Thursday, August 7, 2014

Humor at the Sheep Show

I am convinced that there are times that God puts you in certain situations and places just because he has a sense of humor. We all have those times when we are just taking ourselves too seriously and letting the events around us drag us down. That is when we need to be reminded to laugh and enjoy life just a little more. I am absolutely sure I experienced one of those times just a couple of weeks ago.
My kids got the opportunity to attend and show at the All American Junior Sheep show in Hutchinson. The All American is a big deal and brought in youth from all across the United States. All of the major breeds were represented. My hats are off to all of the great people from Kansas who had the vision and put all the hard work into bringing this event to us.
We entered six sheep in the show and left home with high hopes. In the back of our minds we knew it was going to be tough, but you always have that hope that maybe your expectations will be exceeded. The kids were going up against some of the best sheep and the best youth showmen from around the U.S. Five of our six sheep showed on Saturday and it was a long day. The temperatures were blazing hot and the show started to drag on. I am exceedingly proud of my kids and the job they did fitting and showing their lambs. However, fuses started to get short, people and sheep alike started to get hot and tired. It was time to watch the show by myself for a while.
Under the guise of trying to figure out which class was in the arena I left and found a nice secluded place, just in back of the arena. Soon I became aware of a little boy, maybe two or three years old, sitting on a blocking stand eating a McDonalds Quarter Pounder. I knew it was a Quarter Pounder because the box lay open next to him on the stand.
He was your Norman Rockwell, cute, blonde headed, blue eyed, All-American kid with a summer-time flat top and he was going to town on that Quarter Pounder like there was no tomorrow. He would chow down on the hamburger then look up at me while he chewed and grin. By now his face was covered with ketchup and mustard and his lap was full of various parts of the cheeseburger. His cheesy grin (yes, I did that on purpose) started to ease my tension a little and I found myself smiling.
Suddenly Mom, Grandma and sister approached the little boy. They were waiting on the next class and I recognized the harried, tired look in their eyes. Mom looked down at her son, who by know was completely lost in his dining experience. “Where did you get the cheeseburger?” she asked. Her son was either so engrossed in the cheeseburger that he did not respond or maybe he had decided to plead the fifth. Either way he did not answer.
Then she turned to sister and Grandmother and asked both if they had given Junior the sandwich in question. Both were adamant in their denial. Again the boy’s mother asked where he had obtained the cheeseburger. This time he looked up and pointed a ketchup stained finger across the aisle at a McDonalds sack lying on its side. Suddenly a horrified look spread across the mother’s face, one of those looks only another parent could recognize.
She looked around and apparently did not see anyone, I of course was doing my best to look inconspicuous and stifle my laughter. She snatched the offending cheeseburger from her son’s hands, placed in back in its box, slipped across the aisle and put it back in the bag like nothing had ever happened. That is when we made eye contact. She turned pale and I couldn’t stifle my laugh anymore.
Somehow my now uncontrolled laughter seemed to make her feel more at ease. Maybe she recognized a fellow parent who had been there and felt her pain. In any case, Mom quickly herded Grandma, sister and cheeseburgler son back to where ever they needed to be. This left me chuckling and just a little more relaxed. I made my way back to my family and when I told the story to them it had a similar effect. The tension of a long day was relaxed and I was left with further proof of God’s sense of humor.

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