Monday, October 24, 2011

Seeing Red.

I woke up this morning with a text message from an unfamiliar phone number,  a different phone number scribbled on a scrap of toilet paper, and the coveted Most Bejeweled 2011 trophy on the pillow next to my head.  Ladies and gentlemen, it was the weekend of the 3rd Annual Grizzlies' Red Dress Rampage, and I apparently had rampaged a bit too much.

I was a bit anxious leading up to Saturday's big event.  As the reigning Most Bejeweled 2010, the bar was set high to recapture the title.  However, since I had been finishing my outfit, rehearsing my talent, brushing up on current events, and running 18 miles a day, on about 400 calories...I was ready.  The morning started off like any other day that you'd plan to wear a red dress and run around the streets of Nashville would.

I got to the event a bit early to help the Homeowner with set up.  I, of course, did not wear my gown to go help set tents up.  The dress had been under lock and key for months and I needed to have a big reveal.  Finally, Rampagers started filling the venue, and the crowd was just as anxious to see my ensemble as I was to show it off and accept my second title.  With the help of the Grizzlies' First Lady, I slipped into my full length, long sleeved, head to toe red sequin gown, complete with a 9 foot long red sequin train and red sequin sneakers that would have even made Dorothy jealous, and a small metallic clutch to carry my phone and wallet.  I stepped out into the crowd, and as the sun rays hit each and every one of the 271,839 sequins on my person, a collective gasp of awe could be heard for miles.

My ensemble was a hit and everyone was complementing me on my over-the-top sequined-ness.  I quickly glanced around the crowd to see my competition, but even the Queen Mother had nothing on me, and surprisngly, last year's 2nd Runner Up was nowhere to be found.  Anyone would have been hard pressed to find a spare sequin in the Tri-State area on Saturday.  It was not long until my name was announced and I most graciously accepted my second, back to back, Most Bejeweled title.

Now with a beer in one hand, and my trophy in the other, I was ready to run!  The opening ceremonies were complete, and now it was time to take to the streets.  The alarm rang, and the Rampagers were off! There really isn't anything quite like running around the streets of Nashville in a red dress, and most onlookers seemed to enjoy the spectacle as we all ran by.

Dorothy, eat your heart out.  

I continued on to each stop, having plenty of beer to quench the thirst that I worked up from running under the mid-day Tennessee sun in a full length gown with a polyester lining.  At one stop, a newbie rugger who was also in a sequin-ish gown was being compared to my sequin extravaganza.  Rugger JR replied that the newbie was only a Ke$ha to my Britney.  This was the ultimate compliment.

Along the route, a few Rampagers and myself had the pleasure of crossing paths with a homeless man as we made our way down the last leg of the race.  The man seemed to be a bit confused, but even more so by a herd of strapping young men, in red dresses, running past him.  He shouted out to us and asked if we had any money that he could borrow.  Well of course I don't carry cash, and I was in a race anyway, I could not stop to talk.  He then yelled that he could be trusted because he was with Animal Control and was up to date on his shots.  I apologized for not having any cash, and as my group of Rampagers made our way off into the horizon, the homeless man began meowing at us.  In retrospect, that probably wasn't the strangest thing that had happened to me that afternoon. 

I finally made it to the last watering hole, Cabana.  I could feel my stomach bloating from all the beer I had been downing, and in my vintage size 4 gown, there was not much room for expansion.  But alas, I did not let that stop me from drinking even more.  I managed to get a few extra beer tickets here and there, but of course, when you have such a high profile title attached to your name, people are just dying to give to you free this beer.

Words cannot quite describe the spectacle that is the Red Dress afterparty.  As any title holder would do, I mingled with the crowd, chatted with friends, and made someone new friends along the way.  Everyone is just fun and fancy free, so much so that a Rampager, dressed in a tutu and red angel wings spent a few minutes upside down dancing on his hands with his feet kicking in the air in the middle of the dance floor.  Once his 10 minute long handstand was over, he danced over to the window ledge, hopped up and jumped out the window...and just so happened to land on top of the same homeless man who had once been meowing at me, but was now passed out in the ditch. 

The party came to an end, and it was time to retire my stunning red gown and get back into civilian clothes.  Besides, there was another after party to get to and a Spartan Football game to watch.  The Homeowner and I, along with several others such as Rugger JR, Homeowner's BFF, and even Holly, made our way over to Casa de la J&J to continue drinking and celebrate a successful event.

Drinking kegs of Yazoo beer dwindled on into the night and J&J were gracious enough to let me use the television in their bar to watch a glorious Spartan victory.  All in all it was a pretty fantastic day, although I still do not know whose phone numbers I had collected during the Rampage.

I do believe this has been my last year competing for the elite title of Most Bejeweled.  I've set the bar pretty high, and I know there are a few people out there gunning for my title.  I'd much rather go out at the peak of my fame than fade away into obscurity, and frankly, I'm a tough act to follow.

Follow this, bitches.

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