June 26, 2007


Miss Potato

When I was a teenager, my friends and I used to watch beauty pageants and laugh. A lot. These Barbie doll women, who all pretty much looked alike, would parade around in bathing suits and high heels (now, there's a common look) trying desperately to look special. As we learned they had vaseline on their teeth, hemorrhoid cream under their eyes and invisible tape on their arses, I decided that beauty was just too much work.

Until I found this article today. Finally, a contest I could get behind. They have a potato queen. In a striking case of life imitating vegetable, my family has a potato queen. Me.

There is no potato I don't have a deep and abiding love for. Any form. Potatoes are rapture. I make enough at dinner so I can have leftovers for breakfast. At family dinners, everyone takes potatoes first, then passes the bowl to Aunt Rainey, because she will 'clean 'em up', to quote my late father. Who shared my love of the humble tuber.

To discover there is a place I could have a tiara perched on my head, and don a sash declaring me 'Potato Queen' is transcendant. When they speak of all the planets aligning for someone, or someone having a moment of pure understanding - or, as I prefer to call it, a potato moment - I realize I just may have been put here on earth to realize such a dream.

And my timing is perhaps impeccable. The current Potato Queen has failed to fulfill her duties -gasp - and has been dis-potatoed. Perhaps she's going over the wall, visiting other vegetables on the side, or maybe she's just all potatoed out.

I could nobly bear that banner for the rest of my life. My potato resume is without gaps, includes notable references, and shows that potatoes infiltrate every part of my life: education, careers goals, past experience and hobbies. It's all there.

And if need be, I will also declare my deep and abiding quest for world peace, just to please the judges.

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