(Warning: Some language and sexual references may be objectionable)
Both fashionably late in joining the other contestants onstage, the first up is Crissy Bannister, tall and regal in her royal blue, silken thong. Rising from the waist of her thong is a plumage of peacock feathers held by a strip of flesh-toned material securely attached to her back. The colorful plumage hovers a couple of feet above her head. Appearing right behind her is Dana Tara Gong, whose presentation is equally imposing.
In keeping with her stage name as the Dragon Lady, Dana’s gilded-trimmed thong is adorned with sequins resembling reptilian scales. Attached to the back part of her thong is a pair of wings, resplendent with the same gilded and sequined patterns. Perched between her wings is a tiny, gold-shellacked canister connected to two silver hoses. From behind, one hose trails into a long tube, which is attached on a shoulder pad protruding 12 inches from where the pad is fastened on her shoulder. The other, much longer hose connects to a wrist band on her right hand. Jutting under her band is a button, which when pressed, sends out a whoosh of flames from the long tube atop her shoulder.
Theo swallows and mouths the word “shit” to Anya, who is posing next to him.
She whispers, “The person who fears losing is already screwed.”
Theo retorts, “Losing so terribly sucks, while winning gets you many free fucks.”
Sunny, who is on Theo’s other side, murmurs, “There is no humor in pricks.”
From the speakers, trumpets sound off, signaling the emcee to appear. Stepping boldly onstage he announces, “Welcome to our 70th annual game of thongs!” The audience bursts into applause.
The emcee shows off a sandaled foot, as he continues, “How do you like my thong?” The crowd laughs even though they’ve heard the same joke about his flip-flops every year. “For years we have been graced by our creative townies, showing off the latest design and style in thongwear. I would like to thank our sponsor that started this tradition, Made-in-Ware Ironclad Thongs.” Another round of applause ensues.
“This year marks a milestone for us because we will be retiring this contest after today.” Gasps from both audience and participants alike follow, with many muttering “Shame, shame, shame!” only barely under their breaths. The emcee holds up a hand to stop. “Please, this has been the longest running event ever this town has ever had, and we at the Chamber of Commerce Activities Committee think it’s time to have a new contest, but that’s going to be for another venue to announce. Right now, let’s focus on the show. As you all know, the prize has always been a year’s supply of thongs from our generous sponsor. But, this year, the winner will also receive the iron throne as the grand prize!”
The emcee directs everyone’s attention to the glistening throne with an M-shaped back. Although the seat of honor is referred to as an iron throne, it is made of stainless steel. The seat is mesh, usually found in office chairs, but that is the only similarity between the two. Sewn on the throne’s mesh is the front of an oversized thong.
All the participants’ eyes light up. Dana and Crissy give each other the evil eye. Juan, Theo, Sunny, Anya, and Tyrone seek out one another’s attention, each thinking their friendship might be on the line by vying for the prize. Tyrone rolls his eyes and philosophizes to himself, “Breeze and bullshit. We are only dust, and our maker created us for fun. That is our great challenge, and our great demise.”