Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Andy's Review of the Pet Industry Trade Shows: Even Nice Breasts Don't Make it Worthwhile

(c) Andy Ternay
  • Our sweet middle aged bachelor dog, Buzz.
  • The coffeemaker works better if you add water to it.

    I do this blog so early in the morning that sometimes I have the weird experience of remembering that I did it, but not remembering what I wrote. It is a bizarre feeling, having to visit my own web page to see what I wrote. Still, it makes sense, this is essentially a first-thing-in-the-morning stream of consciousness deal.

    On Thursday morning I will be leaving town to go to a pet industry trade show in Chicago. I am looking into buying an airport card for my ibook and blogging from the hotel which is equipped for hi-speed wireless. However, money may not allow that to happen (money is evil in that way). I still am hoping for some alternate way to blog during those four days that I am at the show.

    Sunday evening, after the show, I am taking a rental car and going to visit my friends, Robbie and Amber in South Bend Indiana. I am hoping that Robbie will let me blog from there and would be very surprised if I could not do so.

    Trade shows suck. I mean, I try to maintain a positive attitude, but trade shows just suck. I am not an overly gregarious human and the idea of spending three whole days interacting with strangers is not fun. Since these are the my peers in the industry, I have to be on my best behavior. I never know when I might need someone to help me or hire me. It is boring and my feet hurt.

    I probably should not confess this since so many women read my blog, but at past trade shows I have entertained myself by checking out how many women’s nipples are visible through their shirts as they pass in the aisle. The results have been disappointingly few. So, just a note, if that makes you uncomfortable then take extra precautions at trade shows. There are a lot of bored men in booths.

    This is not me trying to find a woman to meet,I’m married, I’m not looking to pick women up. Usually when I am checking women out nowadays, I am in a situation where I can count the fibers in the carpet or scope out the scenery. After seeing the same booths for three years, I must say, the people are the interesting part of the scene, not the props.

    Men are boring. They will all wear dockers and some kind of polo if they are working a booth. If they are a buyer then jeans and a polo. That’s about it for variety. I won’t see many black faces, the pet industry does not have many African-Americans in it. Or Latinos. It is a very white industry with significant Asian inroads and that is it. Not very diverse at all. They tend to be pretty insensitive to the animals as well.

    About a year ago I tried to spot anything with a Pagan influence at a trade show. After three days of wandering the aisles, ten thousand buyers, one thousand vendors, I found . . . nothing. I felt very alone after that. I didn’t try looking for drunks. There seem to be plenty of active alcoholics in the industry, but the ones in recovery are hidden.

    I don’t fit in well at all. So I will smile, sell stuff and look at breasts. All in all, I’d rather be home with my wife, preparing for Samhain or discussing baby names.