When I was around seven years old, my mom entered my sister and me into an “owl hooting contest.” All in all, over a dozen children were involved in the competition, which took place at Penitentiary Glen, a park outside of Cleveland.
One by one, each contestant hooted (I had to check to make sure this was a word) into a microphone plugged into an amplifier. I went. The rest of the kids went. My sister went last.
Sometime in between, a yellow jacket flew up my shirt and stung me 11 times.
My sister won the contest, and I came in third place, but only because the judges felt bad for me having to suffer through multiple yellow jacket stings right after giving an impassioned, albeit imperfect performance.
I won five dollars.