Sunday, June 19, 2011

19 JUN 11: Lackey, Dogs

Columbus was calm Saturday, after a couple of days of stormy weather. I read one report of a tree blocking the road to the National Infantry Museum - apparently blown down by high winds. This could never happen to Miss Georgia contestants, of course. They know extra coats of hairspray can prevent that.

Congratulations to Michaela Lackey, who was crowned our new Miss Georgia at the RiverCenter Saturday night. She now will.... hey, wait a minute. Who decided she was OUR Miss Georgia? Where was the online poll? The five-digit number for texting our choice? The gorgeous emcee Cat Deeley, giving every contestant a beauty run for their money?

But I digress: Michaela Lackey competed in Columbus as "Miss Heart of Lakes" - a local pageant held in Rabun County. If someone really wanted to win that title, you'd think their talent would be fly fishing....

Yet here's the thing: Michaela Lackey is from Marietta, but was NOT crowned Miss Cobb County. She was first runner-up for that title last August -- yet she topped Briana Jewett Saturday night to become Miss Georgia. Why, this is almost as unfair as allowing the Green Bay Packers to beat Atlanta in last year's football playoffs.

The Miss Georgia organization decided to combine the main pageant with the "Outstanding Teen" competition for younger ages. The Ledger-Enquirer website indicates Julia Martin won that title at 10:15 p.m. ET - meaning she barely had time to leave Columbus before curfew.

That wasn't the only surprise at the 2011 Miss Georgia pageant. One of the judges was a meteorologist from Miami. But it was NOT Trent Aric, who used to work at WRBL -- and on top of that, the unemployed Kurt Schmitz was left out in the cold again.

WRBL put every night of the Miss Georgia pageant on its website for live streaming. Yet it did NOT put the final night on TV -- not even on the second digital channel. Maybe the managers studied the contestants, then decided Maren Jensen on "Battlestar Galactica" was the more timeless beauty.

WXTX tried to compete with the live webcast by showing parts of the Miss Georgia pageant live during the 10:00 p.m. news. But the pageant ran late, with the winner crowned after 10:30 -- leaving Fox 54's viewers to choose a winner between Katherine Kington, April Gonzales and Kristin Gold.

Michaela Lackey talked during the 11:00 p.m. news as if the Miss America pageant was approaching in September. That was a surprise as well, because the national event was moved to January several years ago. How is ABC going to squeeze those ladies into the schedule - especially when they're competing with college football cheerleaders?

Since I wasn't invited to cover or judge the Miss Georgia pageant, I did NOT attend again this year. Instead I went running on the Riverwalk, then drove to dinner on Victory Drive. Thankfully, I was NOT stopped by any potential prostitutes. It pays to stay in the middle lane until you're ready to turn into the restaurant.

I wound up at Sonic, parking my car in one of the order stalls - only to learn that restaurant is now "drive-through only" after 9:00 p.m. So when the sun set in mid-June, the old-time drive-in feeling disappears. Potential armed robbers may have stolen something, without even showing up.

So I burned extra gasoline going through Sonic's drive-through lane, and ordered two of their new "All-American" hot dogs. The publicized difference is their toppings, but the quieter difference is that they're all-beef. Up to now, Sonic's foot-long coneys contained pork - so that was NO little piggie going "wee wee wee" all the way home.

I ordered two chili cheese dogs from Sonic for $1.99 each. The foot-long coney for $3.29 probably was the better value - but I'm not sure it would have fit inside the small paper bag.

Sonic's six-inch chili cheese hot dogs were good and tasty - but to be honest, Checkers down the street would have given me the same meal for half the price. Hot dogs get on the "value menu" there. At Sonic, a "value" is defined as a one-dollar banana.

BIG PREDICTION UPDATE: Despite winning evening wear and swimsuit preliminaries two nights in a row, my choice for Miss Georgia didn't even make the semifinals Saturday night. What made the judges turn against Miss Rome, Stephanie Burkholder? Do you have to do more than dress nicely to win a pageant these days?

Stephanie Burkholder's enrollment as Ole Miss at the University of Mississippi apparently wasn't an issue with the judges. After all, Michaela Lackey attends the North Carolina School of the Arts. It's no wonder the Georgia legislature scaled back the HOPE scholarship this year. For some women, it's simply not good enough.

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