Los Osos, Calif.
Another of the little-talked-about tragedies of the COVID-19 crises is the fact that many county fairs across the country are being cancelled and in the aftermath FFA and 4H kids who have spent a considerable amount of time and money on their show animals now won’t be allowed to show them in a traditional show ring, or sell them at a real live auction. The COVID crises also struck during another outbreak that is also little-talked-about, that being the outbreak of political correctness that has gripped this country from sea to shining sea. One of the symptoms of this political correctness is that now every child is above average and that in any competition there are no losers, just winners.
I’m sure fair boards across the country are attempting to deal with this crisis-within-a-crisis and that they’ll come up with some creative ways to assist the youngsters. Here’s my take on how I see this unfortunate calamity playing out.
“We are sad to report that due to biosecurity issues the traditional steer competition will not take place at the fair this year. One of the reasons is that we couldn’t find face masks large enough to cover the faces of the steers. The competition will be played out in virtual reality (on computers) where participants and judges will attempt to replicate the showring environment on the web. Participants will download the Zoom app and at a specified time the showmen will show their steer to a task force of four judges including one bisexual pastor or priest, a black or Hispanic member of PETA, a female member of the National Organization of Women and a retired homeless ag teacher. They will then appraise the merits of the steers and announce the winners.”
Here’s just one example of how their reasons might sound:
“We, the members of the show steer task force, have appraised the entrants in this year’s county fair steer competition and rank them as follows. In first place is the young male with the non-black steer with the white face. We congratulate the cruelty free showman for not using a show stick, thus inflicting pain on his animal, although we would have liked for the young man to pull up his pants instead of exposing his rear cleavage and tattoos.
“We had a tie for first place and the second winner is the shy, young female who had a ring in her nose to match the one in her steer’s nose. We don’t mean to inflict any more damage to the psyche of the emotionally involved young girl, who appeared to be crying. It was not her fault that her extremely aggressive steer broke out of the bio-containment facility and ran away. This was no one’s fault as the performance space simply was too confining. If anyone sees a runaway black steer with a white face please call the livestock office at the fair and leave a message. No one is actually there as they are all sheltering at home as they were deemed to be non-essential.
“Also coming in first place was the 4-H member with the differently sized steer who appeared to be vertically challenged (short) and differently-abled (crippled and quite possibly foundered). We don’t mean to be critical but her steer appeared to be suffering from follicle regression syndrome (short hair) which contributed to its appearance deficit (ugly). The minimally exceptional steer’s appears deficit was in no way attributable to the showman, who was a victim of circumstance.
“Finally, we award a first place ribbon and congratulate the show person wearing shorts, flip flops and a tee shirt promoting a punk rock band, for having the intestinal fortitude to show a cross between a Corriente and a Yak. Realizing that the steer was immunologically naive (sick) we still would have liked to have seen the steer in a standing position with a show halter on. But we don’t mean to be insensitive to any victim owning a steer in these troubling times.
“Realizing that we’ve been a bit verbophobic (mouthy) and verbally repetitive, we can’t emphasize enough how proud we are of all the show persons today and how much we look forward to the upcoming junior livestock auction which will be held on Craigslist (or eBay).” ❖