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December 2013

It was the Best of Years, It Was the Worst of Years,

You may remember Robin Valley Farms, our attempt to commercialize “The Other Red-Breasted Meat®” on our robin farm last year. Well, it didn’t work out like we had imagined. It was too much work. But more importantly, we got tired of all their crap. Especially Coyle, who kept complaining to us about accidentally catching some of the droppings in his mouth. So naturally we told him, “Shut your mouth.” Little did we know where that bit of stellar parenting would lead.

During his time guarding himself from the ‘airborne bird flu’, Coyle learned to talk without opening his mouth. Having inherited Lonnie’s gift of “closed-mouth gab” (perfected during talent night at Camp Pequot back in the years of his never awkward adolescence), we decided Coyle was ready for the next level and needed a real dummy. Cue Sara.

After a few weeks of practicing opening her mouth at a buffet with Coyle standing behind her and pulling her shirt, she was ready. The afternoon of our first rehearsal, we quickly explained it to Miles and he was ready. We decided to work on developing characters first and landed on Sara portraying “Pearl, the singing church lady”, which goes well with Coyle’s wonderful soprano voice. Miles became Oliver Twist, mostly because the cockney accent is the only one Lonnie can do well (“G’day mate, guv’nah. Care for a spot of shrimp on the barbie?”)

Having worked many long hours, we finally put the finishing touches on our new ventriloquismusical, “Oliver! And Pearl, the Singing Church Lady!” It’s a tasteful combination of a Dickens’ novel and a small town church choir director and all the crazy capers you’d imagine them experiencing together. The finale takes audiences on a thrill ride through the moors of England while Pearl yodels alternate lyrics to “The Lonely Goatherd” and her trademark laugh line “You just scared the Dickens out of me!”

Kiddie has enjoyed a break from the farm and loves the slower pace of hoping to take tickets at the door during our performances. Be sure and come check out our opening night performance last Thursday @11:30pm in the parking lot of The First United Methodist Church (we still haven’t worked out a deal to use their sanctuary).

Merry Christmas, Dummies!
The Fowlers
click to enlarge

Fowler Fun Facts

• We actually used the first photo we took. The two prior years required multiple shots to compose the final image. We did use an alternate head for Lonnie for the version you see.
• Originally, Miles was going to be sitting in a suitcase as though we were unpacking him for our "show". Stuffing a cat into a toilet may have been easier. We opted for him on Lonnie's lap.
• Sara and Miles' makeup was applied in photoshop, except for the "dummy mouth lines"
• Coyle kept practicing his expression and checking with us to make sure it would be "funny for the card".
• After two consecutive years outdoors, this year's photo was shot in our living room. The wall behind us was deleted and replaced with the dark red curtain you see.
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