Best of State

So I'm not one of those people hooked on American Idol, but I did record last night's season finale on my DVR. I work with the teenage girls in my new congregation, and with their adament love for Blake...well, I had to see it all wrap up. Thank goodness for the miracle of the DVR. Let's put aside the constant commercial breaks. What's up with the Golden Idols? Why would I want to watch people who can't sing accept awards for not being able to sing? During a SINGING competition?

It reminded me way, way too much of an event I attended Saturday night. A little soiree called "Best of State."

This was a favor to my dad, whose law firm had apparently won the honor of "Best of State" something (luckily, it was something law-related...Best Legal Services, I think they put it. But I can't remember. And I left my program there). Anyway, he had to go and my mom was busy, so I was a last minute fill-in. Which meant donning the satiny gown I haden’t worn since my honeymoon cruise over four years ago.

The food was decent, and the presentation of the awards was blessedly brief. But the award categories ranged from random (Best of State Dog Groomer /Pet Hygienist) to ridiculous (Best of State Political Figure).

But what interested me most? The awards for the “creative arts”: Best of State Playwright, Fiction Writer, and Non-Fiction Writer. Now, I may be a writer myself, but I don’t claim to know of every author or (any professional) playwright in my state. So it really doesn’t matter that I wasn’t familiar with any of the winners. It does, however, beg the question: by what criteria are these writers judged? The same criteria used to award Best of State Pet Hygienist? Can the winners now add to their query letters the line: “Please note that I am the best fiction (non-fiction) writer in my state?”

Will editors realize this distinction is equivalent to that of a Golden Idol?