Monday, September 27, 2004

Ms. Mothball 2004

Jef, being the always amazing and talented man that he is, was lured into being a co-chairperson for the Grant Park Conservatory (?) fundraiser known as "The Mothball." It is a big party that is thrown for the residents of Grant Park and their friends. This year's theme was Moulin Rouge.

One of the events that happens during "The Mothball" is the "Ms. Mothball" contest. Jef advised me that under normal circumstances, this is when the neighborhood Drag Queens are able to dust off their heels and wigs and share their fabulousness with their neighbors. However this year, there were not many who were signing up to be a contestant. This led to an urgent phone call between Jef and I about a week ago:

Jef: Umm, Joan...any chance you might want to sing that song you sang at your sister's wedding at the Mothball for the Ms. Mothball contest?

Joan: I thought that was basically a drag show?

Jef: Well, normally it is, but there is nothing etched in stone that it has to be. I'm really concerned that not many have signed up to participate. Would you please do me a favor and be a contestant?

Now, Jef rarely asks me for a favor. He's a very self sufficient kind of guy. So, if this is what he needs, then I need to step up to the plate. On top of that, I've gotten into the groove where if something scares me, I should do it.

Joan: (Good air in...) Umm...OK...I'll do it. (Bad air out...)

Over the course of the week, I realized I didn't want to sing what I sang at my sister's wedding, (Etta James' "At Last") however the CD that I got for the wedding had the music for other songs, too. One of which was "Proud Mary" by Tina Turner. That would be a lot more fun that a slow love song.

So, not having anything "Moulin Rouge-ish" to wear, I just wore a pair of slacks and a red buttoned up shirt with my sparkly earrings and sparkly "J" necklace. This also gave me permission to wear red lipstick, which I love.

I went by Jef and 2F's house to follow them to the party. Jef is just too dapper in his jodpurs, knee high boots, white shirt, red jacket with tails and a top hat. We got to the party and discovered that every costume shop within a 50 mile radius must be out of their "Moulin Rouge" costumes. There were Can-Can girls a-plenty and men dressed in tuxes and all sorts of other garb. It was a beautiful sight!

Jef had rounded up 4 women to be my back up dancers. All of them were dressed beautifully in their Can-Can outfits and were so much fun. Jef then tells me, "By the way, you have a stage name: You are Brie Frommage and the Baguettes!" I downed a couple of glasses of wine and then it was show time.

Jef, who was the MC, introduced me in his best French accent, and then handed me the mike. The music began playing, the women began dancing and I began singing. The crowd was loving it! They were singing, they were dancing, they were clapping - it was just a wonderful 3 minutes and then the song was over. I went and sat down to cool off and the other 2 contestants had their turn.

Jef then called the contestants back on stage and asked the audience to choose who they thought should win. It ended up being between "Sister Louisa" and I. Someone from the audience shouted, "Do a dance off!!" So "Sister Louisa" and I danced. I shook my moneymaker like nobody's business and thankfully the DJ faded the music down. Jef again asked the audience to choose who they thought should win. There were shouts, screams and clapping for both of us, but I ended up winning!!! I was crowned "Ms. Mothball 2004!" What made it even more interesting is that I am the first genetically female "Ms. Mothball" in Mothball history! Score one for the Sisters!

The rest of the evening I was worshipped and adored by all at the party. People came by and bowed to me, kissed my hand, congratulated me and just generally gave me a wonderful ego boost. It was really nice!

I have a beautiful crown, a scepter and a sash that was hand crafted by my friend Joanne. She is so talented, she could make something beautiful out of a piece of string and some lint. I also won some lovely Mary Kay products. I couldn't help but wonder if the winner had been one of the Drag Queens, would they have enjoyed the scented body wash, lotion and spray I got?

After the party was over, Jef and 2F walked me to my car. On the way I asked them, "Did I really do good, or was it just because everyone was drunk?" They both emphatically said that I did great. I guess I'll have to accept that because Jef has never lied to me!

So now, I place my "Ms. Mothball 2004" crown in the place of honor next to my Mother's "Bean Queen" crown. The legacy continues...



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