Training for two national championships that have absolutely nothing in common, except that they take place within a week of each other, may sound like a completely foolish idea. In fact, it probably is.

Or maybe it’s just plain brilliant.

Especially if you’re only half-decent in one event, half-awesome in the other, and there’s a chance that no more than 20 competitors will show up for each one.

I’d like to think that I’ve made some great strides in my preparation for the National Hollerin’ Contest. Unfortunately, I think that I’d simply like to think this. You see, until a few weeks ago, I’d never hollered in my life. And unlike my dad, who has international opera experience, I’ve never been much of a vocalist. So perhaps I was overconfident this weekend when I decided to perform a few intermediate-skilled hollers for Carie, which elicited the following reactions:

“You sound good, but maybe it would be a good idea if you asked your dad for some voice lessons.”


“It sounds sort of like someone is twisting your balls.”

Luckily, it doesn’t feel like that.

But here’s the good news. Not that many people usually show up for the Hollerin’ Contest. I’ve heard that several years ago, only four people competed. That means that there’s a somewhat reasonable chance that I could show up and have a 25 percent chance of winning. Maybe.

Even if I fail miserably, there’s another national championship opportunity awaiting me the next week. And there’s a reasonable chance that I’ll be part of the winning team. My partner Mike and I practiced again today, this time in a thunderous downpour. So far, we’ve completed 60-plus-feet throws in the following conditions: nearly dark, extremely hot, rainy, and slightly drunk.

On a side note, after Mike and I attempted a throw of more than 150 feet, count me in the party of folks who believe a successful egg throw-and-catch combination of more than 200 feet, let alone the alleged world record of more than 300 feet, is humanly impossible. Especially bogus, is this video in which a guy throws an egg as far as he can and watches it safely land on the ground. He might as well have been throwing that egg to Bigfoot. On Jupiter. With Elvis behind the camera.

But on the off chance that it isn’t bogus, and that this guy shows up at the National Egg Toss Championship with a blue-suede-shoed partner, I suppose Mike and I will keep practicing.

And I’ve scheduled a voice lesson with my dad for Tuesday night. I hope he’s ready to work a miracle.