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"If I ever have to have a favourite beauty pageant story then this is gonna be it," Josie said as we settled into our back to school/college coffee routine.

Our kids are a blessing and all that but lordy we love September when the school bus rolls up and whips them off our hands until next May. Even Patsy, who has no kids and considers that even more of a blessing, perks up. In celebration this morning, she even insists on paying. Maggie reckons she must have got a bang on the head.

Anyway, back to Josie and her beauty queen story. "She ran off with the crown jewels," she continued.

May Myat Noe from Burma was only 18 when she won the Miss Asia Pacific contest in Seoul back in May but the organisers stripped her of her title for allegedly being rude and dishonest.

The problems started when the organisers arranged singing and video deals for her but quickly came to the conclusion, despite the fact that she had just won a beauty contest, that she wasn't going to cut it because she wasn't eh...beautiful enough.

The Director of Media for the pageant, David Kim, explained. "We thought she should be more beautiful… so as soon as she arrived we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts."

Yes, you just read that last line right and, if you ever doubted that beauty contests were nothing more than a meat market then Mr Kim should dispel that doubt. According to him it's okay because the sponsors pick up the tab for the surgery.

"If she has no good nose, then maybe, if she likes we can operate on her nose. If it's breasts, then breasts."

I wonder if she had no good legs would he have suggested they be hacked off as well?


The trouble really started when May brought her mother to Seoul for three months and charged her living expenses to the organisers. They said she never had any respect for the pageant, stripped her of her title and bought her a one-way ticket back to Burma.

However, they made the classic mistake of not retrieving the bejewelled Swarovski tiara worth around $150,000 first.

May, showing more brains than beauty, never showed up in her home town.

Mr Kim then threw an unmerciful tantrum on hearing the news.

"Everyone knows she is no longer the queen but she thinks as long as she keeps the tiara she's the winner. Well she's not!" he said, stamping his foot.

She may not be the beauty queen but with that tiara in her hot little mitt she certainly is a winner!