The Ecphorizer

Urban Fairplay
Bennett Woll

Issue #02 (October 1981)

What happens when San Francisco gets its own county fair

[quoteright]When I lived in Iowa, I always made a point of going to the state fair. It was an enormous event, covering hundreds of acres with displays of cattle, swine, birds, corn, beans, flowers, and vegetables, and all sorts of examples of agricultural and home economic prowess. can be sure that San Francisco will soon have a county fair.

Not surprisingly, one of my big interests was the apple pie competition and I actually attempted to get selected as a judge on the basis of my wide experience with the genre. To no avail, I might add. I was unhappily shocked to learn that judgeships are awarded only to high school Home Ec teachers. I'm sure it's some form of discrimination, but I can't prove it.

This peculiar fondness for fairs has continued and I've attended such fairs as Cal Expo (where I again volunteered to aid in the pie-judging with similar results), the Texas State Fair (as pert of an RG [Mensa Regional Gathering] run by Dallas Mensa), and the 3rd Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. So it was with great appreciation and a little knowledge that I read in the [San Francisco] Chronicle that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors were planning a county fair.

It seems that there's some state money that's available to every county that has a county fair. San Francisco is the smallest county in the state, but it's still eligible for the funding. Since the job of the politician is to take whatever money is available, you can be sure that San Francisco will have a county fair. The only question is in what categories to award ribbons.

The traditional categories just don't fit San Francisco very well. I mean, how many local kids raised a Spotted Poland China sow as a 4H project? So it's time to come up with a new list of categories -- more appropriate for our urban environment. In order to save you the time and trouble of creating such a list, I've already done it for you. Here then are the blue ribbon competitions to be offered in the San Francisco County Fair.

  • most drugs taken simultaneously
  • most religions in one year
  • surliest Muni driver
  • most jobs in one year
  • highest rent increase
  • worst directions to a tourist
  • most parking tickets in a year
  • most welfare scams at one time
  • most lines used at a singles bar
  • most confusing sex life

Additional categories will be available depending on interest.

Actually, I wouldn't mind helping out if they decide to have an apple pie judging. 

Bennett Woll, who signs his name with a drawing of a hound dog, made his living selling shopping centers. He was last seen with his wife Robin Winborn criss-crossing the US in their motor home.

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