We're sorry, LaRene Kimball. "This ugly thing has been occupying a spot in my husband's office for years," LaRene wrote to the judges of the Deseret News Ugly Contest. "He said if it wins the Ugly Contest I have his permission to get rid of it. Please! Any takers?"
Looks as if LaRene is stuck with the strange statue in her husband's office. Actually some of us here at the Deseret News kind of liked the thing. Of course, ugly is in the eye of the beholder.We'd like to thank LaRene, though, and all those other readers who sent in snapshots of the flotsam and jetsam of their lives: vases filled with feathers; an ashtray that appears to be wearing saddle shoes; psychedelic ties; a plastic mother-and-baby armadillo. It wasn't easy picking a winner.
We noticed, by the way, that quite a few items were nominated by relatives of the owners of the actual items, although some people humbly nominated their own ugly stuff.
Here are our personal favorites:
FIGURINE DIVISION: A couple of Christmases ago, Barbara Gardner received just what might be the original white elephant. It wears a yellow bikini, bright red fingernail polish and an expression of utter embarrassment.
Gardner received the white elephant at a party from a woman who had received it as a white elephant at some other party. Gardner was planning on giving it away at the next party, but now that it's a winner she may keep it.
LAMP DIVISION: If you take three deer legs, bind them together with strips of leather and stick a light bulb at the top what do you have? (Besides an odd sense of humor.) Perhaps the ugliest lamp in the West.
When Kerry Hammond of Salt Lake read about the Ugly Contest her thoughts immediately went back to the photo her brother, Kim, had sent her of the lamp he had won at a mountain man rendezvous in Idaho.
Kim is kind of offended that his sister (and the Deseret News) finds his prize lamp so ugly.
TIE DIVISION: It was hard to zero in on a winner in this category - until we saw J. Eric Johnson's tie.
The tie, which Johnson bought in Ecuador four years ago, does not feature horses or pheasants, as tie convention dictates, but a witch and several naked babies. According to Eric's wife, Jessica, who submitted the tie for consideration, Eric occasionally wears it to missionary reunions.
SHOE DIVISION: Jenny Curtis' mother tried to talk her out of entering the Ugly Contest, but Jenny, who is 9, was confident that she could find a winner in her grandma's closet.
Jenny found Florence Hollingshead's old pair of once-fashionable, chunky-heeled, bright green shoes. In the picture Jenny sent us she is holding the shoes as if they were contaminated specimens.
MISCELLANEOUS DIVISION: We had to pick two winners here because there were so many fine entries.
The first nod goes to Lisa Adams and her Kleenex dispenser disguised as a woman with blue hair.
Adams, a Salt Lake lawyer, is not certain of the item's exact history. She acquired it from the previous owner of her home, who graciously offered it to the Adamses after 2-year-old Abigail Adams admired it. Adams only brings it out on "special occasions," she says, along with the family's black velvet painting of John Belushi.
Our second winner is Jill Perry of North Ogden who sent us a picture with this inscription: "Please note the resemblance of the large Ugly Item to the small apple fritter beside it. Maybe they reproduce if you leave them out long enough, or just grow into bigger Ugly Items."
Perry keeps the thing at the law office of Dale M. Dorius in Brigham City, where she is a legal secretary. "To maintain the Ugliness of this item," Perry wrote, "much care and a lot of thought is given to the flowers put in it. Plastic, dusty ones are preferred, but dusty silk ones have also been used."
All our winners will receive checks for $25. Other entrants will maybe want to have a garage sale.