In 1992, when I was a college student at the University of Wyoming, I went to see Toad the Wet Sprocket in concert. They’re still an awesome band; but, if you’ve never heard of them and are wondering what the hell their name means, they took it from the Monty Python skit, Rock Notes, where Eric Idle plays a journalist who delivers the best music news report ever, "Rex Stardust, lead electric triangle with Toad the Wet Sprocket, has had to have an elbow removed following their recent successful worldwide tour of Finland. Flamboyant ambidextrous Rex apparently fell off the back of a motorcycle. "Fell off the back of a motorcyclist, most likely," quipped ace drummer, Jumbo McClooney, upon hearing of the accident. Plans are now afoot for a major tour of Iceland."
Anyway, in 1999, the band released a compilation album, P.S. A Toad Retrospective; however, today's story isn’t about Toad the Wet Sprocket OR Monty Python. It’s actually about toads. To be specific, it’s about our toads. That’s right, they’re back; and, in their honor, here is last year’s, “Frog and Toad are Friends.”
PS (no pun intended): Sorry for recycling content again, but this may truly be one of my favorite mkromd posts ever. Also, I promise something new next time. Since getting back from Spain, I've been working on the book, and I'm ridiculously excited. Things are finally
looking up, so keep your fingers crossed for me. And, finally, with that . . .
Frog and Toad are Friends
I love our house. It sits on an acre of woods with a stream behind it; and, on any given night, you can watch fireflies while listening to the owls and frogs. Likewise, on any given day, you’re bound to see rabbits and cardinals, as well as the occasional sandhill crane, heron or turkey if you’re lucky. Lately though, our yard and patio have been covered with toads… hundreds of tiny, baby toads.
However, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first. For some reason, I like eating breakfast outside. I do, and every day I pour a glass of orange juice, make a bowl of oatmeal, grab a cup of coffee and a tennis ball, then sit on the steps and play with the dog while trying to wake up. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m not a morning person. I’m barely an afternoon one, so when I saw my entire patio hopping, I said to myself, “Self, if you’re still dreaming, please turn this oatmeal into the world’s biggest doughnut right NOW.” When that didn’t happen and the disappointment subsided, I became so intrigued that I needed to know what the hell was going on.
And that’s when I saw them… dozens upon dozens of adorable, little toadlets… everywhere… which immediately made me think of the book of Exodus… which immediately made me want to fall to my knees and scream, “I knew I should have let God’s people go!!!” But I didn’t. Given that I started running again and my poor neighbors have endured enough these days, I went inside and got DB instead.
Now, for the record, I love and adore my husband immeasurably. Not only is he warm and brilliant, but he has this charming, Buddhisty innocence that makes me want to be a better person. And, as we stood there, watching the baby toads, we saw two of them climb onto the patio together. One was curious and brave and determined to blissfully bound and rebound on any and everything around it. The other stood at the edge and watched him like, “What are you doing? Do you NOT see those two giant humanoids staring at us? Come back.” then furiously hopped over to him, all-the-while thinking, “ARGH… Really?! I swear to God, if someone picks me up, I will pee all over them. That's right. They will be covered in warts and toad stools if I plan it right.”
And in that moment, I was immediately reminded of the children’s book, Frog and Toad are Friends, and I’m Toad. I’m cynical and I’m gun shy and I’ve been on enough patios to know that it can all go horribly wrong in ways that you can’t even predict. And DB is Frog. He’s that friendly, fearless, calm being who believes the world isn’t a terrible place. Sure, it’s big and bad things happen, but it’s more exciting than it is awful and if you don’t hop out of the grass, you’ll never experience the splendor. Also, at the risk of setting the bar low, I want to be that kind of amphibian, but I’m not. I cannot rally that kind of optimism anymore, which is ironic when you consider that, throughout my life, I kissed a lot of frogs who didn’t turn into princes (at least not mine), then fell in love with a prince who also happens to be a Frog.