Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests

The woman who thought she was a chicken

A recent issue of the Dutch journal Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie (Journal of Psychiatry) reports on the case of a woman who believed she was a chicken. From the report (via Google translate):

Patient A, a 54-year-old woman, consulted the emergency department with her brother for acute attacks of deviant behavior, expressing the belief that she was a chicken and displaying behavior reminiscent of it.

Clinically, we saw a lady profusely sweating, trembling, blowing her cheeks and displaying stereotypical behavior in which she seemed to imitate a chicken, such as clucking, cackling and crowing like a rooster. After ten minutes, she seemed to tense the muscles for a few seconds, her face flushed and she did not respond for a short time. These symptoms repeated at intervals of several minutes, between which anamnesis was possible. The patient's consciousness was fluctuating, attention was hyper-reactive and the patient was disoriented in time and space. Her memory could not be tested objectively, but she could adequately tell her history.

She said she had barely slept since five days and wandered barefoot and dressed in a dressing gown on the street at around 4 a.m. the previous night. A general feeling of unwellness had been present for several days, as well as a strange feeling in the limbs, as if they no longer fit her body and flapped uncontrollably. The patient expressed the thought of being a chicken and that they had been forgotten to roost her.

Patient's brother added that he found her in the garden in the same condition as we saw her now. Between that moment and the registration with us, the bizarre behavior in attacks occurred.

The researchers note that clinical zoanthropy (the belief that one has turned into an animal) is an extremely rare delusion. Apparently there have been only 56 cases of this reported between 1850 and 2012. Some of the animals people believe they have become include "a dog, lion, tiger, hyena, shark, crocodile, frog, bovine, cat, goose, rhinoceros, rabbit, horse, snake, bird, wild boar, gerbil and a bee."

More info: The Guardian

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 04, 2020 - Comments (13)
Category: Animals, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Psychology

Miss Sewer Cleaner

I posted about Gaylia Davis, aka 'Miss Sewer Cleaner,' back in 2016. At the time I wondered what became of her. And did being Miss Sewer Cleaner boost her career? Recently I was contacted by her granddaughter, Rose, who supplied an answer, which is appended below, beneath the original post. Not surprisingly, it doesn't seem as if being Miss Sewer Cleaner had much, if any, impact on her career. But she certainly went on to have an interesting life regardless.

October 1951: Gaylia Davis, 17, was awarded the title "Miss Sewer Cleaner of 1952." She reflected philosophically that, "It may be a soggy title but if it helps my career I don't care."

I can't figure out what became of her after 1951. So it's hard to know if it helped her career or not.

Southern Illinoisan - Oct 15, 1951

Detroit Free Press - Oct 11, 1951

Detroit Free Press - Dec 23, 1951

Detroit Free Press - Dec 23, 1951

Update: Below is the text of the email from Gaylia's granddaughter. And below that are some pictures she also sent along.

Gaylia Davis ended up leaving Detroit and following her mother (who had previously divorced Gaylia’s strict Preacher father- he founded a church in Detroit) to Miami! Gaylia’s mother, Ethel, came to Miami Beach to start a radio show! Anyway, Gaylia met a young Cuban man named Ernesto Gavalda. They were both performers and dancers and did variety shows in both Miami and Cuba. Gaylia also traveled for a bit with the Barnum & Bailey’s Ringling Brother’s Circus. She was one of the Amazonian models that rode regally on the elephants.

She (all American girl) and my (Cuban) grandfather (a la I love Lucy) ended up getting married here in Miami Beach and having 6 kids together. The only daughter (the rest are boys) they had, Debbie, is my mother. She was born and raised in Miami Beach. We are still in Miami to this day.

Gaylia ended up becoming a local fixture on the streets of Miami Beach as she decided to live as a homeless evangelist. She was called “Mother Mary” or “the Bible Lady” by locals.

I remember wanting to visit her as teen and having to ask strangers if they knew where the “bible lady” was. They’d point to some park bench or mumble a street name and I’d find her with a tattled Bible in hand and preaching to any passerby.

Gaylia only recently passed at the end of 2018. Up to her dying day, she was still quick witted, humorous, tough, and of sound mind. She could still talk politics, history, and culture.

She has always been an enigma to me and even more so now as I get older myself.

Anyway, thanks for listening and asking!

"This is her and my grandfather."

"My grandfather is the second guy on the left and she’s the last woman to the right."

"the ticket of a show that they both performed in together"

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 23, 2020 - Comments (14)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, 1950s

National Doughnut Queen 1952


Diane Scholen, left, and Pat Kizeminski, right (runners-up) place doughnut crown on Nancy Templeton, National Doughnut Queen

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 22, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Food, 1950s

Hair Freezing Contest

Ever since 2011, the Takhini Hot Pools in the Yukon have hosted a Hair Freezing Contest. More details and pics at

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 26, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Hair and Hairstyling

The Universal Beauty Trip

There's a great novel or film lurking in this historical incident.

In the summer of 1915, in large part in order to advertise the existence of his newly-established Universal City Studios, Universal Moving Pictures President Carl Laemelle organized a cross-country procession that would culminate in a beauty pageant at Universal City, California (which, like Universal Studios, Laemelle had only founded in March of that year). Comprising "America's Most Beautiful Girls" from each of the forty-eight states, as well as studio representatives including Laemelle himself, the Universal Beauty Trip proceeded by automobile and rail from the East Coast to California, stopping at major cities along the way and at important tourist sites like the Grand Canyon

Read entire article here.

Foto source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 07, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Movies, 1910s

Best Undressed Woman of the Year

In 1940, the New York Art Students' League awarded a title it called the "Best Undressed Woman of the Year." They chose actress Janice Logan as the winner.

The art students apparently intended this as a satirical response to the media's love for declaring various actresses as the 'best dressed' woman of the year. 1940 seems to have been the only year in which they awarded the title, and it doesn't seem like winning the award did much for Logan's career.

The Davenport Daily Times - Feb 26, 1940

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 12, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, 1940s

Freestyle Canoeing

Why hasn't freestyle canoeing been made an olympic event yet?

The performance begins at around 1:20.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 24, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Sports

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