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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
June 29, 2007

Paris Hilton tries a new game: Softball with Divine


Columbus--Paris Hilton is at it again!

Even though the mainstream media won’t report the special treatment this spoiled millionaire celebrity heiress gets, she was let out of prison for the second time in two weeks on June 24 to play in the Bat ’n’ Rouge drag softball game.

This is a week after she played for the Villains in the Cleveland Drag Ball game.

Paris joined a who’s who of Hollywood’s hottest and Tinseltown’s washed-up at the Africentric School fields on the day after Columbus Pride. The razzle-dazzle rabble played for two zany teams: the Hygienes and the Monistats.

The teams vied for the championship while raising money for LGBT causes in Columbus: the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization, Stonewall Columbus and Camp Sunrise.

Organized by the Columbus Lesbian and Gay Softball Association, the 20th annual Bat ’n’ Rouge game was hosted by singer and comedienne Julie Brown and local drag goddess Nina West.

Playing for the Hygienes were Jennifer Beals of the Showtime hit The L Word decked out all retro in her Flashdance attire; Lindsay Lohan, who insisted on flashing the crowd with her “crotch on fire”; Judy Jetson; Tracy Turnblad in anticipation of the release of John Water’s film musical of Hairspray and Katherine Hilton, mother of Paris. The team was rounded out by Polly Parsons and Baltimore Crabs.

While Paris was out from prison to play for her team, a policeman did keep her in a mobile cage while she wasn’t batting or catching. Her annoying but tiny (stuffed) dog Tinkerbelle was also along for the ride.

The Monistats were represented by the Cracker Sisters, Saltina and Ritzy, who insisted on being celebrated as “nappy headed hos” per Don Imus; Motormouth Maybelle, also from Hairspray; John Waters’ original muse Divine; Kitty Litter who at one point kidnapped Tinkerbelle, and most notably NASA astronaut Lisa Novak who arrived in a soiled diaper, passing out flyers about her missing lover and fellow astronaut. The only drag king of the event, dressed as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, played for the Monistats.

The  game opened with the singing of the national anthem by Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus member Jason Guthrie--also in drag.

The judges this year were famed Columbus drag persona Sable Coats, WCMH Channel 4 news anchor and weatherman Marshall McPeek, and local LGBT business magnate Rajesh Lahoti.

Returning an earlier Bat ’n’ Rouge tradition, each team had their own band of cheerleaders, many of them also in drag. Not only did they cheer, but they often intruded onto the field to sabotage the opposing team’s players.

Another “tradition” wasn’t missed: The scorching heat of past years was replaced by overcast skies and an occasional sprinkle, which did not deter the players or the audience of over 5,000 from enjoying the spectacle.

The riffing, camaraderie and humor displayed by hosts Brown and West was the best heard in many years.



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