Sometimes, the Miss Universe Pageant occurs to crown the most beautiful woman in the world according to Mr. Donald Trump. Because Trump couldn’t get his shit together, this week, the third week of January 2015, is the 2014 edition of the pageant. It is happening in exotic Doral, Florida, USA because the venue in Kiruna, Sweden melted, and the second choice, a theatre in southern Cameroon is closed for ceiling repairs. Among the exciting things the 88 girls have been doing are playing golf, painting a wall, and swimming around in a small hotel pool. I wish I had made that last sentence up.
Although I am neither for nor against beauty pageants, some of the activities they do, when taken out of context, look utterly pointless. For example, they did a gift auction, where each contestant brought some piece of crap from her home country, put it on a table, and hope someone buys it so they can fit some more hotel washcloths and half-used mini-shampoo/conditioners in that hole in their luggage. Recently, the pageants have been around Christmas, so at least the auction seemed semi-genuine; now that it’s in mid-January, it’s like “here’s something that someone gave my mom that she wanted out of the house,” or “here’s something I bought at the terminal just before I got on the plane.”
Now, you can see what kinds of souvenirs you can get when you visit Spain or China or Guam. I’ve taken the liberty of ranking each of the 88 gifts from worst to best so you don’t have to.With that said, if you want to follow along, there is a website where you can see them posing next to the gifts they brought.
88. Miss Bahamas didn’t even show up, so she gets a 0 for effort.
87. Miss Argentina apparently just brought herself, because she’s fabulous.
86. Miss British Virgin Islands also brought herself, because she is just too cool for all this.
85. Miss Venezuela brought her game face and her head, on which to place the Miss Universe crown.
84. I have no idea what Miss Georgia brought. She looks like she doesn’t either.
83. Miss Albania brought a tissue from a recent nosebleed…or so she says.
82. Miss Aruba brought a fancy Swiss watch. Some assembly required.
81. Miss Singapore brought a box of stuff she found in her gardening shed.
80. Miss Ecuador brought a blob of something golden.
79. Miss Indonesia brought a seashell…maybe?
78. Miss Panama either brought a rusty nail or a mummified finger.
77. Miss Netherlands cut something from a newspaper and put it in a frame. What, no windmills?
76. Miss Brazil brought a fire alarm.
75. Miss Sri Lanka brought one of those boxes to small to put anything in.
74. Miss Slovenia brought a paperweight.
73. Miss Czech Republic brought her car keys.
72. Miss Croatia brought a tie.
71. Miss Nicaragua brought tie pins.
70. Miss Chile brought a hat.
69. Miss Sweden brought a snow globe.
68. Miss Finland brought a coffee mug.
67. Miss Korea brought an extra pair of shoes.
66. Miss Spain brought a Lonely Planet she bought in the airport in Madrid.
65. Miss Italy brought the book she read on the plane.
64. Miss Lithuania brought the menu from her country’s fanciest restaurant.
63. Miss Ukraine brought her high school yearbook.
62. Miss Guam brought a basket of papier-mache flowers.
61. Miss Norway brought my garage door opener. Thanks for costing me $100 for a replacement, Miss Norway.
60. Miss Portugal brought a sculpture of a basket or something.
59. Miss Turks and Caicos brought a sculpture from her hotel room’s patio.
58. Miss Jamaica brought a Usain Bolt workout DVD and something sparkly – nope, wait that’s the girl standing behind her.
57. Miss Peru brought her childhood troll doll.
56. Miss Slovak Republic brought a play set with a strange black arm-shaped tree.
55. Miss Nigeria brought a wooden sculpture of some guy killing a chicken.
54. Miss Tanzania brought a taller sculpture just to spite Miss Nigeria.
53. Miss Israel brought a coffee table book she stole from her grandmother’s nursing home in Fort Lauderdale.
52. Miss Puerto Rico brought a lace shawl she stole from Miss Israel’s grandmother.
51. Miss Saint Lucia brought a framed photograph of that face everyone thought they saw on the moon that turned out to be some rocks.
50. Miss Trinidad and Tobago brought a framed mouse pad.
49. Miss Mauritius brought a painting she made at one of those “paint-it-yourself” places.
48. Miss Dominican Republic brought a painting that will scare young children.
47. Miss India brought another painting that will scare young children, and looks like aliens from a distance.
46. Miss Angola brought a painting you’ll have to cover with a sheet when hosting your six-year-old’s birthday party.
45. Miss Gabon brought a painting from the Phoebe Buffay Collection.
44. Miss Serbia brought a painting that looks just the right size to hide an iPad in.
43. Miss Kosovo brought some monochromatic prints of Mother Teresa that would look fantastic at Black Hole Coffee House in Houston opposite the Lindsay Lohan ones they currently have.
42. Miss Colombia brought a necklace she made all by herself at summer camp.
41. Miss Egypt apparently went to summer camp with Colombia.
40. Miss El Salvador brought either a lovely little plate or a giant Christmas ornament that will break in your luggage.
39. Miss Mexico brought either a huge clutch or the menu from the hotel’s restaurant.
38. Miss France brought either an expensive scarf or the lint from her dryer.
37. Miss Bulgaria brought some traditional dolls that may or may not double as feather dusters.
36. Miss Kenya also brought dolls, but they look suspiciously like Barbies.
35. Miss Poland brought dolls that are also folk dance trophies.
34. Miss Ireland spent most of her money on that fancy plastic wrapping for her basket.
33. Miss Uruguay brought the magic rose from Beauty and the Beast.
32. Miss Hungary brought some pink ceramic bunnies that will look right at home on your dusty knick-knack shelf.
31. Miss Costa Rica brought a pink purse. I’m hoping that it has a Target gift card in it or something. Keep your eye on that one.
30. Miss Lebanon also brought a purse, but it’s shinier.
29. Miss Malaysia also brought a purse, but with a jeweled clasp.
28. Miss China’s overbearing grandmother couldn’t make it, so she brought her remains instead. Miss China is a heat-seeking revenge machine.
27. Miss Greece brought a sculpture of a wreath that doubles as an earring rack.
26. Miss Russia brought ceramic boots that double as vases.
25. Miss Haiti brought a drum that you know is going to leave glitter all over your house once your cat decides to play with it.
24. Miss New Zealand brought a pin depicting The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
23. Miss Philippines brought some pretty pearls that will suck if it turns out they’re plastic.
22. Miss Turkey brought the world’s biggest earrings, except she lost one.
21. Miss Australia actually brought a decent looking necklace that does not look like it came out of a gumball machine.
20. Miss Great Britain also brought a piece of silver jewelry. Boring.
19. Miss USA brought some pieces of gold jewelry. Also boring.
18. Miss Kazakhstan brought a fierce silver necklace that will kick the crap out of Australia and Great Britain’s silver necklaces.
17. Miss Belgium bought a necklace as well. Disappointingly, no diamonds.
16. Miss Switzerland brought a Swiss watch. Surprising!
15. Miss Bolivia actually brought a decent-looking piece of abstract art that is going to be a pain to jam in the backseat of your Camry.
14. Miss Guyana went shopping with Miss Bolivia but at least got an interesting frame for it.
13. Miss Guatemala brought a cigar box with a random picture on it.
12. Miss South Africa brought a nice photo of Nelson Mandela and what looks to be his nail file.
11. Miss Canada took things waaaay too seriously and brought a hockey jersey full of autographs, presumably of hockey players, or of whoever she passed it around to on the plane from Toronto.
TOP TEN BEST GIFTS
10. Miss Ghana’s gift isn’t too bad – some wooden candlestick, a finger bowl, something that might be a piggy bank – but I’m more interested in her dress which is apparently made entirely from Chupa Chups wrappers.
9. Miss Paraguay brought a tiny chocolate cake. Yum!
8. Miss Thailand brought a bowl of soup. At least I hope there’s some soup in there.
7. Miss Japan brought a silk handkerchief, presumably unused.
6. Miss Myanmar brought a table runner that’s going to be a bitch to clean.
5. Miss Austria brought an adorable traditional dress for your baby daughter and a DVD of The Sound of Music to watch until she starts singing “Do-Re-Mi” every time you get in the car, in which case you can burn it.
4. Miss Germany brought a cute cuckoo clock that your grandfather will comment on every time he comes over for dinner, and then launch into a long story everyone’s already heard.
3. Miss Ethiopia brought some kind of beautiful musical instrument. There’s nothing funny about that; that’s kind of a nice little conversation piece. A+, Miss Ethiopia.
2. Miss Honduras obviously took a page from the winner’s book and brought a lovely crystal decanter and two glasses.
AND THE WINNER IS…
1. Miss Curacao, who brought some rum from her island. She should get an automatic Top 10 spot just for that.