By Corinne Wnek
I admit it. I can really get caught up in the all the hoopla surrounding celebrities and their fabulous lives. To say I was glued to the TV for last weekend’s Academy Awards is an understatement. Cemented is more like it. For me, it was all about who was there and what did they wear. Yeah, the movies, too.
But when you get right down to it, what does Hollywood have that New Jersey doesn’t have? Celebrities? Well, the good, the bad and the ugly all live here. Movie-making? This state is a destination location for film companies. Exotic beaches? Watch Jersey shore. Yes sir. It seems to me that we could host our own riveting awards show right here in the Garden State.
Winners would get coveted gold trophies, called ‘Joisey’s’ shaped like a postcard with ‘NJ’ boldly emblazoned on the front. But since we’re currently broke, for now they would only get bragging rights; that is, until the NJEA caves and money is again flowing into the state coffers.
The master of ceremonies, New Jersey’s own Uncle Floyd, would open the show with one of his wacky monologues along with his sidekick, Oogie, before he introduces the first presenter, senate president, Steve Sweeney. It might go something like this:
Mr. Sweeney: “Thank you, everyone. It’s my pleasure to be here. Now to business. In the category of ‘Best Presidential Candidate Disguised as a Governor’, the nominees are: Governor Sarah Palin, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Mitt Romney and Governor Chris Christie” (Opens the envelope nervously). “And the ‘Joisey’ goes to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey!” (The theme from ‘Rocky’ starts to play as the governor makes his way to the stage shaking hands and kissing babies along the way.)
Gov. Christie: “Thank you. I’m honored but don’t really feel like I deserve this ‘Joisey’. Like I said before, I’m not going anywhere, at least not for another two years. But I don’t have to tell you how expensive it is to live in our great state. So the Christies, like many of you, may have to eventually move to where it’s more affordable. We’re thinking maybe the D. C area which would be convenient if I….” (Music from ‘Rocky’ cuts in to let the governor know his time is up.)
Another presenter might be the eloquent Bret Schundler, former Commissioner of Education in New Jersey until he wasn’t.
Mr. Schundler: “Thank you, it’s great to be back!” (As the applause grows stronger, he is given a standing ovation.) “Please sit down. Thank you. Thank you very much. In the category of ‘Person Most Committed to Public Education in the Garden State’, the nominees are: Barbara Keshishian, NJEA president, Cory Booker, mayor of Newark and friend of lots of millionaires and Chris Christie, governor and terminator of all things sacred in the public sector. And the ‘Joisey’ goes to Barbara Keshishian of the NJEA.” (The theme from ‘Rocky’ starts to play as the union leader makes her way to the stage shaking hands and kissing teachers along the way.)
Ms. Keshishian: “Thank you, everyone! Wow! You like me. You really like me! On behalf of the NJEA I want to everyone in New Jersey to know that we teachers will continue to fight for more rewards, um, I mean more awards. In fact, we will go after more of these from now on because that’s what’s best for our children, awards. We won’t stop until every child in New Jersey has received an award!” (Faint applause is heard as she leaves the stage to the music of ‘Rocky’.)
Finally, former governor Tom Kean would do the honors for that individual who best illustrates the slogan he made famous.
Gov. Kean: “It is my pleasure to be here tonight on this auspicious occasion. The nominees in the ‘NJ and You, Perfect Together” category are: Tony Soprano for keeping business in New Jersey, Snookie from Jersey Shore for promoting fun and Chris Christie for promoting himself. And the ‘Joisey’ goes to…Snookie!”
As it should, because this is New Jersey and to survive here, you better be having some fun!
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