At Heathrow Airport in England. A 300-foot red carpet was stretched out to Air Force One and President Bush strode to a warm but dignified handshake from Queen Elizabeth II. They rode in a silver 1934 Bentley to the edge of central London where they boarded an open 17th century coach hitched to six magnificent white horses. As they rode toward Buckingham Palace, each looking to their side and waving to the thousands of cheering Britons lining the streets, all was going well.
This was indeed a glorious display of pageantry and dignity.
Suddenly the scene was shattered when the right rear horse let rip the most horrendous, earth-shattering, eye-smarting blast of flatulence, and the coach immediately filled with noxious fumes.
Uncomfortable, but maintaining control, the two dignitaries did their best to ignore the whole incident, but then the Queen decided that was a ridiculous manner with which to handle a most embarrassing situation.
She turned to Mr. Bush and explained, "Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I'm sure you understand that there are some things even a Queen cannot control."
George W., ever the Texas intellectual and gentleman, replied, "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought. You know, if you hadn't said something I would have assumed it was one of the horses."
What queens might do and what guys seem to do all came together in one amazing heap last night at the Western Gypsy Gathering. Amid sparkly body glitter, red nail polish, garter belts and mesh stockings, pink balloon bosoms, fans and feather boas, and a whole lot of, if you excuse the expression, balls, the six contestants for the title of Cactus Queen strutted on stage.
They were brash; they were brazen; they put the hustle in the hussie and the flirt in the tramp. The emcee, Nick Russell from the Gypsy Journal, had his hands full -- literally -- trying to keep their hands where they belonged, their knees demurely together, and the audience from laughing so hard they'd fall to the floor.
Enjoy the slide show below -- it not only covers the pageant, but takes you backstage for an intimate look at the preparation and pampering that went on. The images can also be viewed on my Picasa album.
And, yes, that is John, who was very cute, I thought, although I am admittedly biased. In getting him ready, we only made one tactical error -- this morning I realized that I have no nail polish remover. Fortunately, pink seems to be his color!
If you can't see the slideshow below, use the link above to view them on my Picasa album.