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Performing Under Pressure --DeWese

September 2004
This column is being written on a sixth grade reading level so Marvelle Stump can understand it. Even so, America's worst printing salesman will call me and ask me to explain the column.

Every once in a while I do the unthinkable and think. I'm doing that now while I try to come up with a topic. This is pressure. Thinking up a topic is pressure.

Pressure. Wait that's it! I'll write about selling under pressure! I'll lay a little pressure on you and maybe you'll sell a little better. Let me tell you about pressure. I'm talkin' about intense pressure.

This is the week for the Goshen Country Fair. The carnie people are in town with the rickety rides they haul around on semis. The local volunteer fire department runs all of the food concessions, so God help us if we have a serious fire during fair week.

The fair features a livestock competition, as well as local rock and country and western entertainment each night. No pressure so far.

But, each night there are also vegetable, fruit, flower, baking and photography competitions. I entered my Asiatic Lilies, Black-eyed Susans and Coneflowers. I also entered the Hershey's chocolate cake baking contest ($25 first prize) and entered four digital photographs.

Standing in Judgment

The judging occurs about 8 p.m. and is absolute, totally pressurized agony. The judges move around in packs of four or five, hovering over the entries and holding them up to peer closely at each one. Then they take notes. It must be important for them to look like they know what they are doing. They have badges and clipboards and have perfected looking "official."

Well, folks, your old Mañana Man was awarded the blue ribbon for the Asiatic Lilies, second place for the Black-eyed Susans and fourth place for the Coneflowers.

Now I'm sweating the Hershey's cake and photography competitions. I couldn't enter my tomatoes, squash or cucumbers because they weren't ready to harvest. More pressure.

I cope with the pressure of waiting for the judging results by watching the crowd. I've got nothing else to do. I can't eat. I'm on this stupid diet.

I can't ride the rides. I'm 62, a wimp and I quit going on rides in 1964 after I swallowed a wad of bubble gum when my horse on the merry go-round suddenly reared and bolted for the exit. I don't even go on the rides at Disney World with my grandchildren and assorted other family members every year. I pay, but I don't ride.

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