Quick Hits – June 6, 2024

Quick Hits – June 6, 2024

It’s time to catch up on those fascinating possibilities that don’t merit a full column. So, without further ado:

Being a beauty queen ain’t all it’s cracked up to be

Shades of Beacon-News reporter Paul Dailing and yours truly taking on beauty contests! And let me tell you, those demure young ladies did NOT appreciate our efforts to expose the pageant world for what it really is. Let’s just say their responses to those columns were rife with the kind of language that made me blush.

Fast forward to more than a decade later and it seems like the contestants themselves have finally caught on to what Paul and I were saying all along.

Noela Voigt

I’m sure you’ve already heard that Miss USA, Noela Voigt, and Miss Teen USA, UmaSofia Srivastava, gave up their crowns in rapid succession last month, utterly embarrassing the organizations behind these anachronistic endeavors.

For non-disclosure purposes, neither woman could openly discuss their resignations, but their mothers did not, so they took to Good Morning America to tell their story.

“The job of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare. We could not continue this charade. The girls decided to step down, give up their dream of a lifetime, a crown, a national title. Why would two girls decide to give that up?,” Barbara Srivastava said, adding, “I want to be clear, it’s not about what they didn’t get, about the prizes. It’s about how they were ill-treated, abused, bullied, and cornered.”

You mean, the folks who treated your daughters like a slab of prime beef during the actual pageant process continued to treat them like a cut of meat after they won? I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that for a single second.

UmaSofia Srivastava

But what really shook me to the core was the 24-year-old Ms. Voigt claimed she was sexually harassed at a Christmas parade. According to her mother, a mature gentleman walked up to her and asked, “are you into old men with money?,” an event which precipitated the poor beauty queen into fleeing the scene.

Oh c’mon! That’s not harassment. It’s not like he got in her face or tried to force her into his car. It’s a flippin’ pickup line! And it’s a good one too, because it gets right to the point without wasting anyone’s time. This man essentially said, “Look! I realize I have absolutely no shot with someone like you, but if the prospect of being showered with expensive gifts makes the possibility more palatable, then let’s move forward.”

If my Facebook PMs are any indication, there are a slew of gorgeous young women out there who clearly are into old bald white men whom they believe have money (The fools!). And they’re too terribly not shy about it, either.

All Voigt had to do was issue a derisively laugh and a firm “No!” and that would’ve been the end of it.  My God! She went to the University of Alabama where frat boys and jocks roam wild in their natural habitat.

All kidding aside, I do believe both women’s mothers’ claims about the pageant organizations which are barely a step above human traffickers.

This stepping down debacle is nothing more than further evidence of what Paul and I were saying about beauty contests 15 long years ago. They, and particularly the child variety, need to go for all of the blitheringly obvious sexist reasons. And if two reigning beauty queens resigning in a month hastens that process, then so be it!



The next person that mentions the word “cicada” in my presence better start running and they better be a heck of a lot faster than me. The next cicada recipe I see on social media will solicit the kind of epithet-laden tirade from which their eyes will never recover. To quote the great philosopher: 

I could not, would not, on a boat.

I will not, will not, with a goat.

I will not eat them in the rain.

I will not eat them on a train.

Not in the dark! Not in a tree!

Not in a car! You let me be!

I do not like them in a box.

I do not like them with a fox.

I will not eat them in a house.

I do not like them with a mouse.

I do not like them here or there.

I do not like them anywhere!

I don’t care if their eyes are red, blue, brown, or striped, because I couldn’t care less about the vagaries of insect vision. I don’t want to know the larval math that led to this purported convergence, and I’m certainly not going fret over the fact they haven’t bothered to show up in the Tri-Cities.

I’ve lived through four iterations of the 17-year locusts and whether it was in:

  •         Four Evanston locations
  •         Two Chicago apartments
  •         A Streamwood house, or
  •         Two Geneva residences

The noisy critters have never come remotely close to living up to the hype. And it’s going to be no different this summer. The only place I’ve seen the consarned insects appear in serious numbers was in a Wilmette country club parking lot along the lake in the late 80’s at a golf outing. That’s it.

Not to mention I’ve heard more off-cycle cicadas in the previous 16 years than I have this entire purported biblical plague prone spring.

On May 1, the Morton Arboretum warned us to, “Look out for cicadas very soon.” Then the Tribune told us that “Loud but harmless cicadas are expected to emerge in 2 weeks” on May 3rd. On April 24, the Sun-Times howled that “Cicadas’ mass arrival is just a few weeks away in northern Illinois.” But there’s been nary a peep out of those patently pointless bugs and there’s isn’t going to be because there never is.

And If social media is any indication, the Tri-Cities aren’t nearly the only northern Illinois locale that’s bereft of the beefy beasts.

So please put your phone news feed down and just walk away. Let it go! Think pleasant thoughts like Donald Trump sitting in a jail cell with his newest 300-pound minority best friend and it will all be better.

I’m going to say it one more time. The cicadas aren’t coming because they never do. 

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