Is honesty the best policy? That is the question that is being hotly debated following the dissing of Carrie Prejean, Miss California. Both Donald Trump and Perez Hilton admitted that Miss Prejean’s chances of winning the Miss USA Pageant were nullified when she honestly shared her religious and political convictions when asked to do so during the Interview portion of the pageant.
In an interesting twist, her future prospects may be better served by having lost the event than had she gone on to victory. She has been on the media circuit twenty-four hours a day and more people know her name than that of pageant winner Kristen Dalton. Numerous opportunities have already been made available to Prejean with more in the wings.
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I recently spent a few days reading the book of a former Miss America contestant, Jeanne Swanner Robertson.
Jeanne was the contestant from North Carolina in 1963. She did not win the pageant, but did take home the award for Miss Congenialty. As Jeanne tells it, Miss Congeniality is the person whom the other contestants believe to be the least likely to actually win the title of Miss America. Standing 6’2″ in her stocking feet, she is also recognized as the tallest contestant to ever participate in the Miss America Pageant. (When not in her stocking feet she wears size 11B shoes.)
Following her attempt at the crown, Jeanne Robertson coached basketball and taught physical education for nine years, before turning her hand to speaking as a profession. As a humorist she has traveled the nation, and abroad, as a speaker for all kinds of events. In this book, Humor: The Magic of Genie, she shares what she has learned from all those hours spent at the speakers platform, in airplanes and taxis, and interacting with people of all kinds.
Humor: The Magic of Genie is not a “how-to” book for aspiring comedians. It is a guide for anyone who sees the value in developing a sense of humor. She organizes her book around seven “potions”.
1. Laugh at yourself.
2. Look for the humor in everyday situations.
3. Create your own humor.
4. Associate with people who have a sense of humor.
5. Influence others to develop a sense of humor.
6. See the humor in stressful, awkward, or unpleasant situations.
7. Take humor breaks/collect humor cues.
And, in the course of encouraging her reader to a more fulfilling life that embraces humor not as a mode for dealing with life, but as part of life itself, Jeanne shares plenty of her favorite stories.
Humor: The Magic of Genie was a welcome break from my textbooks and hopefully I benefited from it in that I am now better equipped to laugh
at with my students, family, friends, and colleagues.
Now, can someone help me find the humor in this year’s Miss USA stupidity?
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Video: Miss California, Carrie Prejean, on the Good Morning America television program.