Even more alarming from the Ladies’ point of view, farmers’ hands had been engaged for the day in activities involving earth, animals and tractor grease, and most Ladies had early in their career as Ladies learned the dangers of choosing light coloured regalia for the evening. It wasn’t that the farm boys were dirty, just that most of that stuff takes a lot of time and effort to get off, and time was often short, bathrooms were dark, and the effort a bit too much to get some of the dirt and grease out of the cracks and fingernails, even with sandsoap.
The Ladies would resign themselves to a male-free agenda for the duration of the fight, while the Orchestra played a few numbers without any heart in their music. Sometimes the Ladies would dance with each other. Strange, but there you go….
Needless to say, they were banned from this Absolutely Men's Business. Sad for them, I know, as I'm sure they would have been fascinated by the spectacle of their brothers, cousins or boyfriends slugging it out with a townie, but there are just some things that had special mystique we blokes needed to preserve. That mystique would have been shattered by the loud wailing of a girlfriend when first blood was drawn, or her pulling a loose paling off old Ma Stockbridge's fence to bring the matter to a premature and dishonourable conclusion.