Sunday, October 01, 2006

Beauty Queens and Disappointment

I was finishing up watching the Alabama Crimson Tide get taken to the woodshed yesterday, when husband had to leave for a last-minute engagement. An Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) math professor had called him Friday night to see if he knew of anyone who could be a judge for a high school beauty pageant on Saturday. As public relations director, he sometimes gets after-hours calls about all sorts of things. Being the sort of person who loves to help, he volunteered to do it himself without thinking that he’d miss part of the Alabama game that was, unfortunately, on CBS. He listened to the second half on the radio on the way to Eclectic, Alabama, a little community northeast of Montgomery. Afterwards, I wanted to talk to him about the game, but he refused, saying, go write about it. So, I am.

Husband said it was fun to see the girls all dressed up, and he enjoyed the evening. There were also three guys in one category, two brothers and another kid. When asked what his most embarrassing moment was, one of the brothers said, “This.” Boy, can I identify with him. When I was on the yearbook staff in high school a hundred years ago, our adviser finagled me into becoming one of our pageant contestants. On hindsight I appreciate her faith in me, but I am about as far away from your typical contestant as you can get. Back then I had long hair, fancied myself a free-thinker and was painfully introverted.

Anyway, forgive the trip down memory lane. After the judges for the Eclectic pageant had decided whose daughter would be crowned the winner and whose daughters would be going home with tears but before the announcement of that, the organizers told the judges, “You need to leave now. We had an ‘incident’ last year.” As one of last year’s judges left, rocks were thrown at his car as he pulled away.

You have to know. This is Alabama. We take football seriously. And beauty pageants.

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