“Now remember, baby, ya gotta smile, ‘specially to the judges, ya hear? Be pretty, Brittany Lynn,” said Becky Sue. She licked her thumb and cleaned a smudge of makeup off her daughter’s face.
Lindsey Ann entered the Holiday Inn conference room and looked around before leading her daughter to the children’s beauty pageant registration table. She spotted Becky Sue and tried to shield her face. It didn’t work.
“Well, look at what the cat drug in. If it ain’t ol’ Lindsay Ann Chisum. And don’t you look sweet, Amy Lee?”
“Hey, Becky. Nice to see ya,” said Lindsey Ann. She lied.
“I’m surprised to see ya here, considerin’.”
Lindsey Ann put her hands on her hips. “Considerin’ what.”
“Well, Amy Lee’s cute ‘n all, bless her heart, sufferin’ from her condition.”
“Amy Lee, why don’t you go play with the others?” The seven year old dressed as Marilyn Monroe ran off to the free juice bar. “Don’t you go messin’ up your dress, baby.”
“She’s just precious,” said Becky Sue.
“What did you mean by ‘her condition’?”
“Nuthin’. Just with her having’ your personality an’ all. It’s amazin’ to think what she’s overcome so far in her young life.”
“Don’t you think I don’t know what you’re doin’. You ain’t usin’ yer Jedi mind tricks on me, missy. Amy Lee’s been practicing her Marilyn Monroe for months now. You an’ Brittney Lynn ain’t got nothin’ on her. And just what is Brittany Lynn supposed to be? She looks like a mad scientist.”
“Not like it’s any of your business, she’s showin’ how beautigent she is.”
“You an’ yer ivory tower community college degree. Talk English.”
“It’s the devastating combination of beauty and intelligence. It’s a family trait.”
“It musta skipped a generation for you, bless your heart.”
Becky Lynn and Linsdey Ann stood, locked in a deadly stare down.
A pageant official came over and separated the two mothers. “Save it for the competition, ladies.” Beckey Lynn and Lindsey Ann stormed off in opposite directions.
The official sighed and chewed on an antacid tablet. “I’m goin’ to Hell for this,” he said.