Lucy specialized in making artistic scenes from everyday objects. Every year, working under a spurt of great creativity, she designed a marshmallow Peeps scene for the Seattle Times contest, but was always beat by somebody much more talented than she was. This year, she admitted to herself, she could see why. Her marshmallow Peeps design of a hydrocarbon molecule, with its intricate workmanship, was too complex for this particular contest. The ironic humor of the electron placement with its subtle reference to anti-matter and the sudden vs long-term destruction of humankind was admittedly too obscure for the majority of the readers. And nothing she could have created would have approached the gut-busting funniness of the “peeps’ royal wedding” or “peeper (Bieber) fever” scenes.

Why did everything these days need to be a contest? Couldn’t she just create something that expressed her inner state of being without having somebody give it a thumbs up or thumbs down? Couldn’t she compose a work of art from toothbrushes and sporks that informed life, and let the public reflect on it, absorb it, and possibly even act on it rather than condemn it?

Her mind spun and she needed calm to break free of its turning spokes. Good thing she lived in Seattle. She walked hoodless and hat-free into the rain and let it fall on her green-streaked hair.

Inspiration struck her in the form of a leashless dog that ran up to her seeking pats and love. She would be the one to administer pats and love from now on. She would start her own art contest. She would be the judge. And as a final, artistic slap to the face of ubiquitous competition and reality shows everywhere, she would make sure of one thing: everybody would win.

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