Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yee Haw - County Fairs in the suburbs?

Last month, I achieved a career milestone; I got invited to perform at the San Mateo County Fair. It was pretty exciting, even though I wasn't on the headliner stage, which was reserved for the really big name acts - like Billy Ray Cyrus and The Village People. But it was thrilling to see myself listed in the ads (the small print section, "Plaza Stage Acts, featuring The Lucho Libre Masked Mud Wrestlers, Harold the Hip Hypnotist, and Others"; yep, that was me, "Others"!)
Then I got my confirmation letter, directing me to report to the stage immediately adjacent to the pig races. Hmmm . . . . I didn't realize anyone here in the 'burbs raced pigs. (Frankly, the closest any of us come to agriculture is going to Half Moon Bay to pick out halloween pumpkins, so the whole idea of a suburban county fair seemed sort of crazy to begin with.) But pig races are even popular here - When I got to the fair, I saw that my stage and the racetrack shared a set of bleachers, which were packed for the race before my set. (It looked like a close one between "Natalie Porkman" and "Kevin Bacon", but the surprise winner by a nose - by a snout? - was "Lindsay Loham".) Whatever, the crowd was all fired up, but then right before I went on, they announced that Lindsay Loham's mother was over in the livestock tent giving birth, so naturally the bleachers emptied.

I can't compete with a baby pig - I ended up doing my set for my family, a couple of truly saintly friends, the hypnotist's dad (who got the times wrong but didn't want to hurt my feelings), and a mom with a large brood of kids. I figured, well, she's a fan and a mom and obviously needs the entertainment, but apparently, no, she just needed a place for them all to sit down while she nursed her youngest. Very openly. In fact, my two teenage sons couldn't tell you a thing about my set . . . or in their words, that's not the set they were watching. But in fact they want to go back to the county fair every year, they found it so educational!, and meanwhile, if I ever get a swelled head, just direct me to the bleachers by the pig races . . . .

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