Dressing like a girl tested his manliness - Jim Kirkland

Hello? Is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me ... wait, I stole that from Pink Floyd. Anyway, it's been a while since I've rapped at you guys. My body has been cryogenically frozen for about two years now, but the power went out the other day and woke me up. Not true, of course, but nonetheless a lot of stuff has been going down since I last wrote a "column" (very loose interpretation of that word, for sure).

Peyton won another Super Bowl. Apple has released 12 new versions of the iPhone. There has been some swine flu. Harambe. Gene Wilder. Campbell is driving, which is terrifying. Conor's hair has grown 18 inches (also terrifying). Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the only two options for President of the United States (mostest terrifying of all).

However, all this pales in comparison to the fact that 11 grown men dressed up like women and pranced around the stage at the Gem Theater this past Saturday night for a fundraiser for the Etowah Senior Center. And I was one of them.

When I volunteered (ha!) for this little episode, I did so early enough that Oct. 1 seemed like an eternity away, so it wasn't too big of a deal. However, as the event got closer and closer, reality began to sink in, and my stint as a "woman" became more and more a reality.

This event was going to consist of a costume segment, a talent portion, a bathing suit competition, and answering a pageant question. Of these, I felt confident about exactly none of them. My only consolation was that none of my cohorts would feel any better about it than I did. And if they did feel better than I did about dressing up like women, then they've got some bigger issues than me, anyway. But I digress.

When I arrived at the Gem that night, I was apprehensive. Would all of us girls get along? Would there be any mean girls in the group? Would the other girls make fun of me because I was taller than them? So many thoughts were spinning around in my head. It was like lunch on the first day at a new school or maybe prison when you aren't exactly sure who you'll sit with or how you'll fit in or if your shank will be cool enough for the other inmates.

However, most of my fears were put to rest when I realized that we were all in this together. And when I saw the guys in their outfits, I was definitely feeling better. To paraphrase Cotton McKnight from the movie "Dodgeball:" "Ladies and gentlemen, I've been to the Great Wall of China, I've seen the Pyramids of Egypt, but never have I witnessed something as improbable as Dick Pelley in a two-piece!" Almost as improbable as that, though, was the fact that I heard John Forgety say the words, "Jimmy, unzip me so I can get out of this dress." Add Ray Pate's hula girl outfit to the mix, and it got really, really close to an episode of "The Twilight Zone" before all was said and done.

All in all, it was a good night. Money was raised, people were entertained, and Greg Moses was left feeling very uncomfortable after a couple of contestants breached his personal space.

But the highlight of the night for yours truly was winning the talent competition. I "played" the guitar and "sang" a song. It was a parody of "Bad to the Bone" entitled "Dress Like a Girl." To give you an example of the superior songwriting skills it took to write it, here's a sample lyric (to the tune of "Bad to the Bone," of course):

"I'll let you in on a secret

You may think is wrong

But it feels really good

To be wearing this thong."

So, yeah, that won, if that tells you anything at all about the level of "talent" of this group. We were almost as entertaining as watching the Vols launch a last-second Hail Mary to beat a huge SEC rival in a game where people will remember where they were at that moment for the rest of their lives.

Me? Dressed like a girl.


Jim Kirkland has a wife who owns a restaurant, and he has three kids in three different school systems. Basically, he is just trying to survive. Look him up on Twitter: @LilJimKirkland.

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