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Haunted by the fair: Echoes of livestock judges' judgmentsPosted Wednesday, July 29, 2009, at 9:01 AM
The county fair is over. We are back to work and back to real life -- for the most part.
The only problem is I can't get the voices out of my head.
No, not those kinds of voices.
It's the voices of the livestock judges I can't seem to shake.
You see, in livestock shows, not only do the judges place the calves, pigs, sheep and the other animals in order, they also give "oral reasons" as to why they place them that way.
After covering numerous livestock shows in five days, I heard a lot of "reasons," ranging from: "Grabs your attention from the profile. A long bodied gilt that's really clean and feminine up front. A female that's just put together right in her skeleton," to "She's certainly feminine featured, she just needs to be a little bit more powerful up through her lower quarter."
Well you get the idea.
But now, every time I look in the mirror, I hear the judge's voices. And even the reasons for the winning animals don't seem to be flattering for me.
"Really soft in that center body," I hear the judge say, as I look in the mirror to check if my slacks are too tight.
"She looks to me like an easy fleshing female," the judge in my head says. "She captured a high weight gain per day of age."
"Oh, yeah," I grumble at my mirror. "So I like a cookie every once in while. Look in the mirror yourself, buddy."
"She really tracks wide in the rib and hip structure," I hear the judge say.
"I'm working on it. I've been walking, well -- at least back and forth to the refrigerator," I hear myself answer the "voice."
"If we could change her, I'd certainly like to fix her up in the chest floor and make her a little leveler in her hip," the critic continues.
"Hey, buddy, ever hear of gravity?" I'm pretty sure I'm yelling at this point.
As I turn sideways, trying to hold my belly in, the judge seems to get a little nicer -- for a minute.
"She sure strikes an interesting pose," he says, right before I finally have to take a breath. "But I'd like to see her be a bit smoother and leveler through her shoulders and top line," he continues. "I'd like to make her more refined and feminine. She could be more attractive and cleaned up in the base of her chest."
"Feminine? Smoother? I've had two babies, there's a reason I'm lumpy! And you live with only boys as long as I have and see how feminine you would be," I say to the mirror, apparently aloud.
"Who you talking to," my husband asks, just coming in from outside.
"Oh, uh, no one," I say, startled that I was actually talking out loud. (I don't think I better tell him about the "voices." I'm pretty sure he worries about my sanity already.)
"Did you see I gained five pounds last week at the fair?," I ask instead.
"No, it sure doesn't look like it to me," says my obviously blind -- but very smart and sweet husband.
Turning off the light and leaving the room, I take one more look back at the mirror.
"As you study her from behind, you appreciate how bold-ribbed she is. She gets stout in her hip, she's got plenty of dimension," I hear the voice again. "But she's just not as attractive as the one I'm placing first in the class." The voice trails off.
Well that figures -- I can't even win my own show!
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