Citywide writing contest for middle school kids about a dog that had been abused for many years and was finally rescued by the city and found a home. I wrote from Faith's perspective and took home a tidy $75, a certificate with a gold stamp, and a microscope for my school. We got to meet the dog and have our picture in the paper, but the aggressive second-place winner, at the hissed insistance of her mother, elbowed in front of me and mugged all kissy face with the dog. One lick and that dog was over it. She clearly had the same bad feeling about this other person who hadn't really won the contest.Of course, I was just glad she didn't bite that girls head off.
Obviously wires were crossed and someone didn't pass the information on down the line and wouldn't you know it, the photo in the paper was the one with No. 2 mugging with the dog. At least my weird smile and closed eyes were lost in a shadow.
I definitely learned 3 real lessons that day. 1. Don't appear with kids or animals, 2. Some mothers are good at laminating but are not to be trusted with one's PR, and 3. Never get hung up on a minor slight. Like water off a rescue dog's back.
I would link to the URL but I believe this was pre arpanet. it exists only in the laminated files in storage and in private collections. It was a different time and i don't know that the authenticity could stand up to the cynicism of today.