Further prize categories from the Ancaster Fair (make sure that you read Part 1 first so that this makes sense to you, or at least more sense than the baseline of utter confusion).
Antiques and Collectibles: Beauty Shop Item. The winner was an unidentified item from the 50s that looked like a torture device. It matched nicely with the two copies of the 1948 Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences journal. I love the idea of a home economics think-tank filled with women in starched lab coats, sensible heels, and knee-length skirts, walking up and down rows of ovens and dishwashers, taking notes on pink clipboards, igniting icing sugar samples over Bunsen burners, and watching robots scrub dirty bathtubs with a variety of new brushes and detergents.
Field Crops: Hay silage, 1st cut commercial, hay for horses. Do the horses judge the quality of this hay? We had to ask one of the judges how one determines that one pile of what looks like grass clippings is better than the next pile of grass clippings. We were asked to leave the agricultural exhibit at that point.
Vegetable or Fruit: Funniest Shape. None of them were as funny as the ones that you could probably come up with using carrots or matching pairs of melons.
Vegetable or Fruit: Most Unusual. You would be amazed at the subtle levels of distinction that the judges need to make. Is the beet that looks like it has plumber’s crack funny or just odd? What about the turnip that has what appears to be two human fingers? We don’t want a repeat of last year’s debacle, where an onion that was clearly amusing (it had a big googly eye) took second place in the Unusual category ahead of the watermelon that looked like Stalin.
Field Crops: Corn silage, 1 peck, ensiled minimum 1 week. I didn’t know “ensiled” was even a word. I didn’t know that “peck” was a means of measuring grain. I didn’t know that it was possible to judge a pile of mulch and manure that supposedly came from corn as to whether or not it had been “ensiled” for more than a week. Do you smell it? Do you eat it? Do you spread it on your arms and check to see if it moisturizes?
Baking: My favourite squares, named, w/ recipe. It was never clear in the literature as to whose favourite it had to be. Your own? Is it a reflexive square? Or was part of the competition to figure out whose favourite it had to be? And don’t forget to name it. The winning squares were named “Doug.”
Photo: Predominantly orange. Someone tried to enter a photograph of a raw egg yolk, the idiot. It came in third.
Field Crops: Alfalfa, 2nd cut. This was the place for all the alfalfa that did a good job in the musical competition, but didn’t have the face for the beauty pageant.
Baking: Lemon loaf, half loaf, no nuts. I couldn’t tell if this meant that crazy people couldn’t apply or if the lemon loaf had to be afraid of taking risks.
Needlecraft: Tea cozy, fabric. Needlecraft: Tea cozy, knit. Needlecraft: Tea cozy, other. The tea-cozy made out of a recently deceased pet was a valiant effort, but the winner was the one made out of stardust.
Photography: Photo of an animal, mounted. As Erin pointed out, it was hard to tell in most of the photos just what the animal was supposed to be mounting. Or what was mounting it.