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Tragedy strikes on the beach at Manila. Tragedy strikes on the beach at Manila.

Heigh Ho... oh no! (A miner accident) by Team Craghead

In which we encounter a large snake working through a seven-course meal at the Friends of the Dunes Sand Sculpture Festival, July 15, 2017.

I don’t know whether the snake was Kaa from The Jungle Book. I was afraid to ask him.

We decided that Dopey was the first to get swallowed and probably could have prevented the whole incident, were he not so dopey. Sleepy went next, falling asleep in mid-swallow (see? He’s laying down). Grumpy has more cause for grumpiness than ever before, having lost his pickaxe, and Doc has yet to notice any of this. Though one would think that the ever-decreasing number of voices in the performance of “Heigh Ho” should have tipped him off... maybe he’s the dopey one after all?

And no, I’m not sure how all this ends up. Maybe Doc saves his diminutive buddies at the last minute? Or maybe Snow White is dessert? You decide.

Hmm, I sure do feed people to large creatures a lot, don't I? A recurring theme.

It was fun to hear the spectators figure out the joke... some folks recognized the characters right away, others didn’t get it until they read the name on the sign. But everyone – and I mean everyone – stuck out an index finger and counted the bumps in the snake. It was like a primal urge, no one could resist.

As for the sculpting itself: the sand around here is notoriously rounded off and hard to stack, which is fine for gentle mound-shaped objects but not vertical objects with undercuts and such, so that’s always challenging. We packed a core that felt pretty solid for Doc, but late in the day during a rapid weight-loss operation (specifically, gluteal reduction surgery), his entire left side cracked off and slid away. We were able to build him back up with some frantic wet-pancake-piling, but it was clear that I’d pushed the boundary too far, so I was forced to leave out a few more details than I would have liked, such as Doc’s lantern. But we hit all of the elements required to tell the joke, and that’s the main goal.

Here's a nice writeup by Will Houston of the Eureka Times-Standard, who stopped by to shoot the breeze and some video.

Kudos to my awesome kids who helped flesh out the idea during the planning stage (the night before), helped me make all these little piles of sand, and made my life easier by doing things like roughing out the snake’s head with such accuracy that all I had to do was a little finish work there. They’re some of my favorite people and I’m very lucky that they still come out and help me do silly things like this.

MikeCraghead

Doc, oblivious.
Doc, oblivious.

Using a straw to blow away sand while details are carved. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Dunes.
Using a straw to blow away sand while details are carved. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Dunes.

Heigh ho, heigh ho...
Heigh ho, heigh ho...
Poor Grumpy.
Poor Grumpy.

A clay sketch, for reference.
A clay sketch, for reference.






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