Completion of County Fair Post

August 20, 2009

Pebbles in hand (or pocket) Random Granddaughter and slightly extended family headed for the county fair on the island.

Plan was for the mommies to follow us in the rental car Mommy’s mother and step dad had rented for the trip to the Olympic. We were separated and parked in separate places, but Mrs. Random and I found them waiting to buy their tickets at the head of a long line, so we had them buy our tickets as for us, allowing us to jump the line and perhaps the shark as well.

We were all ready for lunch. Mommy’s step-dad is fit and lean from all his hiking, so he indulged in a big sandwich. Mrs. Random and I purchased hotdogs. Random Granddaughter now associates events such as fairs with a chance to purchase cotton candy. As a child I loathed cotton candy; as an adult I still despise it, but I see no problem with the rare indulgence for RG.

She has been an exceptionally food-persnickety child, but she is gradually entering the world of normal eating via a typical child-preferred meals. Pizza is good she now thinks, and for lunch at the fair, she considered a hot dog perfectly acceptable when mixed with bites of cotton candy. I watched with delight as she ate one hot dog well-slathered with mustard in a steady, methodical manner.

Off to the 4H exhibit where she considered bunnies and chickens with happy concentration. The second delightful observation for me was that she was in a good mood and obviously enjoying herself, with only one minor tantrum, involving application of sunscreen and branches and twigs in a sleeve.

She then watched some young ladies taking horses through paces in competitions. Will their be a pony living at the little house in the city? Will Sylvie the world’s most extroverted little cat learn to ride a horse?

RG was fascinated with the judging and awarding of ribbons. Later that evening, my wife remarked to me that perhaps RG is too fascinated with awards and prizes. I don’t know. My uncle George got a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Genius Award for composition in his seventies or so; my daughter was spelling champion of Oregon in fifth grade; perhaps RG will get a similar award in kindergarten, or perhaps she will wait until first or second grade.

We then watched the alpaca race. When I was in junior high school my family owned a cow and then a couple of goats. I milked the cow and one of the goats. Goats have personalities similar to cats. It is easy to become attached to them. (Unfortunately, our goat got sick and died and I had to dig a grave for it.)

Alpacas look like giant poodles that suffered exposure to radiation and then mutated; their personalities seem to be similar to goats.

The race worked like this. The 4H participant had to guide the alpaca through an obstacle course, holding the alpaca’s rein in one hand and holding a spoon with a raw egg perched it in the other hand.

“The eggs are from prize-winning chickens; they have been around here for a few days, so they are pretty ripe by now,” The Mistress of Ceremonies told us. She seemed to be having as much fun as one is allowed to with clothes on She also explained that the young competitors weren’t supposed to drop the egg. But not to worry, she reassured the contestants. “If you drop the egg you can pick it up again and put it back on the spoon. As long as it does not break. If I see yolk, it’s all over for you and I will toss you out of the race,” she chortled.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I observed a “cat Olympics” event at the fair, where cats were supposed to go through an obstacle course. The cats, naturally, regarded the whole exercise with a bemused, “You want me to do WHAT?” air. One cat even set itself down and immediately went to sleep.

Although none of the alpacas took a nap, and it is difficult to read the expression on an alpaca’s face, they seemed to regard the obstacle course in a similar fashion. Among with overcoming other impediments, they were supposed to walk though some tires on the ground; some jumped the tires, others headed for other parts of the fair, dragging their young keepers with them.

One young man, announced with much fanfare as last year’s champion, dropped his egg half way through the race. “Oh my, I see yolk down their on the ground,” the announcer crowed with much delight. 4H is not for nynnies (Finnish word for “sissy, as I just discovered last week).

After a few more exhibits and contests, Random Granddaughter, mommies, and alternative grandparents headed back to the city. Mrs. Random and I headed back to our little house in the medium-sized woods.


6 Responses to “Completion of County Fair Post”

  1. Pete Says:

    “Alpacas look like giant poodles that suffered exposure to radiation and then mutated”

    That’s pretty special Random. You still have it! DOn’t let anyone tell you that you are loosing it! ;+>

  2. spectrum2 Says:

    This is quite a fair you attended. I’m proud RG ate a hotdog. Next time, go for a corndog (hand dipped, of course, and painted with mustard, and I mean literally brushed with mustard.
    We just finished a fat free chocolate jell-o pudding cup. Yum.
    As for alpaca olympics, I am not so sure. They used to advertise on TV to try to get people to farm alpacas for their wool. So shaving them might make them more aerodynamic, and thus make them quicker at Olympic events. Just a thought.

  3. modestypress Says:

    Thank you, Spectrum. We will consider home-brewed corn dogs for the next time Random Granddaughter visits. If we start raising alpacas on our homestead, we will consider their aerodynamic preparation carefully.

  4. modestypress Says:


    As soon as I looked at the alpacas lined up for the race, the comparison leaped into my mind. Doesn’t everybody see things as I do?

    If not, this may explain much about how my life has gone and why I need to hide out in five acres of woods on an island.

  5. Pete Says:

    I keep telling you to read that book. You will be relieved to find someone who thinks like you!

  6. modestypress Says:


    I am reading the book. Aside from the fact that the author is about 10,000 times a better writer than I am, it is quite good.

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