The contest: Write an essay and win tickets to a sold-out Hannah Montana concert. The winner: A six year old girl who wrote about her serviceman father's death to a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Unfortunately, the girl's father is alive and unexploded in Texas. I'll leave it to you to decide which fate is more desirable. The essay in question turned out to be written by the girl's mother, which isn't much of a surprise given her wonderful way with words:
The Hannah Montana tickets were immediately revoked after this incident, leaving contest officials to set about choosing another winner. With such a heinous deception fresh in their minds as they re-read the entries, a number of essays began to arouse suspicion. Take this essay by an eight year old girl from Austin named Jessie Belle:
My name is Amber and I have one leg and lots of cancer.
Cancer is all over my body. Every part of my body has it. Even my hair! My missing leg grew in and I was very happy and a little surprised. Then I was sad when I found out my leg only grew because the cancer had run out of places to go and it needed another body part.
I am going to die very soon. Cough cough. That's me coughing from the cancer.
My doctors say that the day I am going to die is the day after the Hannah Montana concert. My life has been very hard but if I can go to that concert then I can die without being sad. If I don't see the concert I guess I'll just think about how there's no God for my last few days, or sit in my very small and dark room and close my eyes to imagine that I'm at the concert and there is a God.
Then came this peculiar entry from Kelly King in El Paso:
i am hannah montana and i need that ticket thanks. thanks!
it probably sounds silly but it is true. hannah montana is just my stage name. i am not miley cyrus, the girl that everyone thinks is the actress who plays hannah montana. she's just billy ray cyrus's' stupid kid. that's another stage name to protect my real identity so stupid kids don't bother me. i am the real hannah montana, me.
i need tickets to tonight's show so i can get into the show and sing for all the stupid kids. normally i have my agents buy my ticket for me but this show sold out very fast and there are none left. oh no!
if i don't get these tickets from this contest then i cannot get to the stage and sing. if you give these tickets to some other stupid kid then you might as well give them a poo pie because that's all you're giving them. because without me at the concert nothing will happen!
the stage will be empty and everyone will get mad. hope you can live with yourself.
please do the right thing.
This essay from little Kimmy Jansen in Plano seems normal enough to me. Not sure why the judges had a problem with it.
My mother is a beautiful woman. Probably the most beautiful woman ever. She is very smart too.
My mother could be a supermodel because she is so pretty. She's pretty much the best person. She could go out with any man she wants.
She broke up with my daddy. He didn't leave her for his nineteen year old secretary and take all of our savings and move to Tijuana that bastard. My mother broke up with him because she was so much better than him. He cried a lot because he was so sad that he lost someone so beautiful and smart and great.
My mother is not fat. She never eats a whole bag of oreos and washes it down with a liter of RC cola while crying about Rick and his little whore in Tijuana and all the freaky shit they're probably doing in bed right now argh that asshole I'm going to kill him.
My mother is the best. That's why my daught why I should win these tickets.
Just one problem with this one: No return address was included.
Hello I am J'Twamba Neliiiaki and I am the young princess of Nigeria with a lot of money. Please I need your help I beg you.
There is millions of dollars in my bank but I cannot touch it because of Nigerian banking laws and the political situation (Nigerian). I have talked to my bank and they will transfer all of my money ($9,000,000.03) into your account. You will not have to pay taxes. All I ask is that you send me half of the money back upon the completion of the transfer.
In order to transfer this money into your account, my bank just needs one thing: Hannah Montana tickets for the show that is sold out. If you send these tickets, they will know you are a trustworthy person and we will send you the nine million dollars and the three cents.
If you don't do this my people will suffer for all time and you will be cursed unless you forward this e-mail to ten of your best friends. Thank you.
Okay, the little girls didn't write these, I did. I never lied and said they were funny.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
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