Last week I was invited to an awards ceremony at my local library. I was a little bit surprised to receive the invitation, but I figured that my tireless work in support of… libraries was finally being recognised at an official level. They would probably unveil a plaque that said

“In grateful acknowledgement of occasional visits, this plaque was unveiled by his honour the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Graeme Sawyer on the 19th day of March 2010, and dedicated to the memory of Garry with 2 Rs, in whose name his beloved Andrea hath erected this monument.

“Sometimes he came here to borrow books.”

It seemed like a huge honour. I’ve always wanted my own plaque. Never mind the fact that I’m not dead yet. And who the hell is Andrea?

Okay, so the presentation was actually for a poetry competition. I was surprised to get invited because I didn’t really think my entry, which I only put in on a spur of the moment decision, would be in the running for anything. And with good reason.

It wasn’t.

I got invited because anyone who had bothered to enter got invited. It turns out Shakespearean sonnet writing contests don’t actually attract that many competitors, so they just invited the whole lot of us so that the winner would actually have someone there to cheer for him.

Actually, it was interesting to see the sort of crowd that would rock up for a sonnet competition presentation ceremony. Mostly older folk, but with a smattering of slightly younger English teachers and one extremely out-of-place twenty-something year old training officer/stunt linguist. In the end I was grateful not to have won. If I had walked out the front and read my entry aloud, I don’t think I could have absorbed the combined hatred of a dozen or so retirees all at once (I could totally have taken the English teachers though).

I’m pretty sure my poem came dead last. It was a Valentine’s Day competition, and my views on romance aren’t what you’d call universally well received. Nonetheless, I still got a free drink and meal out of it, which is more than can be said for most amateur poets.

Today’s episode was bought to you by the letter C and the number 17. Cum Tacent Clament is a production of the Children’s Television Network.*



Garry with 2 Rs

*Not really. They should probably keep children as far away from CTC as possible.

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