a priori/a posteriori

Monday, December 10, 2012

Joel’s Dream (Short Version)

I wrote a longer version of this, with the full story, which you can read if you want to here.

But to encourage the viewing of the pictures below, I have also made this short version.  It is the story of Joel Walkowski, who wanted to enter a Gingerbread House competition.  We join our hero at the open-mic that he and I co-host every Saturday afternoon, at the Creek and the Cave...

...In a scene that can only be described as beautiful, our open-mic happened almost exactly the same way it happens every week.  The only real difference is that throughout the entire mic, Joel sat there, diligently putting together - and then decorating - his gingerbread house.  He used a “Gingerbread-House Kit,” which I didn’t know existed  (I later found out he went to 4 stores before finding one).

After the mic, 5 of us walked down the street to the ice-cream shop.  One of us because we thought we had a winning entry, and four of us to help cheer up that one person, once reality had set in and hardened, like his icing never quite did.
The following are almost undoubtedly the greatest photos I have ever taken.  I am not a photographer.  I rarely capture an exact moment.  My single documented moments rarely define an entire experience.

I pulled out my iPhone, to take a picture of the proud architect.  What happened next, I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.  Here again is the only photo I planned on taking - the one of Joel with his beautiful creation:

Joel and his baby

And then one of Joel showing it off, then trying to nudge one side of the roof, to make it extra perfect:

Then one as the roof collapses in on itself, unable to handle the pressure of even one finger:

Then Joel making it worse by trying to make it better, as any child would:

Then a blurry one of Joel completely panicking:

Then Joel trying to quickly transport the collapsed house to the lady at the counter:

Joel deciding to eat a small piece of the house, perhaps as a way of saying goodbye?

Joel at the counter:

The lady working there is confused at first, not understanding 
that a grown man has a submission for the Gingerbread House competition:

Realizing Joel is seriously trying to submit this pile of gingerbread, she reacts understandably.

And then gives Joel this face:

I would like to once again remind you - the reader - that none of these photos were set up.  And that woman had 100 percent NO IDEA how to handle a grown man submitting a gingerbread house - a collapsed one, no less - to their children’s competition.  It was maybe one of the 50 greatest moments of my life.  The joy I will take from that woman’s face, in that last photo...will warm my soul for the rest of time.

And that’s the story of why Joel and I are friends, in spite of anything and everything else.  The guy loves life.  And it’s also why it’s really fun to be a comic sometimes.  Because you get to meet adults who enter Gingerbread House competitions.

Don’t worry, buddy.  You’ll always be the Gingerbread House Builder of my heart.  I’m proud of you.



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