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Finding Pricess Kay

Agriculture.com Staff 05/26/2006 @ 12:15pm

It was a phone call I never expected to receive.

The woman on the other end told me that she worked for the Midwest Dairy Association. Would I be interested in being a judge for the Princess Kay contest?

"You mean you want me to help decide who will be Minnesota's next dairy princess?" That was exactly what she was asking, she said.

My first reaction was that someone was trying to put one over on me. The woman from the MDA assured me that this was not the case. When I finally became convinced that the offer was indeed bona fide, I couldn't help but blurt, "I'll take bribes!"

They kept me on despite my conspicuous lack of judicial ethics. I have always held the Princess Kay contest in high esteem, but feel I must question the judgment of any program that would have me as a judge.

Arriving home that evening, I went right to the closet and began to dig. "What are you looking for?" asked my wife.

"My black robe," I said as I continued to excavate.

"You don't own a black robe."

"I don't? Well, where's my gavel, then? It has to be in here somewhere."

"You don't own a gavel, either! Why don't you just tell me what this all about?"

I told her of the phone call from the lady at the MDA and my appointment to a judgeship. "You dope!" said my wife, "You don't need a robe or a gavel to be that kind of judge!"

I judiciously informed her that I should henceforth be addressed as "Your Honor". I can't repeat what I was called next.

The whole concept of judging females was quite foreign to me. I have five sisters and have thus spent my entire life being judged by females who, for their part, have never been shy about letting me know whenever I fell short of their expectations. Having all those sisters was one of the main reasons my wife married me; I have often overheard her saying that I was "pre-trained."

Because of this, my view of gender equality is: if we guys work really, really hard on improving ourselves, we might someday be allowed to consider the possibility that we are almost as good as females.

The Princess Kay contest was held on the campus of St. Benedict's College, which is located in St. Joseph, which is near St. Cloud. Exposure to all those saints was about enough to make a Catholic out of this life-long Lutheran farm boy.

My wife was right about not needing a black robe and gavel. We media judges watched and listened as each Princess candidate participated in a mock radio interview; we then rated each young lady's performance. All that time spent in front of the mirror trying to appear stern while uttering such judicial pronouncements as "Bailiff, give the accused a dope slap!" was for naught.

There were two main difficulties associated with being a judge in the Princess Kay contest. First was the fact that the young ladies all took the contest quite seriously. None had an "if I win that's fine, if I don't that's fine" attitude. The level of competition at St. Benedict's would have intimidated a pit bull.

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