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Wednesday, August 14, 2002 ISSUE #240


COLUMBUS: I've been out here at the Ohio State Fair a few days. They don't make Fairs any bigger than this one, as far as young people is concerned. There's hundreds of them here every day, maybe thousands, having fun and competing to see who can raise the best calf or pig or rabbit, or potatoes or squash. Most are in 4-H or FFA, but every group is represented from Boy Scouts to Campfire to Farm Bureau.

High schools have sent their best musicians and singers to make up an all-star band and choir. They put on quite a show several times a day, and the heat don't seem to bother them.

Tonight they just finished the sale of champion livestock raised and exhibited by these youngsters. Kroger bought the grand champion steer for $40,000. Last year, you may remember, they paid $75,000. I guarantee you this one will taste just as good, for half the price.

Kroger bid $21,000 for the champion lamb, and they let another grocer, Meijer, take home the top barrow for $20,000 and a pen of four chickens for $11,000. It wasn't only the food stores bidding. A machinery company owner, DeLynn Kale, bought the reserve champion lamb for $11,000. He's a friend of mine, and I hope he invites me to the cookout.

The Statler Brothers sang here last Tuesday night. This is their farewell tour, and after forty years, they have earned a break. If you get a chance to see them, don't put it off. They started with the Star Spangled Banner, closed with How Great Thou Art, and sang about thirty top hits in between, including Flowers on the Wall, Bed of Rose's, and Elizabeth. They may not have sold as many records as the Beatles, but some of us country folks like them better.

Have you heard about this fat man suing McDonalds? He says they fed him too much, and it's their fault he's overweight. He said it's because he ate there 4 times a week.

Now, if it was just 4 Meals, perhaps the other 17 during the week might have contributed a pound or two to his waistline. But if by "4 times a week" he meant that he arrived Monday morning and ate till Tuesday night, then Wednesday morning till Thursday night, and so on, then he deserves our sympathy, but no money. In fact they should take all his money away instead of giving him more. Imagine what he'll weigh if he gets a few million dollars to spend on food.

If you want to lose pounds, don't visit a Fair. There's something about Fair Food... elephant ears, corn on the cob, ribs barbequed on an open grill, shoo fly pie, fresh lemonade, chocolate ice cream. (If they have a full size cow made out of butter where you buy ice cream, you know it's going to be special.)

So, go to all the county and state fairs you can afford to. If you walk a mile between visits to the food stands, you'll be fine.

This is the week Elvis died, 25 years ago. He was one of our grand champion overeaters. Elvis is drawing so much attention, it's hard for anyone else who chose this week to pass on to get any notice.

There's a prize boar here at the fair, and he's a big one. The barrow I mentioned earlier weighs 275 pounds, but this hog weighed in at 1300 pounds. If he eats like the rest of us here, by the end of the fair, he'll hit1400.

Historical fact about Will Rogers:

Will Rogers and world class pilot, Wiley Post, died when Wiley's plane crashed at Point Barrow, Alaska, August 15, 1935. In the closing paragraph of her biography of her husband, Betty Rogers wrote, "I can see the boy – grown older, but not grown up; though a little gray and a little stout. He's on old Soapsuds, still has a rope on his saddle and he still wants to go somewhere."

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