Even though like many of you, I make fun of beauty pageants, I have to admit I was involved in the Miss Georgia Competition for close to 15 years.
My good friend Oz Roberts took over as the director/producer of the competition in 1992 and I saw that he was struggling with the script. I volunteered to help him write it. So for many years, my name was in the Miss Georgia programs as the co-writer.
And then maybe five years ago, I was asked to judge the Outstanding Teen competition. It was called something else then. It was really hard work and I told Oz I didn't want to do anything like that again.
Two years ago, I was roped into judging the Miss Columbus and Little Miss Columbus Pageant. Again, I told him I really didn't want to do that again. I mean, there were any crying little girls upset that they didn't win. But there were irate parents! And I thought those shows about baby beauty pageants on TLC were exaggerated. They are not!
In my 34 years here at the Ledger-Enquirer, I'm proud to say I've never had to cover Miss Georgia. This year, with all the cutbacks and lay-offs and the fact that we have absolutely no interns this summer, I've been tapped to cover this thing.
A friend practically challenged me to write: "This is not a beauty pageant; this is a scholarship pageant." He promised he would scream really, really loudly.
OK, Jim, I'm going to find some way to get that sentence into one of my storie.
You should know better than to push me.