Small towns in the South are stereotypically known for many things:
• Friendly, slow talking people who are somehow totally comfortable telling complete strangers embarrassing stories about their kinfolk.
• Amazing "home cooking" restaurants where it is perfectly acceptable to unbutton your pants to make yourself more comfortable.
• Having a church on every corner, and many times the same denomination is right across the street from one another - a sign that there was a feud at some point in the history of that church.
Living in one of these small, Southern towns, I know that all of these things are true. I'm guilty of indulging in some of these pleasures myself once in awhile.
But it is never officially the holiday season in a small town until the annual Christmas Parade. They still call it that here. To hell with being PC, I guess. And a small town Christmas Parade really celebrates the best part of living in a small town - beauty pageants.
While there were maybe 4 or 5 actual floats in the parade on Saturday, the parade was full of convertible cars with Little Miss Dogwoods and Teen Miss Cherry Blossoms perched on top. In the South, we have beauty pageants that crown the queen of every vegetable, fruit, nut, flower or season that could possibly exist. And those queens range in age from 1 day old to 101 years old. If you're breathing, can put on a ruffled dress, put a bow in your hair, and manage to look somewhat cute in your momma's eyes, you're qualified. As the winner of one of those pageants, you get to ride in the Christmas parade! Besides the crown, that's really all you get, so you better enjoy it.
The one thing I'm not clear about is why the Georgia Forestry Commission made their queen dress up like Smokey the Bear for this year's parade? (see the picture above). It says a lot, doesn't it?
Now, to be fair - I entered a pageant or two myself during my teen years. I even somehow won my school's highly coveted Miss Northside pageant in 1993. And I rode on the back of a convertible in the Warner Robins Christmas Parade proudly, in my crown and sash. Those puff sleeves are totally awesome aren't they? So clearly, I am not a pageant hater. It's just a way of life here. So if you can't beat them, join them!
I'm already planning for the SEGA's entry for next year. We'll all walk our dogs and dress them up as various dog pageant winners. I must work on a crown for Seka immediately.
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