You know what this coming weekend is?

It’s the weekend there won’t be a Yuba-Sutter County Fair.

There will be no racing pigs. No amazing border collies doing all sorts of maneuvers involving flying discs. No wonderful if cheesy magician. No juggler. No wandering comedians. No watermelon eating contests.

There will be no Kiwanis meeting at the fairgrounds in which we all raise money in competition with other clubs, the goal being to not being the losing team whose president has to kiss a pig. It’s always a curious thing to watch. The pig always looks embarrassed.

We’ll miss the calliope-sounding notes on some of the midway rides, the loud rock and roll of others. We’ll miss the rock, folk and blues bands playing at the various stages, especially over there at the beer garden. We’ll miss the beer.

There won’t be corn dogs. Me, every year: two corndogs, a gallon of yellow mustard, a beer.

I will miss the merchants hall ... the knives that never dull, the attic fans, the countertops guy, the fish and game people, the tree trimming people, the candy person.

I will miss ogling the fruit and vegetables and canned goods. Who got what purple ribbon. And art. The art done by little kids, the art done by passionate high schoolers, the art done by people with time on their hands and a creative streak.

I’ll miss seeing the farm animals -- cattle, goats, sheep, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, pigs ... we hardly ever get to be around farm animals anymore. The source of protein for most of us. It’s a good idea to remember where those hamburgers, sausages, roasts, tenderloins, and wings come from.

I’ll miss seeing the tuckered out 4-H and FFA kids who have been staying up watching their animals, keeping them trimmed and polished. I’ll miss seeing the amazingly patient club leaders and parents ... you can read all sorts of things into their faces, sometimes murder ... but they do it every year, no matter.

Junk art. I’ll miss seeing the clever things that people make out of old pipes and springs and tin and sheet metal, even if I don’t want any of it in my yard.

I’ll miss moving along at crowd speed -- walking through crowded areas where no one is in any particular hurry except some 10-year-old cousins who want to be everywhere all at once.

Some of us just enjoy having a million things around us ... the whole conglomeration of young and old and new and antique and handy and silly and good and bad for us (but hey, corn dogs are just once a year).

I write a mushy column every year about the county fair. I don’t want them ever to go away. This year ... here’s what it would be like every year if they don’t come back. Let’s not let that happen.

See you next year, county fair people. Miss you.


Puzzler: What is it about a voice on the phone that clues you into a person’s age?

I just got off the phone making an appointment with a medical clinic (nothing serious, just a checkup). I was getting the details ... the time, where to park, what pandemic protocol to follow.

The person on the other end of the line was very helpful and chipper and I appreciated it because sometimes they’re just in a hurry. So I said at the end, in a happy voice, “Oakey-Dokey.”

And she laughed.

Maybe she appreciated someone who didn’t make a depressing comment at the end of the exchange. I imagine they get those. Or maybe she hadn’t heard that phrase for a long time ... as in, back during a conversation with her grandpa. Maybe she was thinking, “ahhh... happy old guy.”

So maybe my vocabulary gave me away as a little past middle-age. Not really that old.

But you can tell from the sound of a voice on the phone. Her? Just from her voice, I’m saying young 20s.

You cannot tell a person’s size or shape from their telephone voice. You can’t even be sure what gender they are. But I’m always pretty sure about their age. Sometimes there will be an older person with a really high voice that sounds like a young person, but you know it’s an older person who just sounds young.

How does this work?


Ugh: Here are a couple for you, Doc.:

-- Doctor: You’re very sick. Me: I’d like a second opinion.Doctor: OK. I also think you’re pretty ugly.

-- Me: Doctor, doctor, I accidentally swallowed a spoon! Doctor: Sit down. Be calm. Don’t stir.

-- Doctor: I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’re dying. Patient: Oh, no. How much time do I have left? Doctor: 10. Patient: 10 what? months? weeks? Doctor: ... 9... 8... 7... 6 ...

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