I dislike trophies. I believe in gift cards, useful items and things you can actually use. Trophies are great the first day until you have to figure out what in God’s name to do with them. I’ve noticed that Pilots who have previously flown in the Military have talked about their “Hero Wall.” I saw one once: It was a “Glory be to Paco, the Pilot” wall. It included all kinds of stuff like photos of him with high-test planes, plaques commemorating crap he did, like fly some General somewhere, or for serving in some operation or another. It was a perfect waste of a great wall in the living room where he could have hung a nice photo or some attractive art or something. I just didn’t care for the look.
And what would you do with one of those “Cup” type trophies? I suppose you could use it for flowers if it was big enough, and if it was small enough, you could use it for your morning juice. All in all, I regard them as dust catchers and God knows I have enough of those! I won a plaque a few years ago at a Halloween Party for the “Scariest Costume.” I dressed up as Hannibal Lecter from the film “Silence of the Lambs.” The costume is easy, but the effective part was that I got wheeled in on a two wheeled handcart. In the film he is trussed up like a turkey and put on a handcart to meet the Senator:
I adored that costume and it was incredibly effective. It’s not scary in and of itself; it represents something scary which is even scarier. I won a plaque for my efforts and it hung around the house for a while until I got tired of dusting it, so I tossed it. Now that I’ve bored you with my discourse on why “I Hate Trophies” I would like to announce the winners of the “Keeping up Appearances” Contest. I just loved your cleaning and tidying suggestions! The winners will not be winning anything really, their birds will. But I think this is even better. All winners will receive a “Ring-Around-The-Rainbow” Toy produced by “StarBird Toys” and designed by “Moi.”
I had a tough time selecting the winners for the different categories. But here it is. First prize goes to Darlene LeRoy for her “twin set” of ideas: She uses anti-bacterial wipes for quick clean-ups. And she suggested using an electric toothbrush to get into those nooks and crannies on cages. Congratulations Darlene!
But wait there’s more! I was thrilled with the other ideas as well. I loved Lynne’s idea of using wax paper on the wall where her bird flings his food. I have a terrible time with Pepper tossing her food around like confetti and it makes the wall by her play stand look like hell. So Lynne wins a toy as well for the idea. But wait, There’s more! Nancy Mason was the only one who sent in a photo of her brilliant suggestion of using a vinyl tablecloth under her play stands for easy cleanups. So Nancy wins a toy for best “Photo Submission.”
But wait! There’s more!
Bart Henry was the only bird to enter the contest and his suggestion on actually getting someone else to do the cleaning was probably the best idea of all. Now Bart being a bird, (He’s an African Grey) has obviously already arranged for this. That being said, I loved the concept of “Jeeves the Butler” taking care of “unsightly bird messes.” So Bart wins a toy for “Most Creative Entry.”
And finally, Annekeh gets one for the most “High Tech” suggestion, which is to install a Central Vacuum System.
I liked an email I got from Steve Malowski, (my boss at the Cincinnati Zoo) a while back. When I was installing slate tile in my Condo, he wanted to know where I was going to be putting the floor drains so I could simply just hose down my living room floor! Practical? Yes. Possible? Ummm, no.
So if all winners could send me a message with your address at Facebook, I’ll be getting these prizes out pronto! If you aren’t on Facebook, you can send me a message here. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for your wonderful submissions!
Patricia Sund is a Free-Lance Writer residing in Florida with her three African Greys. She has been published in About.com, Bird Talk Magazine, Birds USA, In Your Flock Magazine, Good Bird Magazine as well as numerous websites and newsletters. She is currently doing research for a book titled "Parrot Nation".