Paddy stood outside in the wet, stormy weather waiting for the little train which would take him deep into the Bisbee copper mine. He had been through this rigamarole before, but at least this time he was better prepared for the ordeal, having donned a vinyl slicker and a highly attractive, yellow and red flower hat before leaving his cellar apartment.
Having run the entire 5 miles, he was out of breath, and thankful that he hadn’t lost his new hat on the harrowing trek across country to Bisbee. He had been, however, attacked by a swarm of killer bees, chased by a gardening granny wielding vicious-looking shears, and stalked by hungry bunny rabbits.
Paddy pulled his compact out of his man-bag to check the glorious chapeau’s status. ‘Whew, still looking good!’ As he primped, two other contestants in the beauty contest joined him. Out of the corner of his eye, he checked out the competition, carefully noting that the violets adorning the tall man’s tiara were a bit wilted, and as for the short, chubby guy, well, carnations are SOOO last season. ‘Hmph. Nothing to worry about here.’
Chugg..chugg..chugg…TOOOT! TOOOT! ‘Finally!’ Putting away his compact, Paddy pointed his nose skyward, and turned to watch the tardy train pull into the station. Ignoring the two incompetent wanna-be’s, he strutted forward and stepped into the first passenger car.
Excitement was the mood of the day as contestants made last minute adjustments to their attire. Paddy was confident that he had made the right choice of head-wear this year. The bright yellow of the hat perfectly matched his slicker. And the flowers….well, one could only say FABULOUS. One more peek at his little mirror to check his eye-liner, and he was ready to go. Finally it was his turn to walk down the runway.
Paddy sauntered, strutted, posed, and flirted his way across the stage. The bright lights were blinding him, but that didn’t slow Paddy one bit. He just KNEW he had it wrapped up this year. The coveted “Coalie” was going to adorn his mantle for sure! He could picture it now, light from his cherished pineapple lamps in his cellar apartment reflecting off the shiny pink metal chunk of coal. But then….one step too many in the wrong direction….Oops! Off the side of the runway fell Paddy.
He awoke to find himself in the lap of Judge #3, and his precious, beautiful hat in pieces all over Judge #4. Alas, his dreams were shattered. ‘NEXT year, for sure…..but I’ll need to find a new hat…’
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