For the past three years, I have celebrated the anniversary of the passage of women's suffrage in my own kinky way. I have spent Aug. 26 passing out awards to those who have labored mightily during the past year to turn back the tide of history.
These awards, by popular request, are named after Jimmy Carter's best-kept promise: "Life Isn't Fair."
Typically, there are so many people worthy of note that the competition for the few prizes is keen, even cutthroat.
This year, however, I intend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment by holding a personal vigil in a hammock in Maine. These are the breaks.
Before I depart on this sacred chore, allow me to leave behind the Fourth Annual Life Isn't Fair Awards.
The envelopes, please.
The Public Safety Menace Award goes this year to the Chicago police force. These wonderful folk kept us all secure by strip-searching women arrested for such dangerous crimes as traffic violations. Of the 191 who sued their "protectors," 31 had their body cavities searched. For their work, I have spent them an inscribed wooden paddle suitable for Bondage and Discipline. Color it blue.
The Pig-male-ion Prize of the Year goes to John "8" Derek, husband of Bo "10" Derek. This prize is a silk purse containing his most endearing words to the little woman: "Stop eating that goddam pickle! You're crunching in my ear."
The Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride Prize has gone in previous years to assorted women being "considered" for college presidencies, company boards and affirmative-action forums. This year it goes to none other than Anne Armstrong, the Texas lady who was "seriously considered" for Reagan's vice presidency.
The Red Badge of Courage Award goes to the American Psychiatric Association, which is breaking the ERA boycott instead of the APA bankroll. This prize is a Freudian slip to be worn on appropriate occasions by Donald Langsley. Langsley assured the association members that the APA would "courageously lead this effort . . . by not meeting in a state which has not ratified ERA." But when New Orleans threatened, suit, the shrinks' courage shrunk.
The My King of Guy Prize, complete with a Cordon Bleu recipe for rat and a candle for burning (hands) goes to everybody's favorite laid-back liberated male, G. Gordon Liddy.
The Golden Double-Talk Award, which includes a complete set of sterling-silver forked tongues, goes to all those Republicans on the platform committee who said with a straight face: "We believe in equal rights, but not the Equal Rights Amendment." At least they didn't say they'll never lie to us.
The Stand By Your Man Halo, for valor under combat conditions, was originally going to Anita Bryant. For obvious reasons, it will be re-monogrammed and sent instead to the runner-up, Nan Talese. She welcomed Gay back from his onerous research with Thy Neighbor's Wife, or thy neighbors' wives to be precise.
The Blind Justice Statue, carefully draped, goes to James V. Barbuto of Akron, Ohio. The good judge was convicted of forcing himself on a female courthouse clerk. He also pleaded guilty to hiding confiscated guns under his bed. Maybe, on second thought, we ought to take the blindfold off of Justice before sending her along.
The Happy Homewreckers Hatchet goes this year by unanimous vote to the U.S. Tax Court. Those anti-family folk laid a $3,135.34 marriage tax back on Angela and David Boyter, who tried to sidestep it with yearly divorces and remarriages. This award is accompanied by an IRS pamphlet entitled: "Living in Sin is Better for Your 1040."
The Dr. Jekyll and Congressman Hyde Look-Alike Award goes to the five Supreme Court justices who told sick and poor women that they still have an equal right to an abortion. Yes, indeedy, they can pay for it. In order to pick up this award, the justices need only explain their position to Medicaid patients at the clinic of their choice.
Last, but hardly least, The Father of the Year Prize goes to none other than William Shockley. This Nobel laureate has patriotically donated his sperm to a California sperm bank, in hopes that his superior genes will be fruitful and multiply. For his generosity, we award him full and exclusive custody of all the Little Shockleys. No day-care allowed.