Every year in Colchester, they have a scarecrow contest on the green in the center of town. Since our bookstore is in Colchester, Jason decided that 1. We would sign up for the contest and 2. I would create the whole thing by myself. Incidentally, we're still not speaking.
I apparently misread the application when I sent in our money. Specifically, I missed the part that said "scarecrow not included." I went to the town green with my white sheet, black marker, and fake books in hand, only to find a sign with our bookstore's name on it and a single wooden stake. That's it.
Now, I'd thought I'd been pretty clever with my fake books. Someone had donated encyclopedias to the store, and since they're now obsolete thanks to Google, I painted them over and wrote classic scary book titles on them. You know, like Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry and Fangboy by Jeff Strand. (I actually considered going with Strand's Dead Clown Barbecue, but I didn't want our ghost to give the local kids nightmares.) However, my clever books were not enough to decorate a single wooden stick with a pointy bottom. I ran home to see if I could salvage the project.
I grabbed a bag and filled it with newspaper for the head, dug up some stakes from the garden to hold the sheet in place, and found a wooden board that could fill in for arms. I unearthed the screw gun and a hammer, grabbed a jar full of nails and screws, and headed back.
First up was attaching my wooden board to the stake. I set a screw in place, took out the electric screwdriver, and went to work. A half a screw-turn later, my screw gun's battery died. No worries. I took out my hammer and nails and tried again.
You know what are really lousy nails? Sheetrock nails, which was all I had. They bend and twist with just a few hammer strikes. I hammered about seventeen of them into submission before giving up and making a pretty little damaged nail necklace out of the mess. Two of them did manage to get through the wood before bending, so I decided to move forward. Now I had a wooden cross, and it needed to be planted.
I tried to hammer the stake into the ground. It turns out I have no upper body strength. I found a nice man with a mallet and begged him to help me. I think the tears are what really convinced him. He came over and hammered my stake into the ground, which resulted in my cross plank falling off the back of it. When the tears started welling up again, he offered to borrow someone's screw gun and reattach it. Thank God. Sure, we have to go through the pain of childbirth and getting paid 70 cents on the dollar for doing the same job as a man, but when it comes to crying just to get our way, it's not bad being a woman.
I grabbed my newspaper head and got out the duct tape to attach it. I pulled off about a quarter inch of tape before the roll ran out. I then invented a new epithet that was quite derogatory regarding the duct tape inventor's mother and dog. Luckily, I'd packed the newspapers in a few layers of plastic bags, so I attached the head by tying the bag handles to my wooden cross.
I threw the sheet over my creation and staked it down. I'd made a giant "Books & Boos" sign out of poster board, and hung it up with some rope. The wind immediately came up and ripped my poster board. Now it was hanging, and read "Books & Bo." Clearly, God was angry with me for all of the pain I intended to inflict on Jason, who was sitting pretty at the store, oblivious to my frustration. (He wouldn't be for long.)
A new plan was needed. I pulled out my filleting knife (as my Dad says, you should never go anywhere without a good filleting knife, in case you're wondering why I'm this way). I used it to gut a few of the encyclopedias I'd painted, and strung them up. Voila! Now I had a complete ghost with books. A slightly hunchbacked ghost, with not a straw of hay to be found anywhere near him, but he was done. I went home and cried for an hour.
So if you should be in the area of Colchester, Connecticut over the next few days, please stop by the town green and vote for our ghost as "Best Scarecrow." Just do it out of pity. Please.
Pretty and perfect in every way.