Thursday, September 07, 2006

A fool for a bag of fairy floss

I accidentally went to the Royal Adelaide Show today. I didn't mean to, but I'd been out to Flinders to sing for my supper and that went well, so on the way home I saw the ferris wheel above the traffic and decided I had earned myself a treat and a few hours off, and slung a right off Anzac Highway instead of zooming straight on down West Terrace.

The whim thing meant of course no camera so I will attempt to do it justice minus pics.

First thing I see after I get through the gate is a ride whose name I have forgotten: two giant poles with a dirty big rubber band slung between them, in the middle of which four people in a flimsy-looking sort of chair thingy are being flung high into the air at speed. I high-tail it out of there and steer down Sideshow Alley to what is always my favourite part of the Show: Handicrafts Hall.

The First Prize winner in the Bread Sculpture section has done an entire Noah's Ark. All the female animals are considerably smaller than the male ones, which is good for two minutes of psychoanalytic interpretation, always a fruitful approach to a work of art. It's bloody clever, actually, with one elephant on the ground watching the procession up the gangplank and another elephant already on board and trumpeting; one giraffe looking up at the sky and the other one looking down at one of the hippos; one parrot flying and the other one balancing on the clothesline. They may all be two by two but none of them are side by side. The guy has really thought about it. (I know it's a guy, otherwise all the females wouldn't be so puny.)

Second Prize in the Open Honey has been won, says the card, by Elizabeth Taylor. I'm glad to see that she's found something productive and industrious to do in her later years.

I'm also glad to see that primary school children have taken to making passionfruit butter.

And that home-made finger buns look like the proper finger buns of yore.

I don't think the First Prize winner in the Smocking, a confected pink affair in nasty synthetic material, is a patch on the winner of Second Prize, which is a champagne silk christening outfit with some truly amazing, intricate, microscopic smocking. Of course one would not let an actual baby near it in a fit.

None of the alpacas spit at me.

The Anglo-Nubian goats have little silky ears and spooky barred eyes. There's a bunch of black-and-white baby goats with a sign over their heads saying 'We're three days old.'

I buy a three-dollar fluffy-black-and-silver tiara to wear at any future Adelaide grogblog with ThirdCat at it.

I buy two irises, called Imagine Me (pale brown and honey-cream) and Secret Melody (lavender and shell-pink), and get instructions from the nice iris man about soaking them in Seasol and so on. In the Hall of Irises (as I like to think of it) there is a man on the podium playing a bouzouki, the only instrument on the planet guaranteed always to bring actual tears to my eyes every God-damned time. The bouzouki music reminds me of the very first time I ever went to the show without a parent or grandparent in attendance: I went with my first-ever boyfriend, a beautiful, slender, black-and-gold Greek boy of fifteen with a James Dean sneer, and I don't remember a single thing about it except that I was with him.

I buy, from a gorgeous gypsy-looking girl wearing a fluffy pink halo not unlike my new tiara, a little bottle of bubble-blowing detergent with a special bubble-blowing attachment for the amusement of the cats.

'Cats', I think, and trudge up the ramp to see the show cats. There's a glorious Seal Point Siamese with a blue ribbon draped over the top of his cage. 'Hello, Gorgeous,' I say to him. 'Did you win?' The cat opens his lobelia eyes wide and turns them on me like headlights. 'Rheaaaowwrrk,' he replies.

There's a sleeping Maine Coon the size of a not particularly small dog, with paws like dinner plates, and an extraordinarily beautiful black and white Norwegian Forest Cat, also with paws like dinner plates.

I see no ferrets, and am disappointed.

Much fuss is being made this year about a Show delicacy called a Dagwood Dog. In the interests of science, I buy and eat one. It appears to be a form of fat, dipped in some kind of fat, and then deep fried, imaginatively, in fat. I calculate that it will take me eleven and a half days on the treadmill at the gym to work it off.

In one of the pavilions, the Christadelphians are catty-corner to the Army Reserve recruiting stall. I wonder if there's a connection, and, if so, what it is.

I have come at the absolutely wrong time of day for seeing the diving pigs.

Next year.

UPDATE: Separated at birth ...


ThirdCat said...

It's called a sling-shot. And, as my boy observed (from the ground, of course), 'it doesn't last very long'. My brother's been on it.

Pity about the diving pigs. Go today! They are worth it. They really are.

Eleven and a half days? You'll be lucky. That dagwood dog is with you for life.

ThirdCat said...

Also, it has just started raining, so you would be able to get a seat at the pig diving. I think the next one is at 11. Go! Go!

Ampersand Duck said...

I've always thought (the young) Elizabeth Taylor was an open honey.

Show cats are wonderful, although I tend to look hard at the owners too. That seal point must have been a thing of beauty.

Galaxy said...

Glad you made it to the show. When I went to the Ekka, I tended to think the second prizes were generally better than the first prize winners. You will be happy to know I spared all the Sarsaparilla folk the sight of a christening cake in the shape of a rather realistic looking baby. It was difficult not to think of what happens to cake...

You are to be much admired for your sacrifice for science.

Mary Bennet said...

The Dagwood Dog!! That takes me back. In my Brisbane childhood, the August Ekka ritual meant we'd have one followed by fairy floss and washed down with softdring, then go on a scary ride and be sick. Joy!

Does the Adelaide show have sheep dog trials? And woodchopping?

Ampersand Duck said...

heh. noice.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Thank you 3C, it is indeed called a sling-shot. I piked on today's pig diving. (Piked, diving, geddit? Oh never mind.) Too nippy and blowy for this lilttle black duck, and the house a shambles as usual.

&D, that is a lovely joke, and I have added an illustration on the strength of it -- ET looking like an open honey and also like a siamese cat, right down to the fur.

Galaxy, yes, the sacrifice for science was a painful one, but these things must be done -- to boldly go, etc.

Miss Mary, yes, woodchipping and sheepdog trials -- in fact my paternal grandfather, a third-generation Australian sheep farmer, was a judge at the sheepdog trials every year after he retired and moved to the city.

As for being sick -- we have an eccentric but very clever and actually quite charming local ABC radio bloke here called Peter Goers who was broadcasting yesterday from the Show -- I heard him chatting to a kid who'd just got off some insane spinning ride. 'Are you going to be sick now,' he asked the child, 'or are you going to wait until you're back in the car?'

(Doorbitch says URPDU, which could easily be construed as an appropriate vomit noise.)

Pavlov's Cat said...

Comments crossed, &D -- thought you'd enjoy that.

tigtog said...

It's a few years since we last went to the show here, and the kids were so young that apart from the cutest baby animals they didn't want to do all the rounds. It might be fun to take them to the Easter Show next year.

Love the show cats, too.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...


I heart Anglo-Nubians. just saying the words make me giggle. they're some of the prettiest* and most affectionate goats. awww...

Eleven and a half days? You'll be lucky. That dagwood dog is with you for life.

heh. it's like those cheese-on-a-stick things. you have to have the by-pass before consuming.

* even with the Roman nose.

Zoe said...

Hey, cat, what's this "catty corner". I've only heard "kitty corner" before, and have come over all word-nerd intrigued.

A lovely post. And Ducky, after that many husbands any honey'd have to be fairly open ...

JahTeh said...

My first boyfriend took me to the Melbourne show and we went on a ride called the 'Mad Mouse' and I nearly threw up on him. Don't ya luv memories.