Two tourists were driving through Wisconsin. As they were approaching Oconomowoc, they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town's name. They argued back and forth until they stopped for lunch. As they stood at the counter, one tourist asked the employee, 'Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us? Would you please pronounce where we are É very slowly?' The blonde leaned over the counter and said, 'Burrrrrr-gerrrrrr Kiiiing.'

Oh, sure, go ahead and laugh. Make fun of the fair-haired members of society. We're used to it used to the assumption that our flaxen hair is somehow synonymous with limited intellect.

But enough is enough. Blondes aren't going to take it anymore, and our first act of defiance is as mighty as the wind that blows from a salon-quality blow-dryer: National Blonde Day, scheduled to take place each year on the last day of June.

The event is the brainchild of the Blonde Legal Defense Team, a group of lawyers who banded together in the face of prejudice from their dark-tressed peers. Their mission: to stop the widespread belief that blondes both natural and chemically treated are dumb and incapable. Their slogan: 'Be true to your roots.'

At a recent news conference held at the BLDT national headquarters in (where else?) Los Angeles, chapter president Tiffany Pinkins said the time has come for blondes to put their Jimmy Choos down.

'In a civilization with lash-separating mascara and cosmetic treatments that eliminate wrinkles, it's unthinkable that appearance-based discrimination still exists,' Pinkins says. 'We've heard the blonde jokes, we've seen the exchanges whispered behind our backs at hair salons or by the pool. It needs to stop.'

The theme of 2003 National Blonde Day is 'Makeover America,' a day that will be chockablock with festivals, demonstrations and seminars across the country, all in an effort to restore dignity to blondes everywhere.

Pinkins says that change on a national level needn't be much harder than individual change.

'Personal change can be as easy as revamping your wardrobe or getting a new lip gloss,' she says. 'But by working together, we can make the world a better place.'

Well said, Tiffany, and rest assured that the blondes of Portland will do our part to educate and inspire the citizens of our city on National Blonde Day.

We're already off to a heady start, having crowned Priscilla Isaacs, the court's lone blonde, as Rose Festival queen. And who's already purchased advance tickets to see Reese Witherspoon reprise her role as the bright and beautiful Elle Woods in 'Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde'? Why, we have, of course.

What's more, I've cooked up the following events to mark National Blonde Day in the Rose City. Blonde, brunette or bald, all are invited to attend today's seminars at Pioneer Courthouse Square:

• 9 a.m.: 'Warm weather accessorizing.' Because everyone knows that blondes are terrific at making do with less.

• 10 a.m.: 'Getting things done for free.' Because paying to have your oil changed is a bummer!

• 11 a.m.: 'Who's laughing now?' Defend yourself or a loved one: Snappy comebacks to the meanest blonde jokes, including: 'Why shouldn't blondes get coffee breaks at work? Because you have to retrain them afterward.'

• Noon: A slimming lunch of Caesar salad and Diet Coke will be served. (Note: Lemon will be provided for optional highlighting.)

Please join us because together we can stamp out the myth that blondes are just a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

So remember: National Blonde Day is today, the last day of the month, June 31.

Oh. Wait a minute. Today is É

So, anyway, mark your calendar for National Blonde Day 2004! The last day of June next year!

I knew that.

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