|Sacrificial teller, Norah Dooley|
The first teller was Elizabeta Pohl, who took her pet schnauzer to get an animal blessing at the Arlington St. Church. Elizabeth’s dog began to sing along with the Church’s choir with a melodic bark. At first Elizabeth was embarrassed by the barking but realized it was her dog's way of showing appreciation for the blessing.
Next, Trisha Zembruski told a wonderful story about her dog Rufus. Rufus, who has an affinity for literally eating everything in the house, turned out to be blind. Although Trisha does not believe in mysticism, she does feel a deep connection when she looks into his cataract-afflicted eyes.
|Ben Cunningham's fish go "belly up"|
The fourth teller was Kim Baker, who told a hilarious story about the time she chased down her friend's new puppy, Snickers. At the time Kim did not know what the dog's name was and was only able to yell stop like a crazy person as she ran after the runaway dog. Kim believes it was probably a good thing she didn’t know the dog's name. Running down the street screaming Snickers would have made her look crazier, or just really hungry.
Bruce Marcus' story about how he named his three birds made me hope that he did not name his kids the same way. The first bird, Toejoe, got his name from the clacking sound his nails made when he walked across a room. The next bird lacked any defining personality and was named Bwana, which stands for "bird without a name." The last bird was named Melvin and became known as "Mel from hell."
If you ever need someone to look after your pet, don't ask Melitta King. A friend asked Melitta to look after her turtle Stinky while she was away on business. When Melitta went to feed the turtle, she saw that it was not moving. As she was telling her friend over the phone that Stinky had died, the turtle "miraculously" came back to life and began moving. Melitta has not been asked to look after a pet since.
"The worst day to break up with someone is April 1st," was sage advice given by 1st place winner, as well as first time teller, Michael Jones. Michael’s family and friends believed he was playing a practical joke on them when he told them he broke up with his long-term boyfriend on April 1st. The only one that was there for him in his time of need was his dog Frida. As Michael cried and told Frida of the breakup, she jumped on his lap and began licking away his tears. Michael knows that the licking was more likely because he tasted like a salty ham than Frida actually trying to console him. He likes to believe that Frida was not just hungry, but telling him that the tears were not going to last forever. This was also my favorite story of the night. I was surprised that this was Michael’s first time telling a story as he appeared to be a practiced veteran.
The last teller of the night was Zeba Wunderlich, who also started her story off with some wise advice. When she was younger, her great aunt told her to make sure the man you marry likes cats. As a cat lover, Zeba took this advice to heart. When she started dating her new boyfriend, Zeba became worried that he would not get along with her cat. After teaching him the basics of playing with a cat, they began to develop a sort of bromance. If Zeba’s boyfriend asks her to marry him, she doesn't have to worry.
All the storytellers did an incredible job, making the first slam of 2013 truly memorable. Lets hope that the rest of 2013 brings us more great stories.
|Winners L to R: Ron Goldman, Ben Cunningham, Michael Jones|
Jason Turesky is a 24 year old aspiring radio journalist. He is currently taking journalism classes at Harvard Extension and is interning for Pioneer Institute. Jason has been fascinated by storytelling since he saw Odds Bodkins preform at his summer camp many years ago.
Follow Jason on Twitter @JasonTuresky1.