The Hempstead Watermelon Festival

This last Tuesday we were in the Exxon station in Hempstead, stocking up on the local sausage and preserved meat products, and we saw a small xeroxed poster imploring us to

Vote for
Amy Kwiatkowski
Watermelon Duchess.

Watermelon Duchess? I felt compelled to investigate; I've cast my vote for various elected officials in the past, sometimes with regret, but never have I voted for Watermelon Duchess. Am I properly enfranchised to select royalty?

The Hotline Press clarified the matter: this weekend's the Hempstead Watermelon Festival, where the Watermelon Queen, Princess, Duchess, and Little Miss Watermelon will be crowned. We do know our royalty here in Texas. And voting's never been easier: "During the day contestants for Little Miss Watermelon, Princess, Duchess, and The Watermelon Festival Queen, will be mingling among the crowd encouraging everyone to cast their ballots before the voting booth closes."

And who wouldn't want to add a line to her vita: "Crowned Little Miss Watermelon at the Hempstead Watermelon Festival, July 15, 1995." It's quite an honor, really, the kind of honor that shapes one's future and guides one's more major life decisions ("Do I buy Kenmore or Kitchen Aid?").

I'm going. I just love a coronation.

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