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Jett Superior laid this on you on || July 29, 2001 || 11:01 am

I was five-and-a-half and it was a family ritual; a rite of passage, if you will. When she got old enough, every single female member of my extended family entered the Little Miss Phillips County Annual Beauty Pageant. Hell, it just wasn’t my family, it was every fucking family in the county. This was a carefully-orchestrated event, by nobody moreso than the mothers of the little entrants.

I recall getting the dress around four to five weeks before the pageant. It was lilac with a princess bodice and adorned sweetly with white lace and bows. My mother had to go all the way to Memphis (an hour away after crossing the Helena bridge) to find me a parasol and little lavender tap-panties with white ruffled lace on the hiney to match.

I was a grand devotee of Shirley Temple, believing her to be the mecca of all entertainment at the time. My talent was to sing “On The Good Ship Lollipop” (‘hap-pee landeeng ahn a chock-oh-lut BAR’), accompanied by requisite tap dancing. Mom even had a new set of taps put on my shoes for the occasion.

The day before the pageant, my long, extremely thick and heavy hair was rolled scorchingly tight in metal curlers. My mother’s theory was that if it had 24 hours to set, my ‘do would withstand the summer humidity and my hair’s own weight pulling against it. I swear I still have little divots dug into my scalp to this day.

Zero hour approached, and we went ahead to the convention center where the pageant was to be held, dress and accessories in tow, my hair still tight in the ugly wire rollers. My dad and baby sister and assorted family and friends were to arrive later, just before the show started.

After I got dressed and Mom was scavenging rollers from my hair, I voiced a concern.

“Mommy, these panties are loose.”

“No they are not, Elizabeth. They are fine.” My mom only called me Elizabeth (Beth was the going moniker of my childhood) when she was highly annoyed, and she reserved a special sort of venom for the four syllables. I fidgeted and tried to voice my concern about the oversized undies. All those ruffles weren’t helping. They were weighing the panties down immensely, with their stiffly starched lace.

My whole extended family showed; all eight of my mom’s brothers and sisters were there. This pageant was sort of the practice run for the coming out parties and balls 11 or 12 years down the road. It was the step in, whether you ever chose to participate in another pageant again or not.

I was sort of the surrogate daughter to many of my relatives, as I came from a family of many boys. I was also the pride of Mr. and Mrs. Goings, our neighbors since before I was born. So I must reiterate: everyone was there.

The plan of action was for each girl, with her numbered bib across her chest, to cross from stage left to stage right, where we were to be asked a few cursory questions (to rate the level of cuteness in our answers, I would imagine). On the way there, we were to pause at a mic at front center stage and announce our names and the names of our parents, then curtsy deeply. A full-bodied deep curtsy was some kinda fucking art, let me tell ya. You practiced until you could deliver it deftly and impeccably.

I was number twelve outta the gate. At quarter-stage, I felt those fucking panties beginning their descent. Immediately before stage center they were in full-on slide mode. By the time I stepped up to the mike, the evil undies were puddled around my ankles. I smoothly announced my name and those of my parents.

I am told that there was a brief moment of pause, presumably because I was deciding the best course of action. I suddenly bent down, scooped up the errant lavender underwear and yelled “SOUVENIR!!” into the mike as I flung them wantonly into the audience.

Everyone LOVED it and laughed uproariously. The exception was, of course, my parents. My Aunt Sarah says that they shrank further and further down into their seats.

My problem over according to me, I proceeded to the Question Lady, who remained unflummoxed and delivered the questions as planned.

When all was said and done, I came in first runner-up. I was pissed because Karen Anderson, the girl who won (and coincidentally, lived down the street from me) was hairy like a monkey. She had thick hair on her arms and even on her back and I remember thinking, “Who ever heard of a monkeygirl winning a pageant??!?” My ego was salved, however, when I got a somewhat smaller tiara (but no scepter, BOOBOOHISSSSS), a chest ribbon and a hugeass box of bubblegum.

And of course, I got another entry in The Book Of Foolish Things Beth Has Done In Her Stay On The Planet.

But somebody’s gotta provide the entertainment, right??

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

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