Den (dewhitton) wrote,

Show Day

This weekend was time for the annual show, so I headed down to the showground with my camera to get some photos. Yesterday would have been the best day to go; all the judging is done on Day 2. Today, day 3, all the Judged had packed up and gone. I missed out on the wood chopping, which is always worth watching, all that remained there were a large pile of wood chips and a couple of logs waiting to be removed.

I wandered aimlessly, past the last of the cattle judging and dog judging, then into the local Model Railway Club display, which was surprisingly good. When they saw my Canon the drivers made sure the trains were positioned for the best photo ops. They liked my camera but one Modeller said he couldn't justify "spending that much money on just a camera." He showed me his engines; some cost him $1200. He owned five of them. After many photos I wandered back into the sun and fresh air.

The sheep dog trials were still on so I watched them for a while. Bob the kelpie was having a bad day due to uncooperative sheep, and made worse by a master who gave directions like "Left! Left! Good dog. Hold HOLD YOU BASTARD! Good dog. YOU BASTARD! LEFT! Good dog. YOU BASTARD!" Finally the sheep were penned in the race, one turned itself around and Bob leapt in, snarling and snapping. The sheep turned, but then the whole flock spooked at something in the race and refused to move forward. Bob had had enough. He jumped up onto the backs of the animals, ran along them to the lead sheep, grabbed it by the ear and dragged it to the ground where he began going for the throat. The flock panicked, ran over the top of Bob and the sheep and burst out of the race. Bob bailed out of the pen, and I last saw him heading for the front gates.

The watching farmers shook their heads. "He'll lose points for that," was the general opinion.

Day 3 of the show is the slow day, but the place was still pretty crowded. Showbag Alley was full of kids demanding bags full of over-priced plastic crap from China, and food carts hawking salmonella onna stick and buckets of brightly dyed fairy floss that looked like tubs o' diabetes. One cart had a sign that simply said "BEEF!" Nothing else.

Then into Sideshow alley to look at the over-priced rides and carnies that see nothing wrong with saying "Everybody wins a prize!" followed immediately by "Sorry kid, you didn't get enough points" in the same breath. I watched people paying $20 to win a $5 badly made-in-China soft toy. They queued to pay $15 for three slides down the giant Fun Slide, queued to pay $20 for 5 minutes on the Octopus, and queued to spend $25 for 3 drops on the Long Drop. One of the more remarkable slides was a huge inflated slide with a crocodile, a shark and a tiger. The children climbed up to a platform where they inserted themselves into the anus of the animal of choice, and were vomited out of the mouth a few seconds later. WHEEE!

There were the more traditional bouncy castles, but the chance to be a suppository was irresistible, apparently.

And then into the main pavilion, where the local crafts people had their ... stuff. I recall seeing prizes for best photograph, a number for various paintings in various mediums, best arranged flowers,best cake, best jam, best bowl of fruit (apples), best bowl of fruit (pears), best bowl of fruit (plums), best bowl of eggs, -- it was pretty endless. If something is produced on a farm, there is a prize for it.

After all that food, I felt hungry. Instead of a bucket of e.coli from a nameless van I headed into the Christian Centre kitchen because they have an actual kitchen to cook in. Obtaining the steak sandwich was painless and I sat at an empty table. Which filled seconds later by a bunch of people whose genes had worn a bit thin. My quiet lunch was filled with spilled tea, questions about the camera, Spiderman, a kite bought by one of them, and other things. I ate quickly and left. I'd pretty much Done The Show, and made my way to the gates. There was a delay when I called at the National Parks tent to chat to some friends there. One of the rangers is Mel, aka Bob's carer. Bob now weighs 2.5 kg. We had a good discussion about building CO2 gas chambers, now that we're not allowed to use chloroform to euthanase animals. Eventually I was shoo'd from the tent when I started saying loudly "These people kill animals!" to the crowd outside. Time to head home.

It was an interesting way to waste the morning. And I don't regret eating the steak sandwich. Which is a bonus.

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