Flat Stanley vs. The Blogess Chicken (aka, Beyonce)

It all started when someone on a parenting board that I live on frequent opened up a can of hatorade on the Flat Stanley project.  I’ll never understand the need to deride something like this, something so wholesome and full of learning possibilities for The Children.  (You have to say that wistfully and with a tone full of reverence, like Maria and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, or it doesn’t count.)  This normally sweet woman had gone on and on about how much of a pain it was, and how the “friend” for whom she’d completed the project didn’t even appreciate all her hard work.  The nerve of some people.

So when a woman on the same parenting board mentioned that her son was now doing the project, I was all over it.  Send me your poor, your tired, your hungry, and your Flat Stanleys and I will adventure the ever-loving life out of that little guy.  I LOVE THIS PROJECT.

Three days after agreeing to take it on, I got a package from the Great White North of Minnesota.  This dear woman had said she was going to send me a pre-paid return envelope to send him and the pictures back in, and indeed she did.  That should have been my first clue that something was remiss.  Flat Stanley needs his own pre-paid envelope?  We’re talking an eight inch by six inch laminated guy in a blue shirt.  Or are we?  Evidently, we are not.  What we are talking about instead is a life-size, butcher-paper drawn likeness of the eight-year-old little boy who is actually reading the book about Flat Stanley, and said likeness is almost my size.  So large is this Flat Stanley, that I felt the need to properly restrain him when taking him on his adventures, lest I be ticketed.  To whit:

Candid Canon - Flat Stanley vs. The Blogess Chicken (aka, Beyonce)

Yes, that's a bag of Doritos on the seat. What? You thought I wouldn't feed him?

Are you even kidding me with this?

This is clearly not what I signed up for.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to pose something like that?  The real Flat Stanley, as aforementioned, is laminated.  That means he is somewhat rigid, in design if not in his belief system, and therefore far more, you know, pose-able.  This guy?  He looks like something out of CSI:

Candid Canon - Flat Stanley vs. The Blogess Chicken (aka, Beyonce)

Tell me that does not look like a dead body outline. Go ahead.

He flops all over the place and requires a roll or two of tape or a prop-master to help you get him into position.   To say nothing of the fact that it’s March in Texas and we have wind gusts that knock over all but the sturdiest of people and he becomes a serious flight risk.  I took him to Austin with my Mom (we were actually there to see her Aunt, my Great Aunt, and took him along) and I’ll be darned if we didn’t nearly lose him on the side of the road.  At the Birthplace of Texas, no less.

Candid Canon - Flat Stanley vs. The Blogess Chicken (aka, Beyonce)

Mother is holding on to him for dear life, lest he fly away to worlds unknown. Or to Brenham, whichever's closer.

I’m telling you, to say this was a challenge is an understatement.  But we soldiered on and took him to my Alma Mater, The University of Texas at Austin.  We parked along Sorority Row so that we could just walk over to the fountain and snap a few pics, only there was a tour bus of sorts full of people from I don’t know where who were all blocking my way.  Knowing we were sort of double-parked, which is not unlike being “sort of” pregnant, I was in a bit of a rush.  We waited patiently for about ten minutes two seconds and I horned my way in.   Behold, I give you Flat Stanley at the UT fountain, which sits at the end of the mall and in the shadow of the UT Tower:

Candid Canon - Flat Stanley vs. The Blogess Chicken (aka, Beyonce)

Note the lack of other people in the frame. I think I kinda scared them when I walked through their throng holding on to my paper friend. And with my Mother, no less.

But the whole point of this post, really, was to showcase how Flat Stanley got to meet the long-lost cousin, Beydose’, of The Blogess’ Beyonce‘.  Here, friends, is the money shot:

Candid Canon - Flat Stanley vs. The Blogess Chicken (aka, Beyonce)

This is not at all inappropriate.

You can’t tell by the drawn-on expression on his face, but let me assure you this was the highlight of his trip.  I think what we are witnessing here folks is the start of a budding romance.  Or bromance…I can’t tell if that’s a girl chicken or a boy chicken (which would technically be a rooster but who’s counting).  It was at this same metal junkyard that he met the members of a wire mariachi band, and made more friends:

Candid Canon - Flat Stanley vs. The Blogess Chicken (aka, Beyonce)

Ignore Carlos's third leg. It belongs to my Mom who was spotting Flat Stanley in the background. You know, BECAUSE HE WAS HUGE AND NOT POSE-ABLE.

I think that the next time I agree to do a Flat Stanley project, I will clarify up front what it is exactly that I am getting into.  Will I be hauling around a normal-sized Flat Stanley or the giant, economy size?  Will I need to enlist the help of friends and family to keep him from a) blowing away or b) looking like a murder victim?

Flat Stanley?  I hope you enjoyed your adventures.  Minnesotans, and {name removed to protect his identity} in particular, I hope your class learns something about Texas from all our adventures!  {name removed to protect his identity}’s Mom?  I hope you know how much I  truly enjoyed the project despite making sport of it…your pictures and scrapbook will be in an envelope and sent back to you early next week.  I want to take him on one last adventure this evening with the boys.

Wish me luck.