Friday, September 26, 2008
I won Cowie—a stuffed cow—by shooting a bullseye with a bow-and-arrow at a Coney Island game some 18 or so years ago.
Or maybe it was the San Gennaro Festival. My mind wanders and falters, remembering bus schedules and plumbing tips, but cannot remember where I won Cowie. I know David Wohl named Cowie, because David also named Bearie and Fishie. I know it was an archery shoot because I kept the pierced target for years, to show off how I'd won Cowie. I remember my shock when I actually succeeded. I am only an adequate marksman, so I assume I had help from luck.
Cowie lived in my office for many years. Sometimes others would borrow or steal Cowie, perching him trophy-style behind their desks down the hall.
When I left my staff editor position to become a contracted colorist in 1995, I threw Cowie in the trash.
Polly retrieved him and took possession for years. Then I lost track. When I started swapping jobs with Polly in the late 90s, editing collections while she was on tour with her band, did Cowie live in her (my) office? Or had Cowie already gone roaming around the company?
I left Marvel for good at the end of 2000, and Cowie embarked on a solo tour of shelves and offices. I don't know where he went or how long he stayed in each new destination, but a few weeks ago, I received a text from my friend Sue, who still works at Marvel.
"Ralph has Cowie. U want him back?"
And eight years later, 13 years after I rudely tried to throw away my stuffed prize, Cowie has come home to me. He's filthy, covered in dust, and missing one horn. But now I will clean him up and perch him in my new office, this time the trophy not advertising my marksmanship, but rather being a testament to the silliness of my former colleagues, and the resilience of one particular stuffed cow.