Thursday, September 02, 2010

Fair Games

It's been nearly a week now,, and so far DIH has successfully avoided the Minnesota State Fair.

I know, lots of people love the Fair. 4-H-ers, for instance. And vendors. Vendors love the state fair.
And why shouldn't they? When you can charge seven bucks for a piece of cheese on a stick, what's not to love?"

Still I have been following it in the papers. And I admit, it looks like I'm missing out on a few interesting items this year.

The one that first got my attention is a new food item: Camel-On-A-Stick. The ads for this new gourmet treat insist that the camels that are gutted and roasted for this are "farmed" camels." Appparently somewhere in Australia somebody got the bright idea that since no one can stand then nasty spitting beasts as pets, why not just eat 'em? The State Fair promises Camel-On-A-Stick is fresh from a farm in Australia. Given DIH's experience with Australia's other major export- I refer, of course, to the Wiggles- I think I'll give the camel a pass.

Today's paper has a fascinating article on testing animals for illegal substances. (You gotta watch those 4-H'ers like a hawk.)

In case you ever need to test a largish farm animal's urine, the paper provides instructions:

"We take pigs to the wash rack and run water over the ears and snout," [a vet explains.] "With sheep, you cover the nostrils and mouth. They get panicky and they they urinate." With bigger beasts like bulls, you just kind of wait around for a few hours. Sooner or later you get your prize, if you're still paying attention.

So far the Fair authorities' vigilance has paid off and there are no reported dopers this year. But then there are the "legal" enhancements that can help animals take the prize.

"A lot of these guys raise cattle in air conditioning all summer," [a judge] said. "The animal's hair gets all heavy ad thick. So it looks nicer."

This vanity play, however, comes at a cost. "The problem is, we don't allow the animals in air conditioning. So they're panting quite a bit because they can't hande the heat." One year some poor (but good-looking) cow had a heart attack and died at the wash rack. Vanity, thy name is bovine.

Intriguing as all this sounds, DIH will stick to her resolve and continue to avoid the State Fair. The thought of seeing some poor sheep lose a blue ribbon due to illegal doping is more than she can bear.

So is the thought of spending seven bucks for a wad of cheese.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If I only new... we would have got you to the fair; a personal mission of sorts!

The dopers of the 4H group worry they might get the title with an asterisk, keeps them up at night - so I've heard.