Kansas State Fair

Cookware, adult only rides, freebies and the dog days of the fair

Signs of the fair

I’m always looking for humor in mundane signs and displays at the fair.

For example, there was a banner hanging in the Royal Prestige cookware booth in the SunflowerSouthBuilding that proclaimed “Dinner in 15 minutes.”

Then I went to the SunflowerSunflowerNorthBuilding, where there was another Royal Prestige cookware booth and another banner, this time proclaiming “Dinner in 12 minutes.”

OK, either somebody is undercooking dinner or somebody is overcooking dinner.

Then there was a sign on the vibrating massage chairs in the MeadowlarkBuilding: “Must be at least 21 to sit in chair.”

Don’t you think if they’re giving out adult massages they ought to at least put those chairs behind a curtain or something?

Fair freebies — at least those that are legal

Sometimes I think they Stutzman Refuse Disposal should pass out polycarts at the entrance to the state fair so we can put all the freebies we collect into them and then just leave the polycart at the end of the driveway when we get home.

There are free fans, free yardsticks, free campaign buttons, free bumper stickers, free bookmarks, free maps, free advertising flyers, even free sacks or totes to carry your free stuff in.

My favorite was the free packet of wildflower seeds from none other than the County Weed Directors Association of Kansas.

But one booth where they don’t offer any freebies is the Kansas Medical Cannabis Network.

“I can’t give away any free product because I don’t have any,” said Darrel Pentz. “It’s illegal.”

Pentz, however, would like to see that change. He said medical marijuana is proven to help ease the side affects of chemotherapy. He said he’s a cancer survivor himself but couldn’t use marijuana because he has a safety sensitive job where he could be drug tested at any time.

He had a fairly steady stream of people, many of them in their 50s and older, stopping by to sign the Cannabis Network’s petition asking the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana. He said polls indicate most Kansans support medical marijuana.

“Most of the politicians I’ve talked to and met — despite the popular belief that they’re all crooked, they’re not – truly are trying to do the right thing for the people of Kansas,” he said. “But their hands are tied by fear of the unknown  and special interests, so they’re afraid to say yea or nay.”

At that point, two more women came up to sign his petition.

It’s about the ball

These are the dog days of what has been a mild summer for Kansas.

Although the heat on Monday was hard on humans, the dogs from the Kansas Search and Rescue Dog Association were enjoying themselves.

Their handlers put them through their paces several times on Monday, demonstrating their agility climbing ladders, going up and down ramps, jumping on platforms and staying put, finding fake cadaver scent and chasing and catching tennis balls – which Gary Swift of Wichita described as their reward, their money, for their work searching for missing people under piles of rubble, like after the Greensburg or Joplin tornados.

“It ain’t about me,” he said, watching a Dutch Shepherd named Turbo chase down a ball. “It’s about the ball. You have the ball, you’re a god.”


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