Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twenty-four contestants. Four competitions. One victor. [Connor]

Twenty-four contestants*. Four competitions. One victor.

This is the saga of Mr. RHS.

For those who don’t attend Rigby High School, Mr. RHS is a yearly spoof of Junior Miss in which guys from our school compete in four divisions: Clubwear, Fitness, Talent, and Sensitivity. The objective is to determine which contestant can get the most members of his family to deny any relation to him. Technically, of course, the point is to display the best talent, exhibit the best fitness, etc., but we all know the truth.

Following the tradition set by the Junior Miss program of practicing and preparing exhaustively for every event, we began an arduous practice program nearly a week before the pageant. Many of the intensive practices lasted over a half hour. We began by practicing the fitness routine; essentially, a dance routine incorporating pushups, sit-ups, and other exercises. The dance itself was extremely physically strenuous, requiring the utmost fitness to compete. For the pushups, for example, we did three. The girls on the school dance team would show us the dance and then coach us through it, step by step. Afterward, we would try to imitate the girls. How did we do? Picture a duck trying out for American Idol.

The Clubwear event consisted of all of us dressed to represent an organization or interest that we represent**. I was Mr. Couch Potato, dressed in pajamas, a large T-shirt with a pillow stuffed inside to serve as a belly, sitting in an armchair with a bag of potato chips and eating them off my chest. (At one point, a girl asked me if I was Mr. Pregnant.) Other Clubwear contestants included Mr. Wrestling, who wore a spandex suit; Mr. Warcraft, who wore cardboard armor; and Mr. River Guide, who wore an actual kayak and was pushed onstage by a girl from the dance team. (Needless to say, he won that division. I bet the girl slashed his tires.)

The competition heated up in the Fitness portion of the contest. We separated into groups of five and displayed our dancing skills for the world to laugh at. Several of the groups, realizing that mere dancing would not pull through to a victory, added to the dance or took it in a new direction***, figuratively speaking. In defense of my group, our idea of tearing off six progressive layers of Velcro-ed clothing worked great in practice. (Important note: we did, in fact, plan to keep on the final layer, which was entirely modest and covering, except in the case of my friend who wore a Strawberry Shortcake shirt that reached down to his sternum and boxer shorts that spelled I’M TOO SEXY FOR MY SHORTS across the rear.) During the actual performance, however, the outer layer decided to grab the other layers of clothing and hold on for dear life. The result was that instead of a group of guys ripping off their shorts in unison and throwing them coolly into the audience, who would fight amongst themselves to grab them and keep them as a souvenir, what the audience got was a group of five guys bending over, wrestling madly with their shorts and toppling over, still grappling to pull off a good twenty pounds of excess clothing, as the song continued without them. My group placed undisputedly last in that competition.

The talents were generally pretty good. The title of the winning talent was “Singing in the Shower.” Other talents included a comedy routine, which included a joke implying that Hillary Clinton is a fair trade for a chihuahua, the Napoleon Dynamite dance, and two guys performing an interpretive dance to the hit song “Kryptonite,” by 3 Doors Down.

The goal of the final competition, Mr. Sensitivity, is to prove yourself as the sweetest, most sensitive of the contestants, or at least to deceive the judges to think you are. Numerous mothers, grandmothers, and girlfriends were called up to the stage, told how much they meant to the contestant, read poems, given hugs, chocolates, roses, Ferraris, etc. My eight-year-old brother Quinnie won this event. Ok, technically I won it, but take into account that I didn’t speak a word, or even put in any effort aside from smiling. Quinnie, the most sincere and sensitive person you’ll ever meet, had written the following:

“My brother is sensitive because he plays Legos with me. Sometimes, when there are bees in the clubhouse, he goes in first, so they get him instead of me. He likes small animals. He also took my mom on a date for her birthday.”

Eight-year-olds reading stuff like this aloud to a tearful audience have a special place in judges’ hearts, it seems.

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*Give or take the ones I forgot to count or counted twice.
**A message from the department of redundancy department.
***Of course, many of us were already dancing in completely different directions, but that had nothing to do with planning.

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