The talent portion of the Miss America pageant got off to a rousing start last night, when Miss Alabama annexed the Sudetenland. The applause was deafening.
Her turn was followed by Miss Alaska’s bravura performance as Jake LaMotta in her stage adaptation of Raging Bull, supported by Miss North Dakota as Vicky and Miss South Dakota as Joey. The judges, impressed, granted Miss Alaska a perfect score, which nearly compensated for the fact that, in gaining 40 pounds for the role, she had pretty much ceded the swimsuit competition.
Miss Arizona, who was pre-med at her junior college, then removed Miss Arkansas’ kidney, using her bare hands. For her part, Miss Arkansas attempted to survive despite the removal of said kidney. She received a warm ovation.
In an unusual departure from form, Miss California gave birth to a litter of beagles, which Miss Colorado then suckled. Miss Connecticut—whose platform is the need to have pets spayed or neutered—then euthanized the pups, amid general outcry.
Miss Delaware—as have all Miss Delawares before her—pointed out the state of Delaware on a map. Miss District of Columbia granted Miss Puerto Rico statehood, amid much crying and hugging.
Ever topical, Miss Florida re-enacted Section II, portions (B) through (E), of the Starr Report to Congress, leaving several of the judges impressed and visibly flushed.
Miss Georgia recited The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock, then dared to eat a peach.
Miss Hawaii presented her cure for polio. Upon being informed that polio had already been cured, she burst into tears.
In a feat both impressive and stultifying, Miss Idaho sat alone onstage for three hours and took the SAT, as the audience fidgeted. Later in the evening, it was announced that she had received 690 in the verbal portion, and 730 in the math, to scattered applause.
Miss Maine made a mockery of the Holocaust, and received seven Academy Award nominations.
Miss Maryland got her groove back.
Miss Michigan assisted an elderly woman’s suicide, although it was later disclosed that the woman was in perfect health and had not requested the service.
Miss Minnesota blamed Ted Hughes for everything.
Miss Missouri, with the help of Miss Montana and Miss New York, re-enacted the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. (Miss Montana’s performance as the carriage received particularly high marks.)
In the competition’s most dramatic moment, Miss Iowa attempted to escape from handcuffs and a straitjacket while chained underwater. She failed, and was awarded the Miss Congeniality title.
Miss New Hampshire built a life-size replica of herself out of suet. Miss New Jersey ate said replica.
Miss New Mexico told the old chestnut about the priest, the rabbi, the minister, and the syphilitic prostitute, which is not fit to be shared in mixed company, but which, rest assured, brought down the house.
Miss Ohio devised a fair and equitable partition of Bosnia, while Miss Oklahoma blew saliva bubbles until she was forced to stop.
As the competition entered its sixth hour, Miss Pennsylvania, who is Amish, churned butter, and Miss Rhode Island hit 62 home runs in a row. In rapid succession, Miss South Carolina disclosed which of her fellow contestants had “had work done,” and where; Miss Utah ate five pounds of raw veal in under five minutes; Miss Vermont bought Dell when it was at 12½.
Through a prior arrangement with the New Jersey courts, Miss Louisiana, Miss Indiana, Miss Kansas, Miss Texas, Miss Nebraska, Miss Nevada, Miss Washington, Miss Tennessee, Miss Mississippi, Miss Iowa, Miss North Carolina, and Miss Oregon served as the jury for a capital-murder case. They voted for conviction, and the death penalty.
Later, with the help of a group of students from Northwestern, Miss Illinois proved the executed man’s innocence. Muted applause ensued.
Lending a brief moment of levity to the proceedings, Miss Virginia impersonated Miss West Virginia. And vice versa.
And finally, Miss Wyoming sprouted pink furry wings and flew around the arena. The other contestants quickly followed suit, creating a thunderous noise as they flapped away and shed their sashes, which fell like streamers upon the amazed audience. They were last seen above the Atlantic Ocean, flying in formation, slowly receding into the sunset, until they disappeared entirely.