For many of us, stock show was a part of our lives for many years. The road trips, the long hours in line, and finally show day. This process is long, starting with the day you decide what animal species you are going to show to, finally, the long walk back to the truck after your final show and animal. Since the process is long: Ag Teachers, County Agents, parents, and stock show-ers all go through certain stock show “looks” that fluctuate as often as the seconds, minutes, and hours devoted to stock shows. The BEST looks you get are during the actual stock show. They go something like this…
Number One. Early Morning Sleepies: This look consist of girls with no make-up, and guys with messed up hair. They have a weird lost look that appears around 15 seconds after exiting the truck to begin the long walk to the grounds. They appear lost, with mouths gapping open, just a tad bit. Yawns come in frequent spurts and they are constantly rubbing their eyes while trying to feed, walk in steers, or un-muzzle their lambs. Amid this look, the stock show-er cannot hear what their Ag teacher/Agent/parent are saying. Their ears have yet to wake up, and the noises that they hear range from Charlie Brown’s teacher to being underwater. The look is accessorized with an array of bagging shirts, wash pants, and most likely comfy shoes. The hair is messy and fluffy and there is still early morning sleepies in the corner of the eye.
Number Two. Getting Ready Action: This look is one that you will never miss. There is a frantic, panicky look plastered to the face of the show-er and adult. They are quickly changing shirts, wiping down pigs, pulling steers away from the stalls. There is last minute water sprays, clip movements, and the smell of every show product because your perfume. Eyes are wide, mouth is in a straight line, and focus creeps up. Eyebrows set in, and stock show mode has started. Ag teachers and County agents have this same look, but they are on the side lines. They watched, arms crossed, eyes like laser beams between the judge and their student. Nothing can usually break their concentration.
Number Three. Awkward Sleepy Judgement: This look comes after the show-er has made their way through the first two looks. It is the third look that occurs during stock show. This happens while sitting at their pens or sitting in the stands. It comes with furrowed eyebrows and an intense side gaze with a crinkled lip or nose. They are judging anything from the color of someone’s shoes, to the corn dog being eaten next to them to the pigs getting to eat before they do. They usually follow the item or person they are judging and make it so noticeable that everyone around them can pretty much read their mind… but they have no idea they are doing it. It is an awkward sleepy motion that is out of sheer reflex. There is no back thoughts, rhyme or reason. It just kind of shows up and stays plastered to their faces.
Number Four. Walking Dead: This look. Oh this look, is the best to spot. It begins with the person slowly zoning out, and there is no warning. The zoning has no bias and can occur mid bite of a burger, mid-conversation, mid-life talk with the ag teacher or parent, mid-butt chewing from an angry momma. The eyes begin to glaze over, the mouth open, full concentration is on the nothingness that is currently going on in their brain. You can hardly snap them out of this; there is no way too. You must leave them be, let them be taken into the walking dead zombie look. Sugar, coffee, a corn dog, or a good slap to the back of the head may help, however, may the odds be ever in your favor.
Number Five. Victory Is Ours: Lastly, this look is a mixture of the previous four. You are rubbing sleepies out of your eyes, while a frantic, panic look is in the eyes, with the crinkle of the judgement nose, and an odd stare. All of that is followed by a grin that creeps up from the inner being of the soul. It starts small and then spreads across the face and lights up the whole body. This occurs when the show-er has won its class, or even breed. It gets even crazier if a Champion or Reserve Champion title is won. The is accompanied by jumping, screaming, shrieking like a dying witch, intense high fives, aggressive grunts and fist pumps, and then some petty, sleepy tears.
All of this happens, multiple times, over multiple shows, and it is a vicious cycle, over and over again. Sad thing is, it is like crack to anyone who loves the livestock industry. After the end of every stock show season, there is multiple conversations that all end in the same answer, “I will not do this next year,” and every year, an animal is bought, a truck is packed, and the saying “We are stock show bound” is posted on social media.
The vicious, yet glorious cycle of stock show, the ones that love it, and the looks that are always around.
Ya know, the stock show looks.