I worked a booth at the Nueces County Livestock Fair on Friday.
It was fun! Even though the 4H kids laughed at me when I asked:
"What kind of cow is that?"
"It's a Steer ma'am."
I guess that's funny because apparently steers are boy cows. Boy cows without their boy parts. Heifers are cows who haven't had babies yet. Goats and sheep are not the same animal, even though they look exactly alike to me.
I learned a lot.
I learned that kids raise these animals to sell them.
I learned that kids sell chickens at the Livestock show for $1500 a chicken, even though you can buy chicken for $3.26 a pound at the grocery store. Companies buy the chickens to support the 4H. They buy bunnies too. The companies don't actually keep the chickens and bunnies.
I learned that kids also raise cattle, sheep and goats. These also get sold for lots of money. Once they are sold, the buyer takes them and slaughters them so I can buy them at the grocery store. The kids who raise them are a special kind of brave. Because it has to be sort of sad to see your steer sold to a slaughterhouse.
I learned that at a livestock show, all the women wear really tight hip hugger jeans. With big rhinestone belts. They wear fitted studded T-Shirts. And lots of chunky turquoise jewelry. And boots. They are always perfectly groomed -- everyone has acrylic nails and there are 2 hairstyles: the Jennifer Anniston for the younger girls, and the Crystal Carrington on the more mature ladies. Some of them wear cowboy hats. They all look cute.
I mean it. It's not my style, but these women look awesome. And they smell good. Considering that they are surrounded by animals in pens -- who don't smell great -- I think it's amazing that these women all manage to smell lovely.
I learned that the men all wear wranglers, boots and cowboy shirts. Most wear cowboy hats, but some wear ball caps. All of them iron their jeans.
I learned that all of the people who go to livestock shows drive trucks. Big trucks. My Saturn looked like a toy in the parking lot.
I learned that most of the people who go to the livestock show are white. A few were Hispanic, but not many. Our community is 52% Hispanic. The lack of Hispanics at the show felt strange. I felt as if I were in Salt Lake City instead of Corpus Christi. I've been to family reunions with fewer white people. And I'm Irish.
I learned that many of the people who go to the livestock show are skinny. Not thin. Skinny. Skinny men, skinny women and skinny kids. With long legs. Really long legs. Corpus Christi is the "Fattest City in the US", according to Men's Health Magazine. The lack of fat people was stranger than the lack of Hispanics.
I learned that all of the people at the livestock show were friendly. They were very kind to me even though I must have been as strange to them as they were to me.
Everyone should go to a livestock show sometime. There is so much to learn.