Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Monday, February 14, 2022




I was born in February and I’m a little concerned that the symbol for my birthday month is a fat, naked stalker baby with underdeveloped wings and a bow and arrow. I don’t know about you, but I go some places a baby should be afraid to follow, even one armed with projectiles. 

Somehow the thought of an undiapered toddler, especially one packing a weapon designed to shoot warm fuzzies, accompanying me to the mall clearance sales and auto-flushers seems horribly inappropriate.  I still bear a French manicure-shaped scar from reaching for a cunning pair of Capri pants on the red dot clearance rack.  If that naked baby grabs the last pair of Prada pumps on the sale table, he’s likely to lose something more important than a finger.

I can see why he’s armed. Anybody named Cupid who goes parading around in his birthday suit here in the red mud section of the South is likely to suffer grievous knuckle prints from guys named Pork Chop or Tiny. And if he ventures out to watch the Nascar drivers go fast and turn left, he just may get tire marks someplace where parking is prohibited.

So just to be sure we’re on the same track, I checked with Cupid to see how he felt about his job.

Me:  So, Cupid, how does it feel to go to work naked every day?

Cupid, the God of Love: Well, I save a lot on dry cleaning and there’s no dress code, so it’s kind of empowering. I use an awful lot of Chap-Stick, though. I’m trying for a corporate sponsorship.  My endorsement deals keep me living in the lifestyle of my dreams.

Me:  You dream of flying naked for the rest of eternity?

Cupid:  Don’t knock it. Even in the weather that frosts my feathers, it beats a business suit and 80-hour work weeks. And I don't have any place to carry a cell phone, so the boss can't ever call me on my lunch hour.

Me:  But do you think it’s safe for a baby to fly around by himself?

Cupid:  It’s not like I’m unarmed. (He tested the point on a heart-tipped arrow.) Hey, I’m the one that made Kanye apologize to Taylor Swift. I just grazed him enough to let all the hot air out.

Me:  If you’re such a sure shot, why are there so many divorces?  You know, I was married and divorced before I settled down with the Captain of my Love Boat and I’d rather have my legs done in the hot wax section of the car wash than go through that again.

Cupid:  Hey, everybody makes mistakes. Actually I was aiming for someone else, but, when you bent over it was like a heat seeking missile and a barn fire.

Me: So you’re saying the whole fiasco was my fault?

Cupid:  Well every action has an opposite and equal unexpected consequence. That’s math, you know. Or science.  Whatever. I was a Liberal Arts major.

Me:  I can identify with that. I graduated with honors, but they don’t take GPA in the Express Lane at the Piggly Wiggly.

Cupid:  Well, don’t be eyeing my job. I had to knock off a guy with winged feet to get this gig.

Me:  So now that Valentine’s Day is almost past, it’s the off season for you. What keeps you busy the rest of the year?

Cupid:  Oh, there’s lots to do.  I like to spend part of the summer posing as a sculpture in a wishing well fountain.  All that loose change comes in handy for the bathroom vending machines. 

Me:  Is that all you do? Make people think their wishes will come true, then steal their money?

Cupid:  Of course not.  Somebody’s got to keep up with the Kardashian sisters.  And Jennifer Lopez. I think I’m gonna need a bigger box of arrows.






No comments: