Since I was in New York for my birthday, I missed the traditional birthday dinner that Jeannie has thrown for me since she moved off campus, and Kristin, Jeannie, Elizabeth, and Ben decided that they would fix that by taking me out the week that I was back. Kristin and I got to the Downtown Grill and Brewery a little early, though, so we walked down to the Mast General Store to kill time until everyone else got there. Usually I only go to Mast General for nostalgic candy, but this time Kristin and I both spotted something else, something mind boggling and amazing:
The Ginormous Grow Frog.
As you can see from the picture, the frog is not yet ginormously grown there, but according to the package all you have to do is put it in water and a week to ten days later, it will grow up to three times its size! It will be ginormous! And it was only two dollars! Kristin and I immediately each bought one, and took them home.
Before I go on, I have to point out right now that I cannot explain the attraction of the Ginormous Grow Frog. It doesn't do anything. It doesn't move. It gets bigger, and as it dries out, it gets smaller. As toys go, that makes it about as interesting as a balloon, but somehow, seeing it in the package and that picture of the little girl holding it out like it was the best thing ever, I wanted a Ginormous Grow Frog. I wanted to take it home, put it in water, and watching it become ginormous.
So I did.
First, I documented the starting size of the Ginormous Grow Frog. From years of reading books about archeology, I know that it's important to put a familiar, standard sized object in a frame so that viewers can understand the size of the other, less familiar object. I chose to use a dollar:
Then I filled the bathtub in my second bathroom and threw the Ginormous Grow Frog in:
I never use that tub. I think it actually had dust in it when I pulled back the curtain to fill it with water. I was thinking, though, of the stories about how goldfish will get as big as the container that you put them in. My frog could not become ginormous in a tiny little bowl of water. He needed a tub, a veritable Olympic sized swimming pool in comparison to his tiny, not yet ginormous body.
Halfway through the week, I checked on him:
His limbs were definitely growing, but his body still seemed tiny. He was not three times his original size, and he was definitely not ginormous. Just to be sure, I pulled him out of the tub and checked him against the dollar:
Bigger, but not ginormous.
When I put the Ginormous Grow Frog back in the tub, I realized that part of the reason why he wasn't growing as fast as I thought he should be was that his legs were in the water but his body was only half submerged. Turning him over, I noticed a small air hole, so I held the Ginormous Grow Frog under the water and squeezed out all the air inside of him. Then I decided that I was being impatient, and needed to go do other things while I waited.
First, Kristin and I went downtown to go to the Christmas Parade. As we got close to the parade site, though, we decided that there were too many people and too many children, and that we should just go out to eat while we were already downtown. We went to the CoCo Moon, where I got orange peel chicken:
but we should have just skipped dinner, gone to the parade, and eaten nothing. It was that disappointing. The music was weird, the seating was weird, the art on the walls had nothing to do with the style of food, the breading on that chicken was so thick and overcooked that biting through it required real effort, and the waiter with the short sleeves and the really good biceps was assigned to some other table. The whole thing was one big letdown.
I also braved a horrible blizzard to come to work:
while pretty much everybody else in the office called in for the day because the snow was just so terrible, too terrible to drive in. The four of us there just kind of stared at each other all day and wondered why we weren't smart enough to call in, too.
Even though it was snowing, I agreed to participate in the Jingle Bell Run to support our department's team, so the night before I did some hardcore training:
and then Kristin and I got dressed up in holiday hats, went to the race, and did the "fun walk":
It actually was fun, although it was very, very cold. It might have been a little warmer if we'd actually been running and, you know, worked up a sweat, but both of us decided to just be cold instead.
As delicious as my racing eggnog was, though, I ended the week by eating something even better. Elizabeth and Ben bought me a candy bar with bacon nuggets for my birthday:
Unlike my experiment with chocolate bacon, the candy bar had a much better ratio of bacon to chocolate, with lots of tiny nuggets studded through it rather than the thick slabs that I tried:
it was so good that I managed to stretch out eating it over four days. Eventually, though, it came to an end as all good things must, just like the growth period for my Ginormous Grow Frog:
It truly was ginormous now. When I took it out of the tub and laid it on top of the dollar for a comparison, it blotted out the dollar entirely:
and I had to put the dollar on top to keep the experiment valid:
He's at least three times his size, and even though he's drying out now, someday, he will again be ginormous.