Editor spontaneously combusts while judging bikini contestants
June 25, 2008
First off, let me say this: I am NOT a sexist clod. But I got up Saturday like a kid on Christmas morning.
My presents? Thirty-seven bikini-clad women.
That’s right: A few Tribune supervisors sat around several months ago figuring out how to cover Opening Days Lake Tahoe. During the course of the conversation, someone leaked the news that the event’s organizers were recruiting judges for the Miss Hawaiian Tropic bikini contest.
Now under similar circumstances, I know many of you men would have jumped on the table and screamed “ME, ME ME!”
But not me.
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Uh-uh. I’m a cool, calm editor, oblivious to such crass desires. I, instead, responded with the dignity for which I’m well known: “I WANNA! I WANNA! I WANNA!”
Eventually, everyone at the table tired of hearing me whine and agreed to let me judge. In my ensuing conversations with my wife, Barb (who’s still in North Carolina), I occasionally referenced my upcoming judging duties.
Me: “Hey, Barb. Guess what?”
Me: “I’m judging the Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest.”
Barb: “This is the seventh time you’ve told me.”
So, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, I arrived at the Hawaiian Tropic stage in front of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.
The contestants had yet to sashay out, leaving the 15 or so judges at tables in front of the stage busily reviewing their ballots (We didn’t want any angry, sexy, voluptuous, velvety-skinned contestants throwing themselves on us if they had felt cheated …).
Well, anyway, the women finally began gingerly giggling their way one after the other onto the stage. With the help of several stagehands and two bubbly emcees, the contestants displayed their wares, first in skintight dresses, then in bikinis.
Hundreds of hooting and hollering men (and women) viewed the scene from behind metal barricades.
I, however, was neither hooting nor hollering. I, rather, was starting to think seriously about my last will and testament just in case I went into cardiac arrest.
I was fine during the dress parade, though I noticed my right eye – the one that can actually decipher shapes – seemed to be throbbing and lurching a bit from its socket. I also seemed to be drooling some, which I’d anticipated …
“Hey, buddy, why’d you bring the bucket?”
Things got a bit more squirrely, though, as the now-bikinied contestants began their slow, grinding way onto the stage. My eye was beginning to rumba …
The first several contestants were intriguing, but then up came a tall, thin blonde with endowments that would have made Caligula blush.
And that’s when I thought it would happen: My right eye would completely pop out, slide down my protruding tongue and roll under the stage – which, of course, would have left me with just my worthless left eye.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, I started to feel as though I’d spontaneously combust.
“Hey, Charlie! Look! That judge is on fire! Quick, pat him down with your Ladies Home Journal!”
After about an hour, the final contestant did her thing, and the judges scurried to pick their top five choices. Alas, Miss Thin-Blond-and-Delicious only ranked third on my scorecard, though she seemed to have mesmerized many in the crowd.
That night, I did what any hard-lovin’ manly man would do: I called Barb.
Barb: “Well, how was the bikini contest?”
Me: “Ohhhh, you know. It was OK.”
Barb: “Just OK?”
Me: “Well, none of them looked nearly as good as you do.”
Barb: “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”
– Paul Dunn is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at (530) 542-8047 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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