So, last night (or the night before when 24 robbers came knocking at the door, depending on when you're reading this) was the Miss America Pageant which totally threw me for a loop because I seem to remember the Miss A Pageant being in September which just didn't make sense because the winner was crowned Miss A 1975 when 1975 wouldn't happen for 3 more months but whatever.
I used to be a HUGE Miss America fan. I never missed watching the pageant, I had books about Miss America, I would purchase the Official Program so that I could acquaint myself with the contestants ahead of time and make my picks for Top 10 and I even found a gen-you-whine replica of a Miss America crown. And FYI, wearing a crown is not easy. Unless you tape it or staple it to your head, it slides off no matter how many hair pins you use. Trust me. I know this first hand. And remember when the Sears Wishbook catalog had a Miss America costume for girls with a red velvet robe and scepter? I would have KILLED for that costume but just like the skateboard I asked for one year, I didn't get it (Bitter Moment #23).
Several years ago, my seester and I even held an Official Miss America Viewing Party and everyone came in either Evening Gown, Swimsuit or Talent Ensemble. I've been tearing my house apart looking for the pictures from that night and I can't find them anywhere. There was a great one of me in my beaded evening gown that I found in a thrift store in Palm Springs that I'm pretty sure was made for a Drag Queen pageant because it was A) big enough to fit me and 2) so long that even though I was wearing platform shoes, it still was about 3" too long. Anyway, in that particular photo that I can't find, I'm in my Drag Queen evening gown, with my Miss America replicrown taped and stapled to my head and for the piece de resistance, I'm...wait for it...TWIRLING A BATON!
Speaking of Miss American and baton twirling, every year that I remember to watch the pageant (and this year was the first time in about 6 or 7 years) I keep hoping against hope that one of the finalists will be a baton twirler. Instead, year after year after year the talent is almost always singing. Snore. I want to see a tap-dancing baton twirler, dammit!
The best part of the evening is always the Question and Answer segment. This is almost always the make-or-break portion. You can have Miss State kicking butt in Swimsuit, Evening Gown and Talent and then she goes and blows it all away with some bizarre, rambling monologue that has absolutely nothing to do with the question that was asked. One year, the contestant was asked which sports figure she considered to be a good role model. And she said something along the lines of "Sorry, I don't follow sports; I'm an ARTIST" and then just stood there with a "Oh yeah, I NAILED it!" smile on her face. Even the Emcee had his flabber gasted and looked around like, What?
Every year, when the new Miss America is walking down the runway, doing her pageant wave and trying valiantly to keep her crown from falling off while juggling an armful of roses, in my head, I hear "Miss America" by Styx which was a total burn on the pageant:
"Well it's true just take a look, the cover sometimes makes the book
and the judges, do they ever ask to read between your lines
In your cage at the human zoo, they all stop to look at you
Next year, what will you do, when you have been forgotten
Well, aren't you, Miss America?"
Great, now I have to go and download that song from iTunes. And what the heck did I do with those photos?