Humans never grow tired of the excitement gleaned from entering a contest, whether it's a card game or a national lottery. In a roadside bar outside Vancouver, British Columbia, a controversial new contest is poised to offer the winner something more personal -- a brand-new pair of breasts.
Until Sept. 30, Canadian women (or their boyfriends) can drop their entries into a ballot box at Tommy's Bar and Grill in Maple Ridge. No trick questions, no lengthy forms -- just drop your name in the box. The winner of the "Win Boobs" challenge will receive $3,000 (U.S. $2,020) toward surgical insertion of breast implants. The bar's Web site boasts, "Tommy's is offering to you the chance of a lifetime. You have a shot at winning BOOBS. That is right, you did read correctly."
So far, thousands have visited the bar to enter the contest, proving that some people feel little or no embarrassment about artificial breasts. Tommy's is tucked between stores and chain restaurants on Lougheed Highway, 50 kilometers east of Vancouver. It also features "Shake Yer Rump" Mondays and other sexually oriented theme nights to draw the rubes into the bar. But the "Win Boobs" contest is getting patrons more excited than usual.
"The girls come in laughing about it," said pub employee Peter Buono. "The guys, they like it too."
"Everyone has something they want changed about them, especially if they can do it for free," bar manager Melinda Vince told a Canadian newspaper. Vince added that she's not allowed to enter, but her friends have, some of them more than once.
Men are also entering the breast contest, some in hopes their girlfriends will win, others because the fine print allows the winner to receive any type of plastic surgery. Who knows? A Canadian man may soon be sporting a new pair of pecs.
Critics are fuming over the contest, asserting not only that breast implants are dangerous but that such contests are proof of declining standards of taste in the community.
"It's easy to dismiss this stuff," said Catherine Murray, of a sexist-media watchdog agency. "But it makes sport of rather pathetic young women and it goes to the heart of low self-esteem. Anyone who would subject themselves to this really needs help."
The management of Tommy's has not indicated whether the winner might spawn another theme night, perhaps "Shake Yer Implants" Tuesdays.