July 18th, 2004


The Story of the Skating Goose

As most of my local friends (and some of my non-local friends) know, I have a goose. This is Harriet. As soon as I bought my house, I wanted to get a goose. A nice goose made of concrete that I could dress up.

I love dress-up geese. I realize that they are basically the epitome of suburban tackiness, and perhaps that is precisely why I love them so. Their very ridiculousness amuses me. It's silly; it's fun.

It took me awhile to find one, surprisingly enough! I guess they are less popular now than they once were. But I finally found my lovely Harriet, and shortly afterward I bought her two outfits at a craft store. (The yellow rain slicker she is wearing here is one of them. The summer outfit she is wearing today is the other.)

After I bought the two outfits, the craft store went out of business. When I wanted new outfits, I had to make them for her myself. I made do, scavenging clothes from stuffed animals, scalping a stuffed witch for a Halloween costume, and even pulling out my rusting crocheting skills to make her a winter cap and scarf.

As with many silly traditions, my friends got involved. There is a long a complicated story about a "midnight stoning" involving The Incredible Shrinking Librarian, and a vacation retaliation wherein Harriet lost a lot of her innocence. Other friends have helped dress her up over the years, and her collection of outfits has grown enormously.

One of the cooler surprises involving Harriet has to be just a few months ago, when I arrived home from my vacation after having won the synchro national championships. I climbed out of my car, travel-weary, burdened down by luggage, and approached my front door. There on the porch was Harriet, proudly wearing a miniature version of my skating dress! She also had a tiny gold medal around her neck! What a neat surprise to come home to.

It took me a short while to figure out who was responsible for her new outfit. At first I suspected my girlfriends who had participated in the prior goose-escapades. They said they hadn't done anything though, so I quickly realized it must have been my wonderful catsitter along with his lovely-yet-devious wife. Upon being confronted, they confessed to the deed.

Harriet changed into her red-white-and-blue frock for Memorial Day, and she continued to wear it through Independence Day. After Independence Day had passed, I had a brainstorm. I brought Harriet in from the porch, then I climbed back into my competition dress and put on my medal. Then I dressed Harriet back up in her dress -- she was still wearing her medal, being too proud to take it off. Then she and I posed for several pictures together.

The photos made a great present for my cat-sitters/goose-dressers, not to mention a fun memory for me.
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