::Lahwhinie, who seems to have found the famous Red Dress somewhere, begins to walk towards the microphone - stops, poses for a moment, clearly enjoying the cheers, and then continues onward. When she gets to the microphone she waits, grinning, until the audience (most of whom are still under the impression that she's Gadget) quiets down::
Lahwhinie: Thank you, all. Thank you. I know that you were all waiting for me to come up on stage. Now, I'm here to present the Golden Acorn award for best poet!
::She holds it up and basks in the applause again::
Lahwhinie: The nominees, ladies and gentlemen, are -
::Lahwhinie unfolds a piece of paper, peers at it, and then turns it over and read out the names of the nominees::
Lahwhinie: Mr. Spumoni - didn't he write that Rangerillion thingy? I'm sure I should have had a bigger part in that - Tamira, Sinclair and WildIrishRose!
Now one thing I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that if I had been eligible, I would have indub - indubit - definitely won. After all, the most important tool in any poet's vocabulary is words - the bigger your vocab - vocabul - the more words you know, the better, and I know tons of words. Let me give you a sample of my amazing poetry skills:
::Lahwhinie takes out a roll of paper and lets go of one end. The roll unrolls far enough that the end lands in the front row of the audience, next to Gadget. Curious, Gadget lifts the end and reads it (having no problems reading upside-down) and her face first pales, and then turns slightly green::
::Meanwhile, Lahwhinie, on stage, is reading the first few lines::
This is a wonderful poem,
Which I wrote at home,
Because I am a wonderful poet,
And you all know it.
::Lahwhinie turns to look toward the wings where someone is obviously signaling to her::
Lahwhinie: Um... wave, point at wrist, draw finger across throat? Does that mean 'we don't have time, hurry up' or 'I've discovered that you stole my watch, I'll get you when you come off stage'?
::She turns to look out at the audience again, suddenly realizing that the microphone had been on::
Lahwhinie: Uh...I was joking about Indy's watch, you do realize that, right?
::She looks out at the audience again, guessing its mood::
::She quickly rolls up her poem again::
Lahwhinie: Perhaps now's a good time to hurry up and present the award. The winner is…
::She pulls out the envelope and opens it::
Lahwhinie: Whoa, Mr. Spumoni and WildIrishRose! Congratulations, you two! Please, come up here, receive this prestigious award and make a long acceptance speech, holding the attention of the audience and especially Dr. Indy as long as possible!
::Lahwhinie steps back from the platform, glancing offstage in both directions. She evidently doesn't like what she sees there and hops off the stage to run down the aisle for one of the exits at the back of the hall::
::It takes a minute for Rose to realize Lahwhinie had said her name. She sits in her seat with wide eyed disbelief. No no, she didn't win Best Poet. Did she?::
::Hondo pokes her gently in the side::
Hondo: That's you, darlin'.
::Rose turns her bug-eyed gaze toward him for a moment, then rises from her seat in one fluid movement, her silver dress rippling like water. She walks down the aisle but it feels more like floating in an unreal dream. She manages a bright smile as she ascends the stage, her silver shoes glistering in the lights::
Rose: Thank you, everyone.
::Rose's first words are so quiet that it takes a moment for them to impact the audience. The crowd claps and cheers, which helps her to feel less nervous::
Rose: I guess I impressed you with that poem more than I realized. It was really just something I scratched onto paper a few years ago in a fit of inspiration. I didn't really even think it was that impressive, and it wasn't even a Rangery poem.
::She shruggs and giggles, eliciting some smiles from the crowd::
Rose: Although I hear it was Sinclair that nominated me.
::Rose nodded to where Sinclair was sitting::
Rose: But thank you, all of you. I am quite honored.
::She curtsies into a cloud of silver and then leaves the stage, stopping long enough to accept a high five from RangerReady. As she sits back down with Hondo she sighs::
Rose: Whoo! That was a surprise.
::In the audience, an equally
surprised rat speaks up from the back of
Spumoni: Oh, really?
::Spumoni has barely made it back to the ACNN broadcast booth when “Best Poet” was announced, and as “Loser” by Beck is once more cast out into the audience he makes his way to stage, trying perhaps to force a small jog::
Spumoni: I have to admit—
::He takes a moment out to thank Dr. Indy, who has taken over from Lahwhinie, and takes possession of the Golden Acorn::
Spumoni: This one came as a real surprise. I had no idea honestly. I don’t even consider myself a poet. In fact the three poems I wrote for the Rangerdom were the only poems I’ve written since… I don’t know, college maybe.
::He does his best to straighten the disheveled white coat. In the end he gives up and has Race bring him his usual blue jacket as he speaks::
Spumoni: As you can see this one truly came as a real surprise!
::Some laughter from the audience::
Spumoni: I am of course very grateful and I would like to thank the fandom as a whole…
::He blushes as he affixes his bowtie::
Spumoni: You didn’t throw me out when I first presented my “Volume 1 DVD Haiku’s” so this is pretty much all your fault!
::The audience cheers, and with a wink and a smile he lifts the Golden Acorn once more, straining this time to do so. With that he bows and departs the stage. Dr. Indy, putting his watch back on his wrist, comes out to the podium for a brief announcement::
Indy: Ladies and gentlemen, could anyone who has lost or misplaced a watch, wallet, laptop, cellphone, or any other small item please report to the lost and found office after the awards? Thank you.