CC the Emcee


So, Thanksgiving is coming up. I usually spend it with friends because I’ve never had any family out here in Los Angeles – that is, until recently when my niece came to town to start phase one of her plan for world domination.

I’m happy she’s here because I really like her. We’ve been BFFs ever since she was tiny, which is weird considering that her mom and I grew up in the same house and possibly, possibly had one conversation our entire childhood. It’s not that we fought. We didn’t.  My sister was nice. She was one of those girls that everyone liked and wanted to be best friends with. I was not one of those girls, but I was tolerated as long as I made myself useful.

For instance, one of the things we used to do when we were kids was gather all the little neighborhood girls together in our back yard to play Miss America Pageant. The only bad thing about that game was that you couldn’t all be contestants; someone had to be the emcee.

I was the emcee. Always.

Looking back, I guess I can see why. I mean it’s not like I ever stood a ghost of a chance of winning. Everyone knew it. I just didn’t look like a beauty pageant contestant. I looked like an emcee. “What does an emcee look like?” you ask. Here, let me show you:

In this photo we see three girls and a little boy at a neighb – oh no wait, it’s four girls. One of them just LOOKS like a boy because her mother has dressed her like one and has given her a boy’s haircut. See how happy she is about it?

I actually remember this photo being taken, because I had just gotten my hair cut earlier in the day and cried for hours knowing I was relegated to being the Miss America Pageant emcee for the rest of my entire miserable childhood.

Here’s the thing though: I always suspected my sister set me up for it. See, when we were kids, she and my mom got on really well. They used to sit at the kitchen table and chat for hours about god knows what kind of boring crap that would make we want to bang my head against the freakin’ window.

And then, one day, it dawned on me what an absolute genius my sister was. She wasn’t just chatting, she was schmoozing her way into my mother’s inner circle, garnering favors, cementing herself as a confidante, and even more dastardly, an advisor.

Suddenly, I began to notice a pattern in our Miss America Pageants. See, normally my sister would win, ‘cuz she was the “it” girl. But every once in a while I would cut one of the other girls a break and crown them, instead of her. Within two days my mother would be hauling me down to the barber hairdresser to get my faux crew cut. And I’d sit in that chair envisioning what I’m almost positive was the verbatim exchange of words between the two of them.

“What did you do today, daughter?”

“We played Miss America Pageant in the back yard.”

“You won, of course.”

“No, Carol picked someone else.”

“She did? What was she smoking, crack?”

“No, Mom, it’s okay. You can’t always win. But speaking of Carol, don’t you think it would be absolutely hysterical, I’m mean adorable, if you had all her hair cut off and then put a boy’s t-shirt on her and made her walk around in public like that?”

“Yes, daughter, you’re right, that does sound like a very good idea.”

I’m not lying. You saw the photo. It happened.

And that was when I decided that I was going to do something magnificent with my life. I was gonna show her! And I sure have, because I’m here in Los Angeles, baby, entertainment capital of the world! And I’m working a cruddy day job, surrounded by insecure, depressed Hollywood wannabes, writing nights and weekends in my rented dungeon, while she is trapped in her gigantic, tastefully decorated mansion, surrounded by her family and friends, taking cruises to Mexico and – wait, what….. DAMNIT!

Missing Missoula, but not my haircut.

CC The Trained Monkey


BIO:  Carol Chrest is a bitter old spinster living in Los Angeles. When she’s not working ridiculous hours at her cruddy day job, she writes screenplays.  She drinks.  Back to CC’s Bloghomepage.