Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bad postcard of the week: Warm pigs, social goats, champion sheep and other adventures at the fair

Somewhere, off in the distance, is a fair.
Pigs are warm to the touch. I learned this over the weekend.

First, somebody needs to tell our postcard photographer about this concept called “framing.”

The idea, generally, is for the subject of our postcard to take up most of the space in the photo. Perhaps this one should be called, “Greetings from the sky above the Kent & Sussex Fair.’ 

It’s a little tough to figure out what‘s happening at the Kent and Sussex Fair even in the sky above it since our photo seems to be taken from a completely different county. The back doesn't help: “Amusement Area, Kent & Sussex Fair, Harrington, Del.”

Luckily, I know what happens at fairs since I just spent two days at one of the largest in the state.
Such events were fascinating to this New York native. The closest thing we had were catholic church bazaars, which included some of the rides, some of the games and some of the food.

Oh, sure. Those are fun. And I’m always up for a good debate about whether funnel cakes are better than elephant ears – as if either is bad.

No, the real action lies beyond the neon and the Journey cover bands.

I’m talking about the animal barns. Some of them might be visible off in the distance on this bad postcard. 

Then again, Maryland is visible in the photo of the bad postcard.

When we learned we were headed to the fair this week, I told all coworkers that my goal was to touch a goat and eat a corn dog, and I wasn't particular about the order as long as there was hand-washing involved.
I did touch and consume, and so much more.

We saw a glassed-in hive with real bees.  It’s good to be the queen. We also saw bees wax crafts, including an entire nativity scene.

I settled for the bees wax policeman and fireman holding a flag with “God Bless America” on the base. My daughter thinks the figures might actually be Teletubbies with a re-purposed mold. I say it’s awesome either way.

We saw real cows hooked up to a machine getting milked. This was very cool, and they let us inside to get a close-up view. I got a pretty sweet cow sticker, too, which I wore with pride.

There were newborn baby goats in the Miracle of Life barn, with young cows, ducks, chickens and rabbits. 

Across the way were chickens and roosters, who are far more interesting than would seem when breaded and slapped between a bun. (Though that’s pretty good, too.)

Then we ventured to where the big animals were hanging out.

Here’s the thing with sheep. If you are a champion sheep, you get a special coat-like thing that you get to wear to the fair. It’s like a baseball player’s championship ring. We saw a sheep who was named champion in 2010 who was still showing off his coat.
Champion sheep are allowed to boast.

Most didn't seem to mind being petted.

“It’s OK, she won’t hurt you,” one goat owner said. “About the worst she’ll do is suck on your finger.”

I took her word for it, because there is a fine line between adventurous and reckless. We patted the head, far from any area were finger-sucking or worse could occur.

Then we saw goats, which seemed to be having a good time. Most of the larger animals were lounging around, napping or eating, seemingly oblivious to what was going on around them. Not the goats. They are social animals. Many were standing on their hind legs, peering above the fence, looking to see what was going on.  One kept sticking his face into a fan to chill out.
Goats were eager to make friends.

Finally, we saw the pigs, which were easy to pet because none of them were moving. Seriously, it looked like a daycare center at nap time. While other animals felt soft, pigs felt warm, like little ovens. I thought that was neat.

Having accomplished our goal of goat-touching, we snacked on corn dogs and funnel cake and slowly walked back through the neon, content that we had supported Michigan’s thriving and important agricultural industry and learned many things. 

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