Monday, December 10, 2007

Nine Beautiful Sheep Stand Before Me

[Author's Note: For best effect, this entry should be read with "Tijuana Taxi" playing in the background and a tall glass of something potent in one hand.]

After grueling weeks of competition...tears and and disappointment...hopes and's time to find out who will be chosen as the winner of the Dolores Look-Alike Contest.

Before we begin, let's say hello to our international panel of celebrity judges!
Our judges have spent sleepless hours consuming cheap booze and poring over the dozens of applicants who swarmed the Panopticon studio dreaming of fame. So much ambition. So much talent.

And yet, as Dolores said to the steeplejacks, there's only room for one at a time on top.

From the pool of contestants, nine finalists were selected and randomly assigned letters for identification purposes.

We begin with those who were singled out for Honorable Mention.

Contestant B: Honorable Mention and Franklin's Special Nod for Ingenuity

Contestant B

Rabbitch: Very creative, but unfortunately this picture Gave Harry Ideas. There's going to be trouble in the old town tonight.

Carol: Very high concept.

Stitchy: It's not surprising that even without her, Dolores' fleece manages to find a fan and relax with a cocktail. For some reason, I get the feeling that this sock actually sent in its own photo and I find it a little unnerving.

Brenda: I almost dismissed this out of hand as being too inanimate for the job. But the more one looks, the more one notices the remarkable resemblance. It really is uncanny. As are the "eyes" that follow you around the room. This one gets full marks for the deeply disturbing use of a cable needle, and my vote, as I feel certain Contestant B would fool Anne Coulter.

Contestant D: Honorable Mention

Contestant D

Cross-species verisimilitude plus minimalist styling. I like.

Stitchy: I'm not sure if it's the fluffy white hair or that this shepherd is in fact German, but he is evoking images of Mozart more than Dolores for me. The glasses certainly add a more modern touch, perhaps he's imploring us to "Bark Me, Amadeus."

Brenda: Contestant D has the withering glance down, but the glasses, I feel are a little too Wolf in Sheep's Clothing; a bit too Spice Girls. (But hey, the Girls are touring again, and I really think you could pass for Victoria Beckham. Singing, as we know, is optional.)

Rabbitch: How I wish everyone could have won. It would be especially sweet for the owner of this dog, who surely bit her face off right after the photo shoot.

Contestant G: Honorable Mention

Contestant G

Brenda: I really pity the poor sales clerk at the furniture store when Dolores purrs, "Come help Mama pick out a new sofa, Lambkins." With minimal styling Contestant G has captured Dolores' predatory nature.

I believe this is actually Dolores' cousin, Vera. I read about her in this article a few months ago. Judging by the number of sofas in her living room, I'm going to venture to say that she's a real party animal. She doesn't seem to like being more that a foot away from someplace to lie down. These two really used to tear up the pasture in their heyday.

Rabbitch: Very glamorous, and what a lovely rack if you don't mind me mentioning it.

Carol: How the hell did she get Lisa Marie to let her shoot in Graceland?

Contestant H: Honorable Mention

Contestant H

Carol: Just as a pair of simple shades signal the arrival of the rock star or jazz musician, so this canine entrant's sunglasses symbolize both his celebrity status–and that he is likely experiencing a massive hangover. The deal killer was the ever-so-demure peek of his nuts. Dolores has a pair of brass ones and lets 'em swing free for all to see. Unless I just need to clean my monitor.

Brenda: Who did this to you, honey? You want me to have them killed? It can be arranged.

A lovely example of a woof in sheep's clothing.

Stitchy: Black dog in sheep's clothing – Is it possible that this was sent in as a proposition for Dolores? Because this dog is totally hot and I love that he's not constrained by convention and likes to dress up to keep things interesting! Dolores should totally give him a booty call.

Contestant I: Honorable Mention

Contestant I

Stitchy: This little cherub is definitely channeling the more Norma Desmondine aspects of Dolores' personality. Posing in front of a fireplace, cramming as many jewels as she could on her tiny face, swathing herself in leopard. Oh yes, this one is definitely ready for her close-up.

Carol: This is the love child of Elton John and Lee Remick. Unfortunately, Dolores does not possess the trim prepubescent figure that would allow her to wear horizontal stripes and still look so svelte.

Brenda: A delightful amalgam of "This old thing?" false modesty and "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful…" detachment, Contestant I is, I feel, just a touch fresh-faced for the job. (But come back in a year or two, okay?)

Good use of glasses, excellent posing. I suspect this child was out drinking with Contestant E earlier in the day.

And now...the mesmerizing creature who stole FOURTH PLACE.

Contestant F: Fourth Place

Contestant F

Brenda: What becomes a legend most? This girl knows how to wear fur! Contestant F cannot hide the fact that she's a star, and the nod to Audrey Hepburn in the upswept do is utter genius. Full marks for glamour, tinged with the crushing loneliness of life at the top.

Rabbitch: The hair. It's the hair that got me. That, plus I almost bought those exact same glasses last week.

Carol: Was this entrant is confused? Perhaps she believed she was entering an Edna Turnblad look-alike contest. Dolores is no hair-hopper.

Stitchy: I really like the clean, simple lines and minimalist presentation of this entry. By using only two props, this dog has been transformed from a loyal, loving friend into a manipulative and tawdry tart. The elegant swirling of the yarn and the perfect placement of the cats eye glasses evokes Dolores in an unusually pensive moment. Perhaps the dog was getting in touch with Dolores' more sensitive side. I believe that's the side she prefers to be spanked on, is it not?

And our gorgeous THIRD PLACE winner...

Contestant C: Third Place

Contestant C

Rabbitch: She had me from "hello." I love a woman with a dangerous glint in her eye. And who seems to be naked.

Carol: Daring attempt to display the essential slattern in Dolores without directly aping her external characteristics. A triumph of the symbolic over the representational.

Brenda: While I admire her nakedness and her tattoo, to say nothing of her skill at hands-free smoking, Contestant C loses points for the bikini strap lines on her shoulders. (Everyone on the Cote d'Azur knows Dolores is a thong-only girl.)

Stitchy: This entry is dripping with the sensuality that can only be found in a ruminant sex goddess. From the hint of tan lines from hanging out in the pasture in a skimpy bikini and to the peek at the tattoo from a wild night out that ended in a particularly good shearing, this contestant has truly captured the essence of Dolores' typical "morning after." The long ash of the cigarette is an especially nice touch and will add some suspense as she's making pancakes for her mysterious morning guest.

Our smoldering-hot RUNNER-UP...

Contestant E: Runner-Up

Contestant E

Stitchy: No longer must we wonder what Dolores looked like as a wee, booze-soaked lamb. This precious morsel has truly taken us back in time. While her annoying pen-mate, Babe, was kissing the farmer's ass in hopes of saving himself from the slaughterhouse, lil' Dolores was partying her way onto the 4-H circuit. Those farm kids were wild. And I can see that same spark in these rose-colored eyes. I implore her handlers to put her on the pageant circuit and watch the fireworks as she slurs out a wobbly rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and loses a shoe in an impromptu interpretive tap dance! This kid has a future!

Carol: Although the precious child's unlined visage and porcelain skin belie Dolores' squalid, self-destructive lifestyle, the juxtaposition of the wholesome with the seedy aptly captures an
essential aspect of Dolores' nature. Let's just hide this one from Social Services, shall we?

Brenda: She had me from the tequila bottle death grip, but the clever use of pink sunglasses really tipped it over the edge for Contestant E. Who knows better than Dolores the best way to camouflage those "morning-after" eyes?

Any 18-month-old who starts drinking before noon is my kinda gal. I only wish the prize were monetary, as there will clearly be a need for much therapy in this moppet's future.

And, appearing with a flourish of trumpets and a cloud of Pall Mall smoke, our WINNER!

Contestant A: The Winner!

Contestant A No. 1

Contestant A No. 2

Contestant A No. 3

Brenda: Contestant A has put her whole soul into the transformation, and is on her way to actually becoming Dolores. Clearly unstable, she gets full marks nonetheless, because I am afraid of her. Scary, but brilliant use of leather, and boobs.

Stitchy: I
t was tough, but I have selected this entry as the first place winner. She has brought to life the many moods of our dear, drunken Dolores. The smokey malaise of her food bowl. The ennui of realizing that we are all just livestock waiting for our turn to step up to the chopping block. (At least she's got her knitting to work on while she's in line.) And the utter contempt at society's continued close-minded insistence that she should flick her ashes. Indeed. Well played, fellow fur-bearing creature. Well played.

Rabbitch: The variety of poses, coupled with the addition of the knitting first caught my attention. However, the politically-incorrect courage to wear fur? Priceless.

Carol: Nice jugs. Although the hat is more reminiscent of a court jester rather than
the Bella-Abzug-meets-Minnie-Pearl concoctions that Dolores favors, I have to award a prize based on the sheer number of poses, combined with the world-weary, ever-so-slightly-androgynous persona (suggesting that anyone or anything can become her sex toy, a philosophy that Dolores clearly embraces). I was especially fond of the third photo: no more will I wonder what it would look like if Madame Defarge wore Jimmy Choos. Did I mention the great jugs?

Our top four contestants get to choose from these four glamorous prizes:
  1. an original, signed Dolores drawing;

  2. the judges' super yarny fun-pak: a skein of merino/tencel sock yarn from Black Bunny Fibers (courtesy of judge Carol) a skein of Rabbitworks yarn (courtesy of judge Rabbitch), and a copy of The Museum of Kitschy Stitches: A Gallery of Notorious Knits (courtesy of judge Stitchy McYarnpants);

  3. eleven skeins of Lorna's Laces Swirl DK in colorway Iris Garden (courtesy of Lorna's Laces); or

  4. a Tulip Baby Cardigan kit (courtesy of Arcadia Knitting).
Winners, please write to me at franklin at franklinhabit daht cahm ranking the prizes in order of your preference and including your mailing address. First place gets to choose first, and so on down the list. Contestant B, your nod wins you a little something, too, so please drop me a line as well.

Congratulations to all our finalists, and on behalf of Ms. Van Hoofen my heartfelt thanks to the dedicated judging panel and all who took the time to enter.

There you have it, folks! See you at the bar for the after-party.


Anonymous said...

It's truly amazing how a picture can say a thousand words! Congratulations to all the "winners"!

Amy said...

I absolutely adore the runner up with the booze. It reminds me of Will Ferrell with his friend's daughter in The Landlord. Really classy.

MonicaPDX said...

Standing ovation! Applause for the excellent judges! Kudos to Franklin for the superlative MC (and blogging) performance! Congratulations to all, and--

Hey; is that second bottle before Contestant E brandy, or what?

(This will go down in history. One of the best. Ever. Everyone rocks!)

auntnancy said...

Congrats to all the winners! Ya'll have made my day!!!!!

dale-harriet said...

You have caused Unseemly Behavior in a Museum, which I hope earnestly is not punishable by....well, let's just say I hope it's not punishable. I did stop short a spewing Fast Lane Tea out of my nose into the company keyboard. I want you to know, Franklin, as a 5' woman who, at the age of 19 chugged a pitcher of cheap beer (don't ask) I want you to know that Dolores represents my Idol and if she ver wants to come to Madison I can show her the best time of her profligate life. I'm old but the fire's not out, not by a long shot.

Carol said...

It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it....

Yvonne said...

So cool. I'm amazed at all the pics...and I esp. love Dolores as a child!! :)

neverknitathing said...

Snort!!!#@%^*#*&> Snuffle.
Reaches for tissues.
Cleans keyboard and monitor.

Thank You, One and All. And Franklin. Especially Franklin. And Dolores.

No, Dolores. No, No, No, Honey.
You misunderstand! I'm not laughing AT You...

commenter runs for cover.

Marlena said...

I paused for a moment before scrolling down to the winner, as I could not fathom how anyone could top the runner up. Glorious!

Marlena said...

Oh, and was that an ANTM reference I spied? Your secret is safe with me.

=Tamar said...

Wonderful! But oh, the pain - to have to choose only one from among those prizes!

Lisa said...

Amazing, simply amazing. The judges had their hands full with this one. I bet that they all need serious R&R now!

Congrats to all!

Tracey, in MI said...

the second pic of the winner---- looks strangely like my her "beauty shop"

Cindy said...

I nearly wet my pants. THe white dog with the pile high hair is hysterical! What a gas the winner is.

Michele said...

Amazing judges. You could all write for MOBA.

Laritza said...

This is toooooo funnnyyyy! Where can we go get the keyboards you owe us?

kathy in Juneau said...


KarenJoSeattle said...

The most mind-numbingly scarey part of the whole show - that these people either had or were willing to acquire so many appropriate props.

Congratulations, all.

Kristen said...

Many thanks for a bit of gray-rainy-chilly-Monday hilarity--I definitely needed it!

Krafty1 said...

Those are great! Congratulations to everyone!!

Marcy said...

But who pays for the therapy for the lovely panel of celebrity judges?

Sandy said...

I stand and applaud!

I cannot remember the last time I laughed this hard at work -- no way can I talk my way out of this one! (Yes, I was working diligently on that letter...)


Linda said...

Very hard to choose a winner, I'm sure!

Lala said...

Contestant E should have won. Everything. Dancing With The Stars, whatever, I don't care.
Contestant E For President!!!

Misstea said...

Sure, I'll meet you at the bar. First round is on me!

Anonymous said...

what a crazy fun lovin' creative bunch of winners !

marie in florida

karen! said...

So much fun!

Congrats to all the winners.

Turtle said...

What great entries! Congrats to all, dog would so not have held still for any of those. And i admit that i am slightly frightened that the winner may have had all those props in their closet! *smile

YTT said...

I am in awe of the talent pool, both of the contestants and of the amazing celebrity judges. Y'all should syndicate. (Oh, right, some of you probably have.)

But what does Dolores have to say about all of this?

gina said...

hilarious. especially love the runner-up... it is very reminiscent of pearl!

Carol said...

I can vouch that Contestant I got her props from her godfather's trunk of drag queen clothes.

Congratulations to the winners and to the judges for having to pick!

seizuresalad said...

[snort]. Ahhh.... dear lord, I weep, WEEP I say with laughter.

Congratulations to all of the winners.

Seanna Lea said...

These are wonderful, though I'm surprised that more of them didn't have booze and a young hangeron or two.

Betsy said...


I realy want to know why Rabbitch thinks that Contestant C is a "she" we know this for a fact?

I'm going to get the Windex now...

Anonymous said...

This is the love child of Elton John and Lee Remick.

Yes! Exactly! That child deserves a prize!!! Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

can't comment on dolores. being
from wyoming, there is a "sheep thing" inherent in any reply
(besides being from wyo).
however, "tijuana taxi" caught my eye. you can't find that any more.
my folks let the original best of
album melt in their basement in GA. we managed to get a cassette tape of it beforehand, but there is no longer a vinyl of it.
if you've got one, enjoy it!
love your stories. they make me happy.
sharon k in wyo

Robin said...

Congratulations to all of the winners. I almost peed my pants, and I just took a shower. Thanks again for a great blog Franklin. Can't wait for your book, by the way.

Kate said...

FYI - got my ornaments last night and they were perfect for my SnB group!

Rabbitch said...

Betsy -- if contestant C isn't a "she", then tell that boy to take his bra straps down when he's out sunbathing -- he's got a couple of nasty lines there.

FiberQat said...

I want you to know I had "Tijuana Taxi" going through my head all day when I read that. Thanks.

Congratulations to all the winners! I'd love to see the other contestants. How many entries were there?

contestant c said...

@ Betsy

Yup, I'm a girl. The tallest, broadest girly girl you ever did see.

@ Rabbitch

Thanks for coming to my defense! However, I was yours at "toe jam," not "hello."

Anonymous said...

Hee hee! I am honored to have been considered in such a Dolores-worthy group! Merry Christmas to all--
Contestant G

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