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August 27, 2019: No Sense Crying Over Spilt Milk

This phrase now seems to me to be most apt, considering that I’m writing about yesterday’s goat milking competition at the Alaska State Fair. It simply means to move on. I write in part in order to make sense of things. In doing this, I generally stop obsessing about perceived inequities. I’m then better able to put whatever happened, behind me. I get bonus points when others empathize. I also take on most writing tasks as a challenge. The challenge today, is to talk about what happened yesterday, at the goat milking contest, in hopes that next year it goes better for us than it did this year.

Stormy on milk stand at the state fair
Stormy on milk stand at the state fair

Usually, when things go awry, there are warning signs. Sometimes they’re blindingly obvious. Other times, they’re unobvious. Either way, I tend not to trust foresight, the polar opposite of hindsight.

I was not looking forward to the goat milking contest this year. The unobvious reasons were this. I’d spoken a few days earlier with the Alaska State Fair Events Coordinator, Suzy Crosby, who at this time of year is wearing many hats. In between doing other things, she told me that there would be some rule changes in this year’s fair, then seemingly talking to herself, said that she wasn’t sure about the designated professional/amateur categories. She also didn’t have my tickets or parking pass on hand. This meant an additional trip to the fair, and my paying my fees in order to get my teammate’s passes. As I later realized, she assumed that because she’d orchestrated this even in the past that it would partially run itself. Furthermore, she also thought she could change things around a bit, in order (I guess) to heighten suspense.

I picked up the slack at my end, by getting the recycling team together, getting them their tickets, and making sure that everyone was on site, on time.

The event started late because the previous act ended at the time the milking competition was to begin. (Remember, the events coordinator is in charge of scheduling).

This is how we’d done it in the past. The two teams, each comprised of three amateur milkers, were to milk a goat of their choice. Each team of amateurs’ had twenty minutes to do what needed to be done. The winning team would be the one with the highest milk poundage. After, two professionals would compete, each milking out a chosen team’s goats.

Beforehand, Suzy came over to our group and explained that there had been some rule changes. Our team members were led to believe that our professional/coach would also be milking.

I will spare you the full details as to what followed next. Partial details – we on the recycling team, who were not aware of rules changes in terms of who was to milk when, broke the rules in that the four rather than the three of us milked. We protested. Our bucket was taken away from us, and put to the side. There was considerable heated discussion with the events coordinator. We all stood abject, as the events team milkers finished up. It did not help that the Master of Ceremonies remarked that he was partial to the Events team. No mention was made of the hard work on the part of the Recycling members.

I considered leaving and mentioned this to one of my team-mates who shook her head and said “no, we are bigger than this.” So I held my ground. There were other rule changes in regards to the professional competition – in order to save face, we went along with the program.

The event culminated with a goat kicking over our professional milker’s bucket. This, after she spent twenty minutes stripping her dry.

No surprise, the events team was deemed the winner, having the overall highest weight of milk, milked. By now, the stands were about empty, because, as I said, watching a goat milking competition is as boring as watching a curling match. Even those who were to make sense of the drama that had unfolded, had left.

I who am not one to cry over spilt milk am going to put this event behind me.

Next: 238. 8/28/19: Tinni front and Center

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