On Saturday, July 21, the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center was packed. Not Friday night packed, with all the baby Goths and Emo kids parading up and down the escalators, but the kind of packed where there were lots of chairs placed in front of the center stage and even more people staring down from the second level.
The occasion was the This Week Maui Model Search—the competition to pick a cover model for the venerable, thin visitor pub—but Iwas treated to a whole frenzy of activity. I had unwittingly stepped into The Scene 2007.
Here was a world filled with confused, but (mostly, anyway) delighted mall-goers. People were voluntarily staying outside on a day so muggy you could almost swim in the air. But hey, free food, prizes and entertainment does that to people.
Corporate America was out in force. There was a “Jeans Fitting” clinic hosted by American Eagle; a “Get Your Snack On” food sampling booth catered by Jamba Juice and Panda Express; a Sobe Prize Wheel, where prizes ranged from candy to liters of Pepsi; and let’s not forget the chance to win a Nintendo Wii, provided by Da Jam 98.3—all you had to do was stick your face in whipped cream and blow a bubble with gum.
The This Week Maui representatives were friendly and charming. The application process to become a cover model was simple: just fill out an application, go to an interview and then have your picture taken. The requirements to be a cover model were also simple. They were looking for upbeat and quick-to-smile locals, over the age of 10.
Of course, there’s always that unspoken requirement of cover models. You know—be pretty. I’m not saying some applicants weren’t pretty; I’m just saying that I have different taste. For example, one applicant was not much younger than my grandmother, but somewhat more plastic. But hey, given that there are whole websites dedicated to those types of ladies, who am I to judge?
One very pretty young girl composed herself very well. She handed the interviewer an 8-by-11 glossy of herself and answered questions with a polite smile. Too bad not all the applicants were like this. Some were marched to the table, heralded by their parents, who hovered nearby, giving angry glares at the first sign of a lower lip tremble. Other applicants held their noses so high up in the air that I could see their boogers from my second story perch.
The contest seemed to bring out the best in mall goers—and by “best,” I mean “lunacy.” At one point, I noticed a disheveled man finger painting behind the Queen Ka‘ahumanu statue. At another time a mother dangled her infant from the second story, a la Michael Jackson.
And what about that surly looking, pink haired girl walking all over, checking everyone out? Oh wait, that was me. MTW