Miss Plastic 2010

I’ve received an invitation to be a judge at beauty contest. No sniggers please. The event is taking place in Hungary, a nation I’ve always admired for its fruity soups. An unusual feature of the pageant is that all the contestants will be women who have had cosmetic surgery. The subtext is that this surgery should have resulted in enhancement or reshaping of the bust.

It’s not all about titties though. There are also points for personality, which is where I come in. They’re looking for a judge who can evaluate a woman’s inner beauty without being distracted by the shallow attractions of her physical form (a task far beyond the grinning old lechers who customarily adjudicate such tournaments).

Appreciating inner beauty, you see, is one of my greatest talents. My penetrating eyes can see beyond the pouting and posing (to say nothing of the titting and bumming) and examine the soul within. In my circus days, no woman could hide her true character from the Bananas gaze. I recall the case of the knife-thrower’s assistant, whose blond hair and unusually large breasts caused everyone to judge her harshly.

“Doris is a stupid tart!” they cried.

I was the only one who dissented from this hasty indictment.

“You are all wrong,” I said. “When I look into her eyes I see a woman of intelligence and sensitivity.”

It later transpired that she was taking a correspondence course in cosmology and had a crush on Professor Stephen Hawking, the wheelchair-bound genius with a voice like a friendly Dalek. A bit kinky, perhaps, but not the kind of infatuation one would expect of a promiscuous airhead. Doris was enormously grateful when she heard how I had championed her cause.

“Think nothing of it, Doris,” I said, as she approached me in tears of gratitude. “A gorilla needs no courage to stand against the baying mob. You may scratch my back if you wish.”

But let’s get back to the beauty contest. I asked my friend Laszlo Paszlo, the Hungarian journalist, for his opinion on my participation.

“They’re using you as window dressing, Bananas,” he said. “The feminists are saying the whole thing is just an excuse for men to stare at the girls’ breasts. The organisers want to reply: ‘This is not true because one of the judges is a gorilla who has no interest in breasts.’”

I found this very surprising, as I never realised there were feminists in Hungary. It seems they found their voice after the Iron Curtain collapsed. There was no need for feminism under the Communist system because all citizens were equal by official decree of the State, and any woman who dared to deny it had her boobs tweaked by the secret police. Then came democracy, and women had to get organised to prevent men from looking at pornography and enjoying the new freedoms in other unfair ways.

Frankly, I don’t blame the organisers for wanting to placate the feminists. Never was a group of females more sorely in need of placation. I myself placated several of them in my circus days. Although telling them I have no interest in breasts would be a slight exaggeration, I do not object to the use of this argument to keep them at bay. Consider my flight to Budapest booked.

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