Journey to Ukazoo
Slide Nine: The Frog Race
Stopped in Kermit, Texas, the same week they were host to the State Fair. Spent most of the weekend wandering around taking in the sights and indulging in cotton candy, pizza and a favorite, Fried Dough. One booth featured Swedish Meatballs, but I’ll be darned if I could understand a thing the guy behind the counter was saying. Passed on the Meatballs and opted for a Blueberry Muffin at the next stand and it was sensational, to say the least.
Not everything was eating, I enjoyed a few games on the midway and relaxed to some great music-a smidgen of Country, a touch of Bluegrass, a band that played old Animal tunes, Blues and even a little Gospel which was very inspirational.
Events for Sunday, the last day of the fair, featured a host of frog related events such as Lily Pad Jumping, Snatch a Fly With One Flick, and the new How High Can A Frog Leap entry. Then in the evening, the final and ever popular main event, The Frog Race.
It was a clear night, Flood lights lit the field, and a jam packed crowd, primed for the main event, was growing wild with anticipation. Money changing hands and bookies writing like crazy as the champion from the next county over was to face off against the hometown favorite. Working the stands were soda, beer and popcorn vendors and at the top of one section were two old guys leveling insults at the visiting frog’s fans. Earlier they had also heckled a comedian working the intermission and most of the crowd happened to agree, he was barely funny.
At the sound of the starter’s pistol, I took this picture just as the frogs were dropped at the start line and began to jump for the finish line, but it wasn’t long before the cheering started to subside as people started to realize you couldn’t tell the two frogs apart. Concern and disarray swept the crowd. Confusion over possible misplaced bets ensued. As the frogs crossed the finish line and the race ended, the crowd was in a near state of panic, the Judges and owners convened and it was determined that both frogs were twins, each going to a new home when tadpoles and each assuming a different last name, so no one knew they were related.
One of Kermit’s more upstanding citizens, Sam, blessed with sharp eagle eyes was asked to check each of the frogs and he found, on the underside of the winning frog’s chin, a very faint birthmark in the shape of an alligator. The Judges decided to delay the final results while they waited on their request to fax over the birth records to determine which frog had the birthmark.
The crowd waiting, the comedian gone, so with a chicken sandwich in hand, I wandered around.
Half an hour later, the fax was in and raced over to the judges stand. By the roar of the crowd there was no mistake that the winner and birthmark belonged to the hometown frog. Hoisted up on shoulders, the frog was paraded all over the fairgrounds, creating a mood that was truly celebrational.
What a night. What a lot of eating-cotton candy, fried dough, pizza, chicken and of course, those wonderful muffins.
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