Not that I don’t always enjoy the Express, but last week’s edition with the special section, “Welcome to Winters,” was great. Loved all the advertising and the local merchant stories with a little history thrown in. Coverage of the Yolo County Fair was also interesting, and I loved all of the FFA kids’ pictures.
I poured beer at the fair this year, along with the 10 other Rotary clubs in the area. It is an annual affair, selling beer, but this year seemed to be a little slower than usual. I was wondering if it was the mass shootings at community events, the hot weather, or our Hispanic population staying home for fear of deportation. Whatever the reason, I’m expecting our sales to be way below normal. I’ll try and remember to let you know when our profit sharing check shows up in October.
The Earthquake Festival seemed to have the normal suspects, with crowded streets and plenty of vendors. A couple of us sold popcorn, but I’ll admit that we didn’t do a very good job of marketing. It was hot, so we picked a nice shady spot under the trees in Rotary Park. Just off the beaten path it seemed, but a little cooler.
This was a first for me, selling popcorn. When Viona, the Popcorn Lady, said she wouldn’t be here for the Earthquake Festival, I found myself raising my hand to “help.” Turns out that if you volunteer to help it means that you are in charge. Luckily another Rotarian, Rich, also raised his hand, and we were off and running.
I’ve been trying to justify buying a pickup so I volunteered to pick up the popcorn machine. Little did I know what is involved in setting up and selling popcorn. Viona gave me her 20 minute spiel about not burning the popcorn; showed me her binder with a county health permit and city business license in it, and preceded to fill up the pickup with tables, chairs, boxes of supplies and a large water container.
I did a double take on the water container, soap and washbasin. Turns out you need a hand washing station to sell popcorn in Yolo County. No one used it, if you were wondering. I could see a fire extinguisher, but Rich didn’t burn the popcorn, so we were good to go. I might add that the popcorn cart has wheels, so we could have been pushing it around Main Street, if we had the energy, but I’m not sure how we would have displayed the hand washing station on a moving cart.
You might call requiring a hand washing station to sell popcorn a dumb regulation, especially when every food vendor is required to have one. I’m sure some well meaning bureaucrat thought he was doing the public a favor when he got other bureaucrats to go along with his idea.
Watching a kid spill her popcorn, picking it up off the ground and eating it, didn’t bother me as much as looking at the hand washing station. Rich gave her a new bag to replace the one she dropped. Probably a good idea, but I don’t think it would have hurt her to pick up the popcorn off the grass and put it back in the bag, unless someone from the health department was standing there with their ticket book. Her parents also stopped her from eating off the ground.
As we were closing up, early, I was thinking that over regulation is one reason people voted for Donald Trump.
I plan on opening up the popcorn cart again on Friday the 13th, but I’ll put it by my print shop sink, keep the cart moving and hope that works for those that think everyone needs a place to wash up every 20 feet.
Have a good week.]]>