|Joe takes in his fans|
|Friends Cody and Jack|
|Hottie from Spain -Javier|
There was a formal introduction of each contestant at The Hanky Dance that involved walking across this fairly sizable dance floor and waving to the crowd, while Dominick read something we had written. The “speech” we gave Dominick to read was about our goals and accomplishments within the Bear Community. This was the most pageant-y part of the whole competition to me, because it involved waving and smiling a bit longer than I could tolerate waving and smiling. It felt like I was on the cast of the Beverly Hillbillies during the end credits. My smile felt –and I am sure looked-insincere. I tried to replace the Beverly Hillbillies image with the Robert Altman movie “Smile” instead, as Dominick read to the audience. Wave and smile –walk walk Wave and Smile- walk walk . Of course the breathtaking Javier did it with the greatest of ease and exuded joy through the whole walk of fame. My “wave and walk “was one of the most surreal moments of the whole experience.
Then we did another quick but exhausting raffle race. Thankfully it was the last one. All my economic fluid connections were tapped out. Many attendees had purchased from us earlier that afternoon and there were roughly two attendees per contestant to sell to. I tried the Hello-My-Name-P.A.-schtick but the music was too loud to hold an intimate casual conversation. I couldn’t find a judge to save my life. My dedicated, handsome “Bag Bitch” Orlando held steady at my side but we were weary of the whole raffle thing –despite the nap. We paused to look out at the sea of twinks out on the dance floor clapping and twirling. They were good but where the hell did they come from? This was an unusual sight at a Bear Run. There was one sassy little spitfire who was totally getting all the attention with "her" fast paced spins. I could spot a couple of otters but by god it was Country-twink-city on the dance floor. Orlando pointed at the sassy one I saw earlier. He had overheard “her” say, “I could give a shit about this bear stuff –I came to two step!” If I had heard that then "little missy" would’ve quickly learned what my logo “woof with bite” meant. That would've been bad because I might've drawn blood and that -my friends is not very contestant-like behavior.
I was extremely tired by 9:45. Ridiculous I know, but I had only four hours of sleep under my belt so...go figure. A nice man came smiling and rushing up to me. In my blear I think it may have been IBR Contestant Judge Tony Hart. To be honest-I am not sure... but I remember thinking, "oh good! I sold some tickets to a judge!" He said, " I wanted to be sure that I bought tickets from every contestant." How nice! Orlando and I passed other contestants on the way to Paul Almy before calling it a night. My head was spinning with fatigue. Many of the contestants seemed to have a similar amount of raffle tickets left on their roll. That is - almost every contestant but the beautiful one from Spain: Javier. He had a ring of tickets that was no bigger than a bracelet. I looked at Orlando with a dead pan that rivaled Jack Benny's. Orlando asked me, " C'mon. Are you surprised? Really?" I guessed that I really wasn't. I would be a fool to think that being hot didn't help in this sort of game. Lucky Javier.
|The inimitable (sp?) Joe Mannetti|