Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

August 2

Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Alphonsus Liguori (patron to confessors and professors of moral theology), Saint Etheldritha, Saint Eusebius, Saint Plegmund, Saint Sidwell, Saint Stephen I, and Saint Thomas of Hales.

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Edward Furlong, the shining young star of John Waters' "Pecker," turns 25 (1977) today.

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When I Grow Up I Want to Be Miss Gizzard

Today is the beginning of Canada's Digby Scallop Days Festival, the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, and the Miss Crustacean USA Beauty Pageant and Ocean City Creep in Ocean City, New Jersey.

I will start with the last event. I was afraid that there really was a Miss Crustacean USA. Yesterday I almost wrote about the World Catfish Festival, the highlight of which is the crowning of Miss Catfish and her Court, but I was feeling kind. I couldn't have resisted it if the opportunity arose today, too. Luckily, unlike the Catfish royals, the participants in the Crustacean Pageant are all tree hermit crabs.

I have to make a new Saint Report tradition now. When I deviate from my original topic because I find some new site that MUST be shared, I will declare a Road Trip on the Information Superhighway. Road trips will be noted by the following graphic:

I considered using an animation, but a little car jetting across the screen over and over is about as annoying as the sappy music that plays on some sites. So....

All this Miss Catfish stuff made me wonder about pageants in general and the strange fact that some girls will accept any title as long as there's a tiara in it. Could there be a Miss Okra? A Pork Princess? A Kudzu Queen? Yes and no. You will have to follow the links to investigate for yourself.

However, speaking of kudzu, other than being very fun to say, what the heck is it?

Briefly, kudzu is a vine native to Asia that was brought to the United States in the late 1800's from Japan. Grown for a while as an ornamental, some people decided that it could do wonders to control erosion. This was around the same time that the cane toads were let loose on Australia and the mongooses freed in Hawaii. Human beings do a lot of leaping prior to looking when it comes to the environment. As was the case with those other famous misguided cures, kudzu quickly became the problem rather than the solution.

Kudzu grows so well that its vines can travel a foot a day. You can actually watch it grow. It grows and grows and grows, choking out the native vegetation and covering everything in site. It is almost immortal, as well, taking as long as ten years to be killed with annual herbicide applications (but here you must take care--one herbicide makes kudzu grow faster). On the up side, all of this growing is South of the Mason Dixon Line, so we in less hospitable climes are safe.

This video was produced by the University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio and can be ordered for $21 by calling 1-800-463-8825.

Anyway, back to the subject again, there is a Scallop Queen, but not in Nova Scotia. And finally this: "At a hotly contested pageant marking the opening of the Sixth Annual Caye Caulker Lobster Fest, the lovely Miss Maggie Badillo, teller at the local Atlantic Bank, became the victor over three other contestants." There was a picture of a smug sweet young thing in her Miss Lobster Fest banner. This was in Belize, not Maine, but that doesn't matter. You offer them a crown and they are on you like kudzu on a southern state.

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Marilyn Jones 2000-2008