"If I had a nickel," I said, "for every time I've listened to sax music while walking down the street wearing a dress..."
"...You'd have a nickel!" my friend Scott Smith interjected. Like me, Scott was clad in a black cocktail dress and a black hat, striding down Broadway Avenue on a warm August evening in downtown Eugene, Oregon.
When Scott's wife and my good friend Debbie Williamson-Smith told me she was campaigning in Eugene's annual Slug Queen competition (held this year on Friday the 13th, reasonably enough), it sounded like a natural fit. Debbie is a smart, civically engaged, and artistic professional communicator.
Debbie even had an ace up her sleeve: cross-dressing. Liberal Eugene is always up for a little gender transgression, and the Slug Queen competition has a long tradition of drag as evidenced by the 2009-10 queen, Mark Van Bever, er, make that Ana Slugsia. Unfortunately, what Debbie had in mind was me cross-dressing, along with hubby Scott and friend Jonathan as her back-up singers.
What sounded like less of a natural fit was Debbie's vision for her theme: Breakfast at Tiffany's. With the adopted moniker Holly GoSlugly, a sixties-inspired up-do, and a social media-based campaign, would hippie-tastic Eugene appreciate the "tackily tasteful" (or was it "tastefully tacky"?) Williamson-Smith and her rendition of "Slug River" (crooned by all of us to the tune of "Moon River"?)
Evidently so. With her effective judge-bribing program, Ms. GoSlugly and her team made it to the top two, were just baaaarely edged out (half a stinkin' point!) by new "raining" Queen Slugasana. Debbie vows she'll be back, in the GoSlugly persona or with a brand-new character, in 2011. Who knows what her theme will be, or whether she'll need a helping hand (or antenna?) from a friend willing to show a little leg?
In the meantime, I'll be trying to rebuild my professional reputation...
Photo credit: kval.com