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By Staff | Apr 3, 2015

It isn’t often that my wife and I are invited to hang out with nobility.

The royalty in this case was a dairy princess named Katelyn. She and her family were attending a concert that kicked off a dairy expo and they invited us to sit with them.

The dairy expo is a unique event in that the undisciplined face a very real risk of overdosing on free samples of cheese.

Katelyn frequently had to get up to perform such important princess duties as posing for photos. She continued to smile graciously all evening even though she was probably tired of hearing people chirp, “say cheese.”

At one point the princess turned to her mother and said, “Can we trade shoes? These high heels are killing me.” Being a good mom, she obliged.

Witnessing this shoe-swapping transaction caused me to question my entire glass slipper belief system.

The music was provided by a band called Thompson Square. They are the type of musical group who likes to play good and loud, by which I mean good and LOUD.

The thumps of the bass were so powerful, I thought I was having heart palpitations. I’m no stodgy, but I think it’s a bit excessive when the music is so intense that it causes your clothing to flap and peels the paint off the first row of cars out in the parking lot.

I left our table to handle an emergency – the powerful sound waves had caused my beer content to plummet to an alarmingly low level – and when I came back my wife was talking with a young lady named India.

India was the first person I have ever met who was named for a subcontinent. We chatted and I found her accent hard to place. And for good reason:

India hails from a region called Devon, which is located somewhere in England, which is part of the U.K. Despite being such an overt foreigner, she spoke American quite well.

I asked India what brought her to our neck of the woods. She replied that she was writing an article about dairy princesses for a magazine called the New Statesman.

I found it incredible that this young lady had journeyed all the way from London to Sioux Falls just to interview dairy princesses.

After all, England pretty much has a lock on that whole royalty thing. India replied that there are no dairy princesses in the U.K. and that she thought her readers would enjoy learning about the American dairy princess phenomenon.

You must be joking. England has no dairy princesses? And they put on such airs, as if they’re so cultured.

A new dairy princess was crowned that evening, which caused my wife to cry a little bit. She often gets emotional when good things happen to good people.

I can empathize. I had to choke back tears recently when a buddy told me that his wife is finally going to let him buy an off-road package for his pickup.

The next day, we wandered around the expo and hobnobbed with dairy farmers and folks who work in the dairy industry.

There was a plethora of “gee whiz” technology on display, including a robot that can milk cows, a robot that can push up feed to the cows and a robot that can clean the floor of a dairy barn.

All of these automated advancements left my wife largely unimpressed.

“I’ll call it a breakthrough,” she said, “when they invent a robot that can make a husband pick up his dirty socks and put them in the hamper.”

We have been married for more than three decades, but I still find it difficult at times to understand what my wife means when she says certain things.

During our meanderings, we bumped into no fewer than three reigning dairy princesses. We hadn’t seen that much royalty since we watched the televised wedding shindig for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

There was also a cow wandering around. This shouldn’t come as a surprise at a dairy expo, but there was something different about this particular bovine – she was walking on her hind legs.

It didn’t take more than a minute for me to discern that this Holstein was actually a human being wearing a cow outfit. One of my first clues was the fact that she didn’t seem the least bit interested in the free samples of alfalfa that were available.

At the end of the expo we were tired and footsore and over-excited from experiencing all that royalty. Plus I was this close to overdosing on free cheese.

Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at jjpcnels@itctel.com.

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