I'm on vacation this week, and I'm checking off something on the ol' bucket list.
For anyone who's ever enjoyed Christopher Guest's "Best in Show,"the mockumentary is not too far from the truth. While the dogs here are spectacular, the people watching is off the charts. I swear there's a woman here looking for her "busy bee", and I'm guessing more than a couple handlers here debated how many kimonos to bring.
No one with two left feet. Yet.
As the judges judge the dogs, I find myself judging the judges, and the handlers. I'm still struggling with the idea that the standard outfit for a female handler is an ill-fitting suit, hose, and flats. But I'm getting used to it, the same way one gets used to faces transformed into Botox masks in Beverly Hills. It's what's normal.
What I'm having a harder time with is all of these straightlaced midwestern ladies saying "bitch" all the time. Everything is "bitch this" and "bitch that"—"that is one beautiful bitch" said a woman who looked like a gentle grandmother. I giggle like a 13-year-old each time.
Then there are the dogs.
If you love dogs like I do, this is the Kentucky Derby and Miss America pageant in one. Backstage, the "benching area" is a madhouse of blow dryers and clippers. I even saw one guy adding colored powder to his dog's coat (can you do that?). No ensemble adorning a pop star at the Grammys last nightcan match the elaborate glamour of the Afghan Hounds. Lady Gaga could use some tips.
I'm partial to hounds, and there's a massive bloodhound named Quiet Creek's Kiss and Tell which I'd like to take home.
When the bloodhounds came out, the seats around me were filled with people speaking lovingly in southern drawls about favorite bloodhounds of years past. One imitated a sort of moan his dog would make. "Too much effort to bark," he said wistfully.
But my true love is the basset hound. We lost ours this year. Homer was a gentle soul.
This morning the judging for the basset category was early, in Ring 5.
We soon chose our favorite, but, alas, he did not win.
The winner, which will appear in the hound group tonight, was Splash's The Professor.
The name of my favorite?
I'm giggling again.
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