Goat shows are very serious business.
Road out to the Ashtabula County fair with my parents to witness my nephew and niece show their angora goats. I have prior experience with goats – while I was growing up we always had one around the place – they make good company for horses and they’re fun. A goat will keep your weeping willow tree trimmed straighter than Betty Page’s bangs. A goat will let you grab its horns and wrestle with it knock you down on the ground and stomp on you and expect a handful of grain afterwards. A goat will spontaneously jump straight in the air and kick its legs out in all directions just for the hell of it. A goat will stand on top of a 4x4 fence post and look down at you impersonating a buzzard. A goat will decide that its favorite vantage point is the hood of your neighbor’s new Cadillac. Goats are pretty much barnyard clowns with weapons.
Anyway – I got to the goat barn at the fairgrounds in time to see the kids putting the finishing touches on their goat showing attire because this is a formal affair after all. Remember – goat showing is very serious business. I don’t know who received more grooming – the goats or the kids – but they all looked Sunday morning go to meeting fresh.
I am amazed at subcultures – now I don’t know if I can fairly label a bunch of preteen kids dragging goats around by collars and horn as a subculture but I think it gets close. There is so much to keep in mind when showing a goat and the judge who oversaw the various classes was as thorough and sharing of her knowledge of all things hircine as she was rotund. This lady got down on her haunches to be eye level with the kids (both varieties present) and when she did she reminded me of a wrecking ball at the end of a crane – but when the time came she sprung right up over and over. She spent a lot of time with the kids and was really encouraging to all of them – even though she was the first goat show judge I had ever seen – I have to say I think she will most likely be the best I ever witness.
In any event – subcultures, they abound. I wandered the midway with my brother in law – the goat showing kid’s father - and we chatted a bit about the subject. I’ve got my triathlons which come with their own special group of lunatics – my parents breed show dogs (check out the film “Best in Show”) – my sister’s fiancé rides a Harley (more along the weekend warrior type than the Hells Angels variety) – the poetry community – the education community – zombie movie aficionados the list is never-ending. All these niches filled with rules, vocabulary and customs.
So, what specialized little community do you belong to?
p.s. Sara had the good camera so i had to take these w/my phone