We folks in Chase County must have been living right. Our county fair is over and the temperatures never got above the low 80s and the humidity wuz low enuf that it wuz difficult to break into a sweat.
As in previous years, my job at the fair set-up and clean-up is commensurate with my skill level — sanitation container management. That means the fair officials direct me to supervise and assist with the strategic deployment of all the trash barrels around the fairground and then, after the fair, get them all emptied into city dumpsters and the barrels stored away for next year. Fortunately, for me, there seems to be no shortage of equally qualified folks — both young and old — for me to supervise and assist.
This year ol’ Nevah and I set personal records for our number of entries in to county fair competition. I entered seven vegetable classes, plus two roosters in the official “Foulest of the Fowl” contest — popularly known as the Ugliest Rooster Contest. I’ll discuss the outcome of this contest later.
Nevah entered four classes of canned veggies and a plate of biscuits in the open food division, plus a handmade quilt in the open clothing/textiles show. The results of our efforts were mixed at best. At the top of the winner list wuz her jar of canned carrots, which earned the reserve grand championship ribbon. Her jar of green beans earned a blue ribbon. Her dill pickles got a red ribbon. And, alas, her quart jar of tomato juice wuz disqualified by the show judge because of (supposedly) insufficient time in the hot water bath while canning — despite the fact that she’s been canning tomato juice and we’ve been safely drinking it for 50 years with no apparent ill effects. Her biscuits failed to get a ribbon.
As for me, my red potato and white potato entries earned blue ribbons, as did my raw carrots. My tomato entry earned a white ribbon, as did my 12 small pepper entry. My bell peppers got a red ribbon and my other pepper entry wuz disqualified (I knew it would be) because I entered only 6 peppers, rather than the required 12.
Now, I want to discuss the rooster competition. My New Hampshire Red rooster earned a legitimate white ribbon in the “Purebred — Large Cock” class. However, my ugly, utterly-homely, tail-less, fight-battered Auracana rooster failed to win the “Ugliest Rooster Contest,” and therein lies a conspiracy much worse — and way more obvious — than the Russian election conspiracy which the lame stream media is agog over.
Here’s the conspiracy. The winning ugly rooster is determined by popular vote from the public that walks through the poultry barn. Every year I put up a $10 cash prize for the winner of the “Foulest of the Fowl” contest, confident that my ugly rooster will handily return my ten-spot.
Now, for the fourth year in a row, that has failed to happen. The owners of the other ugly roosters openly campaign against a vote for my ugly rooster. At first, I gave serious thought to filing some kind of discrimination lawsuit for the obvious election fraud. But then I realized, I’d only spend more of my hard-earned money for a lawyer, which would only make me a bigger loser. It’s another hard lesson in the “Life Ain’t Fair School of Hard Knocks.”
On the positive side of the fair, a wonderfully generous outpouring of support happened immediately after the premium auction of the 4-H youngsters’ market steers, swine and lambs. In a second auction, a chicken wuz auctioned off time after time with the proceeds going to a young mother in the county stricken with a serious illness. The “donations” should make a dent in the family’s medical expenses.
On the home front, the purple martins have pulled up stakes and departed for parts unknown, but presumably south. Every year they’re the first migrants to leave Damphewmore Acres. I thank them for their insect control efforts. Now only the barn swallows are left to devour insect pests around our home.
After 10 years, a farm wife starts to think their son looks kinda strange, so she decides to do a DNA test. She finds out that the kid is actually from completely different parents. The following conversation ensues:
Wife: “Honey, I have something very serious to tell you.”
Husband: “What’s up?”
Wife: “According to DNA test results, this is not our son.”
Husband: “Well, you don’t remember, do you? When we were leaving the hospital, we noticed that our baby had messed its diaper. And you said: ‘Please go change the baby, I’ll wait for you here.’ So I went inside, got a clean one and left the dirty one there.”
Moral: Never give a man a job that doesn’t belong to him.
And a last column-ending limerick about chicken contests:
I entered a rooster in a “Foul Fowl” Contest,
T’was so ugly viewers were purely aghast,
But the voters saw fit
To select a winner legit,
Despite my vociferous protest.
Have a good ‘un.