Nome has a lot of bars and churches. Read into that what you may. During the Iditarod, more visitors decend on this little town than the rest of the year, all together. There are not many places to 'gather' at night, and a lot of the mushing teams come in at night, so the bars are always full, and bar hopping is almost a 'sport'. I'll try to give a little glimpse of what that is like. Sorry, no pics. I have a few, but I don't wanna get sued.
Tuesday night was the 'Men's Wet Buns Contest' at the Polaris Bar. First there is an auction for Iditarod memorabilia, and odd and ridiculous items as well, including spray bottles filled with water. Women bid huge amounts of money for the bottles, thus enabling them to sit up front and spray the 'Chippendale Wannabes', as they come out to dance. One of the dancers works in a local bank, and had to face his co-workers the next day, after being eliminated in the early rounds. In early rounds, the guys have on most of their clothes, and as they dance, the women spray 'passionately', wetting down lower portions thoroughly. There is a huge crowd, DJ music, and people start yelling for their favorites. In each 'round' of dancing, as alcohol is increased and clothing decreased, several more are eliminated. In final rounds, the men dance solo, and take off as much as they are willing........only rule is no frontal nudity........but not much was left to the imagination. It was almost as much fun watching the women watch the men as it was watching the men, who were mostly locals or tourists who wouldn't be caught dead doing this at home. The 2nd place went to a guy who looked quite nerdy at the start, in jeans and a t-shirt, but boy, could he swivel those hips. As he took off clothes, an excellent work-out ethic was revealed, and he began to move like he'd been doing this all his life. The crowd went wild. But the winner, OMG, he called himself 'Humpy', and he was dressed as a firefighter, hat and firemen's pants, and a big fire extinguisher with a long hose that he swung around luudly. At times, the would sling it and squirt streams of water on the crowd. He also had a lot of 'moves' that drove the young females crazy. The top three got winnings from money raised at the auction, and all contestants received $100 for entering. I think the winner got $1600. Not bad for a night's 'play'.
The next night was Women's Wet T-Shirt Contest. I understand Tonya Mackey entered last year. Sorry, but I missed that one. Instead, that night we went to the Anchor Bar, and very small, 'skinniest bar I ever saw' bar. But, they had the cleanest rest rooms in town. The Anchor is kind of like a drinking, visiting, bingo game. Each time you buy a drink, you get a couple of tickets. Every 5 minutes or so, Woody, the owner, calls out a number, you check your tickets, and yell when you win, run up and get your t-shirt, mardi-gras beads, or whatever. The main waitress there, Marie, is like the energizer bunny on meth. She is laughing and moving and mixing and checking tickets, and cheering the winners constantly. Of course, the more you drink, the more tickets you have, and the harder it is to check them. Hmmmmmm.
Thursday night was 'Make Your Own Bikini' night at the Polar Bar. Contestants must use materials other than fabric to fashion their bikini. In the men's competition, we had 'News Boy' who carried a paper carrier and wore a well-made bikini with the local newspaper's name, the Nome Nugget, stategically placed. He was second. 'Old fart' was a 60-something guy with a soiled diaper and IV-drip, and the winner was 'Coconut Man' with two artifical coconuts and a banana covering the essentials. My friend, Pam (Gatekeeper) was a judge, along with Lance and Tonya Mackey and Judy Lane, a local singer. Pam said winners were judged by creativity and presentation rather than by 'wardrobe malfunction'. The womens contest featured 'Miss Hot Denali" wearing a pizza box bikini designed by Donna Gates, Jeff King's wife. We heard Donna chickened out of wearing it hereself. Anyway, Becky, who did wear it, was chagrinned that she was eliminated for 'wearing too many clothes 'cause she had on a real bikini underneath. One very shapely young girl wore only glued on marshmallow Easter 'peeps'.......and yes, there was a wardrobe malfunction there! (a 'peep'show - teehee). A crowd favorite was a native woman (I hear she won last year) with a beautiful face and smile, the cutest dimples in her cheeks (and dimples at many other places in her quite cushioned body) who was 'Miss Slam Dunk'. She had 2 basketballs cut in half, 2 halves top front, 2 haves bottom back, and a very sufficiently covering basketball goal in the front. She got 2nd. The winner, a very creative "Cleaning Lady" who had rubber gloves glued to her shoulders, with the hands forming bra cups. Various other cleaning supplies made up the rest of her costume. The awards, again, came from an auction before the contest.
By the night of the Bikini contest, most of the mushers are in, and them and families are around and participating, along with locals and volunteers, and visitors. By the second night, you tend to develop an entrauge, and send out 'scouts' to decide where to go next. It's all mostly very clean fun, and I've made a lot of friends through the week.