Event: State Fair
Yee Haw it's State Fair time! This weekend my family and I packed up and headed out to the booming metropolis of Hutchinson, Kansas for the annual Kansas State Fair. Having been once before as a youngin' we were all pretty excited about coming back. Dad wanted to see the horses, mom wanted to see the rabbits, my sister wanted to eat a fried twinkie and I wanted to milk a cow! High hopes....
As we made our entrance, our noses became keenly aware that we were, in fact, in the middle of what arguably could be the biggest farm in Kansas. Watch your step. As we walked down the main street of the fair, we decided to head into "Dairy Land" because again, I was convinced I was going to milk a cow. As we entered, we could not believe our eyes at the size of some of these heifers. I walked up to one that I swear was bigger than my SUV. I turned to the cowboy standing by and was like, "this is the biggest cow I've ever seen!" He replied by telling me the cow was pregnant, which helped explain why it needed its own area code.
As we meandered down the barn, this guy walked up us and said, "Do you guys want to see a baby bull?" We were like, "uh huh." So he took us to the far end of the barn and there, lying in the hay, was a brand spanking new bull. And by new I mean this baby had been born 30 minutes before we got there! The mom was standing there with all of her birthness hanging out (I'm not gonna lie, it was gross. There's a reason they don't show this type of birthing video in school. This would be traumatizing to children of all ages, including 34-year-old ones). Anyway, mom's standing there with her innards hanging out and the baby is lying there all gooey and stuff and we're just standing in complete awe. Our new friend turned to us and said, "The baby hasn't taken its first steps yet, but it will soon." So despite being totally grossed out, yet not being able to take our eyes off of what was happening, we continued to stand there as we witnessed a true miracle.
This sweet baby bull was looking around dazed and confused when all of the sudden, it started to make its mooooove. (sorry, I had to). He leaned forward, then stuck his butt in the air and propped his hind legs up, then, wobbly, he popped up on one arm, then the other and before we knew it our brand new baby bull was standing on all fours. We all clapped as if to say, "Oh look at little junior, we're just so proud!" He took just a couple of steps and down he went, face planting into the hay. At about that time I found myself practically in the hay with him, not realizing that maybe I was a little too close. The mom looked at me and let out this sort of a moo/snort/growl/get the hell away from my baby or I'll give you something to blog about kind of warning. Apparently it's a little too soon to lean in and put my arm around junior for a picture. Ok, backing up.
Deciding that we could go home now because really, how many times in your lifetime do you get to see a baby bull 30 minutes after it was born? But, we decided there had to be more adventures in store, so we made our way out of the big cow barn over to the arena where they show the cows (sort of like "best in show" but with heifers). While walking over, we had to pass through a tight area where the cows and their owners were walking from the barn to the arena, preparing for the contest. My family and I were walking in a single file line, with me bringing up the rear (pun intended - wait for it). I of course, found myself sandwiched in between the back of a cow and the front of another. For the record, I have never lived on a farm but this city girl knows the golden rule. Never. Stand. Behind. A Farm animal. Of any kind. Never. (This lesson I learned on a 7th grade church mission's trip when I got bucked in the butt by a horse. I digress).
Anyway, here I am sandwiched in between two cows and as I try to quickly navigate around the back of 'ole Bessie, I hear someone exclaim, "Watch out!" At this moment, everything happened in slow motion. I turned my head in the direction of the warning call only to see this two ton heifer drop the biggest dump known to man. Right there, right in front of me. The good news is, my foot was not firmly planted under her ass. The bad news is, shit splatters.
This shit pile had to be as big as a watermelon. I shit you not. Holy shit! It was like she ate an entire Chipotle restaurant! I mean, how in the hell do they do that STANDING UP? Around a crowd of people? I can only assume she was nervous because she knew she had to go in and enter a contest, so maybe she figured it would help her waist look thinner, who knows. But holy shit. As the shit splattered on the hot concrete, I, of course, was standing within a 5 mile radius of the explosion and thus, shit splattered onto my bare leg and all over my shoes. This is exactly why cowboys wear jeans and boots. Welcome to the state fair, city girl.
After using 672 Kleenexes to clean me up, my family and I pressed on to continue to have the ultimate state fair experience. (I'm now reminded why we don't do this every year). We made our way around the food court and we tried two things I have never had before. One was a Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger where the burger and all the fixin's are sandwiched between a Krispy Kreme donut. Heart attack - party of 4. When we all regained consciousness and our arteries were back to normal, we tried fried green tomatoes. I've never had them before but now I want them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Deep fried yum.
Before making our final stop at the horse arena, it became clear to me that I would not, in fact, get to milk a cow. But, given my recent bonding experience I think I'm good for a little while. Instead, as my family and I looked across the desert plains (ok, it was just a dusty road) I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. There, standing in the Arabian desert (again, just a dusty rode in Kansas) was a CAMEL! Not only did I get to pet it, I got to RIDE it!
As we exited the fairgrounds, I noticed the long line of people waiting to get in. That's when I turned and saw a flyer on the ticket window that said, "Sheep thrills".
They have no idea what's in store.