I’m always a bit behind the times in the realm of political ephemera, so I just realized that the son of my high school biology teacher in Cullowhee, North Carolina starred in a Herman Cain ad back in August. If you haven’t seen “He Carried Yellow Flowers,” well, it has the advantages of Nick Searcy, a sense of humor, genre playfulness, and (not least) chickens.
My motto: Chickens loom large.
If you have stalked me in print with maniacal fervor, you may know that one of my short stories (all uncollected, as I have never bothered to try and publish them in more than magazines and anthologies) deals with a biology teacher who I call “Circe.” Circe is a created literary lady and, as such, has nothing to do with Nick Searcy’s flesh-and-blood mama—my Circe lives in a magic world of illusion.
As to the real life woman who faithfully toted her son to campus so that he could be a child actor in university plays: I’m afraid that I gave Mrs. Searcy a great many reasons to dislike me, being full of ginger and silly at 15 and liking to do ridiculous things like investigate how high a frog’s eyeball can bounce. At any rate, there is little doubt that she did not love me, and it was entirely my own fault.
At the end of my story, I give the paper-and-ink biology teacher an enormous present. In real life, I gave my biology teacher a rather small but no-doubt welcome present by deciding not to go on to advanced biology, even though I had an outsize passion for botany. (That year I had collected and catalogued 120+ flower specimens from four states, including wild orchids and carnivorous plants, for a biology assignment. And that was a bit compulsive and mad, wasn’t it?)
So I made both my real life biology teacher and the paper one happy in the end.