyed all my work on the eagle's feathers. The bald eagle is now truly bald!
My poker buddy Steve says I should have assayed that rock before I started cutting into it. Essayed?
No idea what he means, so I think not. But I'm not giving up.
Okay, I've mostly reclaimed the eagle. He's looking better, just further back in the rock than I wanted. I'm going to have to cut the sides back to bring him out again, but I think I'd better get started on Ben. The hair and the glasses are going to be a challenge.
My neck and back are killing me. Who knew all this banging and chiseling would take so darn long?
Ben's nose is looking pretty good, not too big. The glasses, though—making that flat vertical surface on the front is even harder than I thought! This could take a while.
So, the glasses. That really didn't work out.
I chipped a chunk off the left one by accident, and it was pretty much hopeless after that. But Ben didn't always wear glasses—I've seen plenty of pictures of him without. It's too bad, though, because he won't be as recognizable without them. The lower half of his face was kind of a mudslide, to be honest.
I guess tomorrow I'll remove the rest of the glasses and sculpt eyes there instead. I'm kind of looking forward to the end of this project. Seems like Patty's been gone forever. I'm starting to miss her.
Sonofabitch, this whole damn project is cursed!
One little tap, that's all—just one!
Instead of removing the bridge of Ben's glasses from his nose, the whole nose came off. All of it. Damn it!
Now what? I rework the whole thing as a sculpture in negative space? I just don't see there being a huge audience for that.
Patty's back. Says I should put my tools away before tornado season comes and somebody gets hurt.
At least she didn't say "I told you so." I'm kind of surprised.
It's good to have her home. I guess I might have gone off the deep end a little there.
So, here's the thing: I'm thinking of building a giant replica of the Statue of Liberty...
If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.