Wonder bars, 4-H, parades, oh my

Published 11:19 am Thursday, August 14, 2008

Whatta fair!

The 2008 Mower County Fair, that is.

I got my wonder bars — thanks Herb and Murl Loecher — they’re still the best.

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Saw an old friend and made a new one in Jeff Rickerl, who harassed me into posing for a picture with a chicken. I’m the bald guy in the picture.

The Mower County Fair 4-H Market Livestock Ribbon Auction was a blast. It’s run with precision and the buyers’ generosity is amazing: $50,200 this year.

Ron Hammermeister hornswogglede me into being a judge at his ladder ball game. Imagine that: a guy who has to check twice before entering a public restroom to identify the male from the female form on the sign picked to be a judge.

Pat Smith rolled up in his red scooter and gave me an earful about growing older with aches and pain.

I had to leave the swine show early after hearing the judge describe a particular gilt in detail: “Nice rump, solid loins, legs that can take her anywhere and back fat that shows good breeding.” It reminded me too much of a blind date I had a long time ago.

Joe and Kim Schechinger retired me from tractor pulling this year. I just knew I had another last place finish in me had they let me in the contest.

Mercy, do people like to talk and I am one of them.

I ran into a friend who told me an interesting story the day the airplane was buzzing the fairgrounds with that banner everyone is still talking about. “My mailbox is being flooded with mail concerning gas prices and illegal immigrants,” he said. “To boycott oil companies or not; to provide amnesty to illegal immigrants or not, etc…”

“Since I have become jaded to the various solutions proposed by the Republicans, Democrats, Sierra Club, ACLU, etc…, I have elected to solve the problems as they affect me,” he went on to say. “It solves both my gas and illegal immigrant problems.”

“I have hired illegal immigrants to push my car,” came the punchline. “They’re plentiful and cheaper than buying gas. Then I pay them in pesos so they have to go home to spend it.”

He could have been the co-pilot on that plane for all I know.

My biggest kick came when they ran out of grand marshals for the first parade and called upon me.

Larry Rasch, the Fair Board president and I negotiated, and finally he agreed to let my grandson, Zeke, ride with me.

There we were, grandpa and grandson Zeke, 3, riding on the backseat of Don Konken’s sharp-looking bright yellow 1973 Ford Mustang convertible, waving at the crowd.

Every time I said something, Zeke copied me: “Welcome to the Mower County Fair …… Buy the Austin Daily Herald ….. Vote for Lee Bonorden in November.”

He had trouble with the last one, but it could have been he was tired.

People always ask me, “What are the Mower County Commissioners really like?” and I tell them they are like humans only they’re politicians.

One fellow — recognizing Mower County’s most eligible bachelors — tried to explain to me why men are happier than women.

For instance, if Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.

When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.

When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

Another example is that this fellow claims a man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.

A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need, but it’s on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.

The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

Lastly, another reason men are happier than women is this: A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

My friend is recently divorced.

I was reading my favorite newspaper — during County Fair week — which was the Pony Express, a daily publication by the Mower County 4-H ambassadors, when a little old lady sat down beside me and pulled out her cell phone and started to talk.

She must have called the hospital, because I heard her ask, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?’”

The operator said, “I’ll be glad to help. What’s the name and room number?” The little old lady said, “Norma Findlay, Room 302.”

The operator replied, “Let me place you on hold while I check with her nurse.”

The little old lady looked over at me and said, “I’m calling the hospital.” I smiled back. After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said, “I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing very well. Her blood pressure is fine, her blood work just came back as normal, and her physician has scheduled her to be discharged on Tuesday.”

The little old lady said, “Thank you. That’s wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good news. Goodbye.”

She put her cell phone away and I asked her, Is Norma your daughter?”

She looked me in the eye and said, “Hell, no. I’m Norma Findlay in 302. No one tells me anything in the hospital.”

I took her to the beer garden and bought her a brew.

Great Fair everybody. Nice job by all. I’m coming back next year.

We’re working on the Best of the County Fair supplement to the Austin Daily Herald right now.

Watch for it!