It's Been Fun Being Yellow 21, But I'm Ready For My New Name!
*Note: In an effort to keep this post a manageable length, I chose to include links to many of the comments and entries that are mentioned, rather than put them in here. So you can read just what you see, or you can click on the links for the lengthier (and much livelier) version. What? You want to skip right to the end? Uh, yeah sure, go ahead. Just promise me you'll come back and read the whole thing, okay? It took me forever to put this together.
After three weeks, more than 250 comments (on 70 printed pages), over 150 names entered, and enough laughing to burn off at least 400 chocolate babycakes (and that's just on my part), our lovely Yellow 21 has a brand new name.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the Farmgirl Fare First Ever Name That Sheep Contest (which even managed to receive international notoriety. ) I am overwhelmed by your amazing response, your marvelous creativity, and your non-stop enthusiasm (click here to read the 40+ zany comments that were left yesterday alone. And don't forget to click on the names of the commenters to find out who some of them really are.) Everyone was an exceptionally good sport throughout the contest (though we did have one mild threat from Shauna regarding Cookiecrumb's entry of "Girl.")
I have had more fun than I ever imagined--and the Secret Panel Of Judges had one heck of a time choosing a winner. We were tempted to take Cherrybegonia's advice and "name this sheep Grace because only by the the grace of God are you not going to give up and just keep Yellow 21!" And that was 40 pages of comments ago. Then there was Kitchen Mage's suggestion that we "declare Larb [her entry] to be of a culture where everyone gets 1000 names and dub her Larb Butterbean Muffaletta Pepper Coriander Matzo Ball Pecorino Pepato Clementine Kiwi Meringue Cashew Skittles Fluffernutter Sugarlump Marzipan Cupcake Chocolat Mocha Cappucino. As long as Larb is first."
But we perservered. And while you can rest assured that all judging was done on the up and up, there were definitely some tempting offers. This lovely lunch arrived via e-mail from hopeful contestant Kat. Kitchen Mage, in her quest to make "Little Larblet" her own, put all her heart into baking some special bread in Yellow 21's honor. And Heather revealed a secret family recipe in hopes of swaying the judges toward the name Willow. But the most tempting offer of all had to be the one from Mathilde, who suggested some interesting Danish names and then added that she "would SO love to see the face of my boyfriend telling him I won a live sheep. He will be afraid she will have to live with me and the cat in too little space and he will turn all green in the face. I will promise you a picture of this if I win!".
But as I said, the judges did not receive any actual bribes. (Pssst! Nic! Your package never arrived.) So on with the contest. The variety of names entered was simply astounding. And it was certainly interesting to be allowed a look at just how some of your minds work (like Anna's, which came up with this entry, and Amy's, which came up with this one. And then there was Geekwif's first choice: Hot Rod Mama.)
Because you are probably curious (and at the risk of hurting the feelings of other entrants--as Brett suggested, we really should declare "a hundred way tie for second place."), here are some of the names that made it through the first rounds of judging. They are (in no particular order): Kiwi, Willow (or Woolow, as one the of judges preferred), Gemma, Emma, Missy, Matilda, Ewegenie, Chloe, Hannah, Estella, Darla, Fiona, Philomena, Tallulah, Lottie Lou, Mrs. MacTavish, Patience, and Grace.
The judges also liked the name Patricia, which was suggested by Spiral, as well as the reasoning behind her choice. (Plus one of the judges thought it would be kind of cute to call her Fatty Patty when she was pregnant.) Spiral also did an admirable job of bashing every one of the previous entries.
Once we had a list of finalists, our job became even harder. And while Yellow 21 has only one new name, the judges would like to call attention to a few contestants who, each in their own (sometimes slightly demented) way, rose above the throngs of other players and outdid themselves in their efforts to win themselves a sheep.
Let's start with Alisha. She didn't enter right away, as she wanted to wait until she came up with the perfect name. And she did. It was Lydia. Which Karl had entered on the first day of the contest. Aghast at what she had inadvertantly done, she came back with an entirely different idea, a rather convoluted (and slightly frantic) explanation to go with it--and no new entry. That's right, for Alisha was willing to win only half a sheep as long as she knew it had the right name. We had to admire her for that.
We also couldn't help but admire Brett, who confidently waltzed in and cleverly dissed more than 70 names with one click on the "Publish Comment" button--then left us with his entry of. . . Pecorino Pepato. Which he returned to valiantly defend not just once, but several times, armed with ammunition from such places as ThinkBabyNames.com and Wikipedia.org. In the final round of Pecorino's defense, he also offered up two contingency names: Ewenice and Coletta (the latter he brazenly admitted stealing right off the blogger Word Verification thingie that appeared when leaving his comment).
Then we have Tana, who jumped right in, happy to show off her knowledge of sheep breeds (but who, despite the fact that she spends much of her days visiting small farms, still doesn't know what noise a sheep makes.) Tana submitted the name Rita Merino, and although I did publicly disclose Yellow 21's background here, specifically mentioning (for Tana's benefit) that Yellow 21 is not even 1% merino, she stuck by her name, popping by now and again to defend it when necessary. This was usually just when you thought she'd given up the fight--like last night at 5:44pm when a comment appeared out of nowhere saying, simply: "Ahem. Please click here!"
Next we have Lindy, who entered just one name: "Muffaletta, after the sandwich." And who came back several times to defend her entry and point out its many virtues. (We do have to agree, Lindy--it somehow actually does sound wooly.)But when it started to look as though Yellow 21 might never become a sandwich, Lindy put in a shameless appeal for the sympathy vote with this story. (Wait, you gotta go back and read the story first.)
And then there is Jeff, who lurks in the background at Culinary In The Desert, feasting on Joe's gourmet cooking and no doubt keeping the entire household in a constant state of hysterics. Jeff entered several names, but when he learned that one judge was getting a real kick out of his very first entry, Cashew, ("If you are raising her for any sort of profit-reasons....Cashew. As in...Cash-Ewe Hee hee hee!") he took the hint and ran like hell with it. At one point he even started channeling sheep. It's going to be awfully quiet around here without Jeff's witty comments peppering nearly every single post that I've put up since this contest began. He definitely outdid himself with this one.
And that brings us to The Final Three. You probably know who they are. Sam. Lisolette. Wendy. There is no way I can even begin to rekindle the competitive (and absolutely hilarious) fire that was burning here this past week--and these three were definitely the ones most responsible for fanning the flames. If you haven't been following along with the contest, I can only urge you to go back and read the comments section of the original post, especially the second half of them. Now I'll do my best to give these girls the credit they deserve.
Wendy was our latecomer, joining in the game just last week, but oh how she made up for it. She entered over 30 different names, starting with Mushmello. Then she really got on the ball--and just kept rolling. She also had me (and I'm sure many other people) rolling on the floor in fits of laughter with her wacky comments. (Don't believe me? Just try saying "Cream of Sheep" out loud with a straight face.) Wendy says she works as a barmaid, and, well, one can't help but wonder. . .
She eventually hit upon the name Marzipan, along with a bribe.
Meanwhile, there was Sam. Sam, who entered just one name: Guinevere ("aptly meaning 'fair and soft'"). Sam, who faked technical difficulties on her own blog, Becks & Posh, so she could devote more time to the contest. And she has played fair alright, but she has been anything but soft on the competition. Last week I was absolutely thrilled when I saw that there had been a record number of visitors to Farmgirl Fare--and that the previous daily high had been broken by several hundred hits. Then I discovered the truth. There were no hundreds of new readers--it was just Sam, checking in every six minutes in the hopes of finding a newly entered name to bash.
And when Liselotte first joined in by entering the name Karen, Sam was right there, ready to pounce on it. When Liselotte came back to check on her name, she saw that I had explained how I once had a sheep named Karen. She also noticed that I mentioned how I liked the name Liselotte and wondered why she hadn't entered it. And so she did.
That was when Wendy jumped on the bashing bandwagon, and things really got going. Cupcakes and accusations were flying everywhere. When Wendy accused Liselotte of really being a man named Bubba, Liselotte calmly walked into the kitchen and put her culinary and artistic skills to work. And when Liselotte demanded to see Wendy's cupcakes, Wendy explained that she had been sharpening up her sheep raising skills.
So where was Sam while all of this was going on? First she pointed out that she knew exactly who had first come up with the name Liselotte, and then she faked yet more technical difficulties (see the very believable sounding note at the end of this post)
on Becks & Posh and went off to call in a few favors from some celebrities. Meanwhile, Wendy and Lisolette made their closing remarks.
Three finalists and five strong competitors. But, of course, there can only be one Big Winner. And while we thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Wendy's wit and humor and enthusiasm, there was no denying that her final entry was, well, Marzipan Cream of Sheep. Just not quite up to par with Liselotte and Guinevere.
What to do? What to do? How to reward seven deserving players without dividing up Yellow 21 into little bits? And then it came to us.
This contest was created because it can take a while to get a name around here. In fact, there are a few other sheep roaming around without proper names--including some that were born this year and last, and thus need names that begin with an 'A' or a 'B.' (So that it would be easier for us to remember which lambs were born when, last year we decided to give all the female lambs born that year names starting with an 'A.' And this year we gave them 'B' names. That was the simple reason why no 'A' or 'B' names were allowed in the contest.)
In a flash of brilliance, we realized that we could celebrate some very deserving people--and get a few more sheep named at the same time. And so without further ado, I would like to introduce you to
Alisha! This cutie pie was born in 2004 to Doll Face, and previously known only as Green 33. Congratulations, Alisha (the person)! You have received a Special Judges Award!
Next, please meet the newly named
Brett! Brett (the person), you have been named Best Basher! Little Brett was born this spring to Auntie Rose and used to be called Green 43--though she chose to remove her eartag. Click here to see another picture of her.
Moving on, we come to a slightly older sheep. Poor Yellow 24 has spent over two years without a real name. Until now. Introducing
Taaaaanaaaaa! Congratulations Tana (the person), you have received a Special Judges Award! (Tana the sheep is a little camera shy, but we did manage to snap this picture of her as well.)
And then we have Lindy. Lindy, who knows so well that somebody has to be the fifth place winner. Lindy, you too have received a Special Judges Award. Congratulations! Now please say hello to this formerly nameless beauty,
Lindy The Chicken!
Up next is Jeff. Jeff who, even as I sit typing this, is still leaving witty comments on other Farmgirl Fare posts. What can we say? This contest just would not have been the same without nuts. Congratulations Jeff, you have been given the Laugh Out Loud Award! And, if all goes well, five months from yesterday (how's that for perfect timing?) Yellow 21 will give birth to little Cashew! And if it's a boy? Well, then it'll just be Cash. . .
And Wendy. Wendy, who, in the spirit of competition, even eartagged her husband. She really put her all into the contest, but you have to admit that many of her comments were pretty silly. But in a good way. In the same way that this pretty lady was named Silly back in 2002 when she was born to Doll Face. She has always liked her name, but she was absolutely tickled to find out that from now on she is going to be known as
Silly Wendy! Congratulations Wendy, you have been given the Artistic Genius Or Borderline Psychotic? Award! (Please click here to see Silly Wendy in a more refined pose.)
And that leaves us with Sam and Liselotte. To say this was a close call would be making a huge understatement. If this had been a horse race, it would definitely need a photo finish and a magnifying glass. Both players fought to the very end with unstoppable wit and charm and humor--and stamina. Both entered excellent names, and, really, both deserved to win.
But, once again, Yellow 21 can only have one new name. The judges were stumped. We even put the question to Yellow 21 herself, though we did not expect any help since up to this point she had not responded in the slightest to any of the names we had called her: not to Snorf, not to Tallulah, not to Patience, not even to Marzipan Cream Of Sheep. Nothing. Not a twitch. So what happened when we called out the final two names to her? Well naturally she answered to both of them.
It was back to us. We thought long and hard, and we finally figured it out. What does it all come down to in the end? Not who bakes the best cupcakes. Not who you know in high places. No, what it all comes down to in the end is Love. And while we can only assume that Sam was planning to love Yellow 21 with all of her heart, she never actually came out and said it. And Liselotte did.
Sam, we present to you the MVP Award for Most Vigilant Player. And we hope that you will be pleased to know that in 2010, when we reach the 'G' names, the softest and fairest of all the female lambs will most definitely be called Guinevere. In the meantime, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to
Becks. . .
Yes, we realize Becks has food all over her chin, but as a diehard foodie we figured that Sam would understand. Becks (who used to be called Green 42) was born this spring to Trixie, a triplet whose mother is Mary (Doll Face's triplet sister). Click here to see another picture of Becks.
And Posh (formerly known as Green 32) was born in 2004 to Clare, one of our oldest and dearest sheep. Click here to see another picture of And Posh.
Phew. That means all we have left to do is say Goodbye Yellow 21. . .
And Hello Liselotte!
Congratulations to you both!
And now I do believe it's time for some champagne. Thank you all so much for playing (and for your patience). This contest has truly been one of the most memorable events in my life. (No, I'm not crying. There's something in my eye. Yes, in that one, too.)