Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Inflated Steer Causes Consternation at Warren County Fair

The Register reports that an episode of cheating was uncovered at the Warren County Fair when it was determined that a reserve grand champion steer being shown by Lexie Smith of Martensdale had been injected with air to make it look a little more buffed.

Some folks are of the opinion that 4H animal competitions are a venue for suburban kids whose parents want to give them an experience they might otherwise not have in West Des Moines. I've heard it said by a gentleman in the country of unimpeachable reputation that designer show cattle for suburban kids with parents eager to buy their kids every experience has changed the landscape of what the competition was supposed to be about.

Cheating, it seems, is going to be part of life in the 21st century, even in what ought to be a transparent childhood pursuit.

At the risk of sounding like Cassandra, it bespeaks a certain slack and fluid moral standard that ultimately will have its payback somewhere down the road in mesne adverse ways.

Kids do what their parents tell them and teach them to do, in the main. One wonders what else Lexie Smith's parents taught Lexie to try and slip past her teachers or get over with when nobody was looking. The ethos of winning at any cost and cheating to win is a bad one that defeats the notion of sportsmanship and being rewarded for merit and hard work. It cuts at the very heart of what makes civilization tick.

Ultimately, all a person carries into life is their reputation for telling the truth and not dealing from the bottom of the deck. It's a terrible thing that Lexie's parents are responsible for.


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