Sunday, July 24, 2005

The best fair, baaa none

[piling in the Fraser River, near Kanaka Creek]

Every year I get the call for entry for the country fair and every year I eagerly peruse the little booklet, highlighting all the different categories that I could or should enter. Then without fail, every year the entry form gets absorbed into the ever pervasive clutter that surrounds my life and I forget about it until it is too late to do anything.

This year was no exception.

I walked deliberately past the theme park rides, the cheap handicrafts, cotton candy and scientologists offering free stress tests, straight to the barns. When Grandpa MacIntyre was alive that was the only place you'd go. He'd spend his whole visit inspecting and then sitting in the stables with the Clydesdales. I didn't see any Clydesdales though. In fact, I seem to have missed all the horses, cows, chickens and ducks.

The pigs, goats and sheep were pretty cool, though I do find it a little disconcerting when they just happen to hang diagrams of different cuts of meat beside live animals. But by far the coolest animal there was Prince Ali the llama, because he had his very own fan, and spent all his time sitting on the ground facing it.

No trip to the fair would be complete without seeing the bunnies and there were a few bizarre breeds there that I hadn't seen before. There was one there that was easily the size of a beagle. I asked my mom if I could take it home with me and she said no. Mr. Bumpy left us nearly seven years ago, but evidently he is still irreplaceable.

The crafts section of the fair was plastered in blue ribbons, not necessarily proclaiming the quality of entries, but the lack of them. There were some interesting things there, but nothing particularly exciting. Many things I saw there I could have done better, so I picked up next year's entrance form on my way out. Next year will be my year.

That is, if I remember to enter something.