From The Wigmaker, a collection of short stories published by Smart Cookie Publishing in 2007.
Jim Slater would be judging the competition for Bindertwine Queen that afternoon and wanted to drive over to the festival in his new tractor and park in front of the crowd, but his wife said that it was the Contestants’ day and not his day, and so he took the Buick and drove around and around until he found a parking spot three streets over. The judges’ table was a door propped up on sawhorses. A large- bosomed woman shook out a white bed sheet and settled it over top. “There are four requirements,” the mayor said into the microphone to the crowd gathered below, “Milk a cow, toss a bail of hay, hog-call, and smile through a toilet seat. Ladies and Gentlemen, your judges.” Jim and the other judges stood up and waved to the crowd, bowed low and then sat down behind the table, and Jim banged his knee on the doorknob. One of the girls stepped on stage and turned sideways and curtsied to the judges. “She’s padded her bra with corn,” Jim said, to no one in particular, and the woman beside him said, “No, it’s not corn, corn would scratch her.” The cow kicked another girl, and she fell off the stage. “Disqualified,” said Jim. One of the girls belted out a hog-call and Jim clapped loudly. “Sounded more like a wild boar,” he said, “but I like her spunk.” The crowd hooted and cheered and the judges gathered together and spoke for a few minutes and someone yelled, “I haven’t got all day Jim, who won?” Jim walked up to the microphone: “This year’s Queen is Hilary Cooper,” and Hilary Cooper ran up on stage and shook her fists in the air. Someone wolf-whistled and Jim kissed Hilary Cooper on the mouth and Hilary Cooper’s crown fell off and Jim leaned over and said, “your pigtails are in the way.” The beer tent had a lineup, but Jim got waved through and he ordered two Budweisers and drank them at the bar next to a woman who said to the couple beside her, “Our living room couch used to be lower, but all of the furniture in that room had to be put up on blocks because they all had hip replacements.” Jim ordered another beer and drank it on the way back to the car, and when he got home, sat down at the table with his wife and two daughters and ate corned beef and cabbage for dinner.