The Chase County Fair wuz this week and, as usual, the best part wuz interacting with a large slice of the aggie population of the county and getting column material from them.
Here’s a sample:
One old farmer to his equally aged buddy: “I hear you got married again.”
Buddy: “Yep — for the sixth time.”
Farmer: “What gives? Are you looking for the perfect wife?”
Buddy: “Nope. Just companionship. But at my age, it’s getting harder and harder to know just what I’m getting when I remarry. Why I had no idea my new wife was an artist until we set up housekeeping.”
Farmer: “An artist, huh? What kind of artist?”
Buddy: “Oh, she just sits at her easel all day and draws flies.”
Now, gals, don’t blame me for this story. I’m just passing it along!
Picture this in your mind. It’s another true rural happening that qualifies as another Mental Home Video. The setting is sparsely populated southwestern Montana on a farmstead that ranks just above squalid — junk everywhere, over-run with weeds and a menagerie of more-or-less free range farm animals — including the usual dogs, cats, various fowl, and a protective guard male llama.
Now a car crunches up the gravel driveway and comes to a stop at the end of the sidewalk. Two prim and proper church ladies emerge from the car, flatten the wrinkles from their dresses, and make their way towards the front door.
They never make it because, when they are about halfway to the porch, the over-protective llama comes charging from the rubble, rears on its hind legs, and with hooves a’thrashing, it upends one of the church ladies and tattoos her prostrate form once it had her grounded.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the rest of the story except the storyteller insists no one was seriously injured.
This is a true county fair story that happened decades ago in the Ozarks of Missouri. It wuz back in the day when every county had a number of purebred swine producers who always competed at the county fairs for bragging rights about the superiority of their particular breed.
Well, at this county fair, the Poland China show featured one crusty hog man who had an entry in every class and at the very end of the Poland show he brought a get-of-sire group of four pigs into the ring.
The judge, who was a county extension agent from Kansas, looked the pigs over and commented to the fair’s swine superintendent that the hog man’s entry didn’t meet the get-of-sire criteria because it had no barrow in it.
When the superintendent relayed that information to the hog man, the fellow took the news in stride, reached down and caught a small boar by the hind legs, threw it on the sawdust, opened his pocketknife, and right there — in front of God and everybody — turned that boar into a barrow.
He turned the freshly-neutered pig loose, turned to the judge, and said, “There! Now judge ’em!”
These two stories fall under the category — Murphy’s Law of Selling. And they both happened on the same Flint Hills ranch in the same week.
First, the rancher advertised his used self-propelled hay swather for sale and an interested party showed up to take a look and asked the rancher to demonstrate how his swather worked.
The rancher started the swather and wuz putting it through its paces in his front yard when the hydrostatic drive stick came loose in his hand and he had no way to steer the machine. Thinking quickly, he pulled the emergency brake and turned off the ignition key before any damage wuz done.
The rancher insisted it wuz the first time the hydrostatic drive stick had ever come loose, but he said the prospective buyer passed on the bargain swather.
But, a few days later, his fortune turned. He fixed the hydrostatic drive and the next prospective buyer bought the swather and insisted that he needed to be the person to load the swather on his trailer. Unfortunately, the new owner proceeded to back the swather off the back of the trailer and did minor damage to his “new” purchase. The rancher said he wuz glad he had the check in his shirt pocket.
Now, the second part of Murphy’s Law of Selling took place on the same ranch. The rancher’s daughter advertised a well-broke ranch horse for sale. Again, a prospective buyer showed up to take a look and wanted to see a demonstration of the well-broke horse.
Alas, although the horse hadn’t bucked for ages, that wuz the time he decided to give the girl a saddle bronc ride to remember. She stayed on, but as her father ruefully noted, “That buyer went away with an empty trailer, too.”
Of course, the focus of a county fair is the young people. I found a wise quote about young folks that seems appropriate. Sheryne Brooks said, “According to parents, we’re too young for love, too old for fun, too smart to play dumb and too immature for grown-up conversations. It’s no wonder teens are rebellious. There’s nothing else to do.” Chew on that for a week. Have a good ’un. ❖
According to parents, we’re too young for love, too old for fun, too smart to play dumb and too immature for grown-up conversations. It’s no wonder teens are rebellious. There’s nothing else to do.”