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Muskrat Love In Maryland

Out on Maryland's Eastern Shore -- the Washington area's new Hamptons, where Dick Cheney and Joe Trippi own houses -- some seriously awesome local girls, to maintain the area's traditions, have started skinning muskrats for the talent portion of the local beauty pageant. The whole story is incredible, but this is representative:

Contestant No. 1 sashayed down the catwalk, her hair bouncing in blonde curls, and smiled a radiant beauty-queen smile. She picked up a furry dead rodent about the size of a football. Then she took out a very sharp four-inch blade and stuck the point in just above the animal's tail.

And this:

In 2005, when [one muskrat queen] walked out for the talent portion of the pageant with a muskrat thrown over her shoulder, a man in the audience yelled above the cheers, "I want to marry you!" ... "It's not weird," Phillips said. "You can be graceful and beautiful and well-poised and skin a muskrat."

Happy Saturday!

--Eve Fairbanks