Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can I Get a Seagull


There is a remark I have never fully recovered from, spoken by a profusely sweating man in a short-sleeve dress shirt (I loathe those things), in a classroom now made famous by the movie High School Musical.

Yup, that’s right, I took some community college classes when I lived in good ‘ol Salt Lake City on the campus of East High School, which was extraordinarily convenient because I lived across the street in the smelliest apartment known to man. It was a certification course for substitute teachers so I have NO idea why this man was talking about journals. But he said that on the famed day of “The seagulls eating all the crickets” there are no journal entries.

I found this to be a big deal because the story of the seagulls and the crickets is so deeply ingrained in the culture of Salt Lake City. I mean like it’s their state bird and they have statues and stuff. If you’re not familiar with the legend, it goes something like this…

Back in 1847 the Utah pioneers’ crops were being decimated by copious droves of crickets. To the rescue were a large flock of seagulls – like so many they couldn’t see the sun – who came and ate the crickets and then flew away, then threw up the crickets, and returned to the scene of the feast to eat more crickets. They repeated this bulimic behavior until the pestilence subsided. Big deal, right?

And supposedly, according to this very questionable authority, on the very day of this entire happening no one thought to write in their journal about it. There are historians who have researched the story based on pioneer journal entries from that time. And the general documented consensus is that the pioneers did have some troubles with drought and pestilence – namely crickets – but that no one consistent, conclusive account was written on that day.

Here’s what I think about that. Who cares!

I myself have had some very big stuff happening around here, and I tell you what, there are no journal entries from any of it. Oral history is as good – if not exaggerated and misappropriated – as written history, I think. And in most cases of really crazy circumstances is all that remains.

If you stick around and are patient you may hear about some of the following stuff on this blog:

 The first born learning to ride his bike without training wheels
 Thou Shalt Not Sell Your Brother
 Family expansion news, including weddings, houseguests, and expected babies (none from this uterus, I assure you)
 Major medical mishaps
 More major medical mishaps
 Oh, and a few more major medical mishaps
 My Book Buddy’s Ven Diagram
 Adventures From The Peanut-Free Gang
 Sour School Portraits: To Retake or Not To Retake, That is the Question
 Ragnar Running Update – because I am literally too effin lazy to keep that other blog going
 My husband is older-ish and we went to a concert
 Tales from the Coin-Op Laundromat and other disease-fearing dilemmas
 Farewell to Tortuga
 Proctology v. Urology
 25% of my house is a shambles, and approximately the same amount of my life is, too.

Then again, you may not. Because quite literally a significant portion of my life is misplaced and it’s making my brain hurt.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a historian. I am not even an Utahn. So, if any of my memory of this legend or any account of my strange teacher happens to be unabashedly untrue, I don’t really care. But I haven’t put it forward for any other reason than to illustrate a personal point, so live with it. And also, if it really bugs you, invest in Utah public education. AND Idaho Public Education for that matter. Hell, invest in public education because it’s the right thing to do.

PHOTO NOTE: Unrelated picture of my son wearing face paint, because who doesn’t like green eyebrows.

2 comments:

laurel said...

That is how I feel sometimes, You just put it in a much better way.

Heard from the word of mouth thing a tiny, tiny bit about Mason. We send our love. Tell Coop we love him too!

Angenette said...

1st of all, that apartment really did stink!
And B: if you're out watching seagulls vomit crickets all day, you probably don't feel much like writing in your diary when you get home.