“Digging for Dough” / Memorable Fancies #348

There is a digging competition, with thousands of dollars in prize money. On the day of the big event, contestants are arrayed in a long line across the countryside and given identical shovels. A starter’s gun is fired. Contestants dig as fast as they can. Some have, by chance, been placed on poor and rocky ground and despair. Others find themselves on rich loam, make excellent progress, are featured on the evening news.

The digging continues into the night and the next day. Contestants who see that they are losing begin to throw dirt into others’ holes. This is permitted by the rules; in fact, it’s what the reporters and cameramen have been waiting for eagerly. The other contestants return the intrusive dirt and add more from their own holes.

One man hits another with his shovel and is immediately disqualified, but nonetheless becomes a celebrity. Others make deals with other contestants, agree to dig holes exactly the same depth and split the prize money.

It is not quite a coincidence that the competition seems like life.


[the writer signing at the Great Falls Book Festival]



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