Dolly Parton Surprises Girl Scouts with New Patch
Plus more celeb-inspired patches
Dolly Parton is one of my heroes. She’s endowed with so many gifts: A sweet-as-honey soprano voice, a prolific talent for penning heartrending songs, business savvy up to her brasierre, a tawdry sense of humor and an abashed love of trashy clothes. Not to mention her other two amazing endowments (which she refers to as “shock” and “awe”).
If you’re not already riding the Dolly train, you need to climb aboard. Because beyond all those talents, Dolly has a heart made of solid gold. She’s an angel who flew down to the coal mines of Tennessee just so she could lighten our steps.
It was no surprise to me that Dolly surprised a troop of Tennessee Girl Scouts last weekend. According to the Associated Press, a group of 400 girls waited on stage in Pigeon Forge, ready to receive their “Coat of Many Colors” patch. Dolly suddenly swooped in, to the girls’ great delight.
The “Coat of Many Colors” patch was created in honor of Dolly’s 1971 autobiographical song of the same name. For those of you new to Dollymania, the woman grew up in a one-room cabin in Tennessee. Her mother couldn’t afford to buy clothes, so she sewed Dolly a patchwork coat made of rags. When Dolly arrived at school wearing the coat, she was laughed at and teased, as she explains in the song:
I couldn’t understand it, for I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love my mama sewed in every stitch
And I told them all the story mama told me while she sewed
And how my Coat of Many Colors was worth more than all their clothes
Okay, have we all had our morning cry now? Well get ready for a few more tears.
When the song came to Dolly in a moment of inspiration in1969, she couldn’t find a piece of paper, so she scribbled it down on a dry cleaning receipt. That receipt is now framed and hanging in the wall in Dollywood, near the original coat that inspired the song.
On Saturday, Dolly (who was wearing her own Girl Scout uniform at the ceremony, of course!) hugged the girls and told them, “A person can make money, but money can’t make a person.”
Oh, Dolly! Before we get too weepy, here’s a list of other celeb-inspired patches the Girl Scouts should consider rolling out:
Ms. Beligerent Badge – in honor of Kate Gosselin
Earn it: Henpeck a parent, sibling or loved one; capture your experience in an audio/video recording.
Hos Before Bros Badge – in honor of Lindsay Lohan
Earn it: Make new girlfriends, but keep the old; explore activities that can only be done by two female friends.
Fun With Election Rigging – in honor of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Earn it: Fix the ballots for your Student Council election so that you win. No matter what.
Poor Taste Dabbler – in honor of both David Letterman and Sarah Palin
Earn it: Apologize to someone whose feelings you hurt, like that skanky bitch you trashed on Facebook (even though we all know she’s still a skanky bitch).
Arms in Action – in honor of Michelle Obama
Earn it: Test your bicep and tricep strength at a local fitness center – or the White House gym; use a seam ripper to remove the sleeves from all your garments; befriend the most popular girl in school and/or the Queen of England.
It Takes a Village of Babies Badge – in honor of Madonna
Earn it: Think of a country whose children you find beautiful; learn about adoption laws in that nation and develop an argument as to why you are above them; donate your Girl Scout dues to that nation for as long as it takes until they give one of their offspring to your troop.
Mental Health Sampler – in honor of Susan Boyle
Earn it: Participate in a school talent show; run away to your school nurse’s office; repeat.