Originally published 4/01/12
As you probably already know, continuing education is required for veterinarians to maintain their Ohio veterinary license. Many organizations put on conferences in February to draw vets and their families, enticing us to magical, Disney themed destinations like Orlando, Florida. Or the glitzy, showgirl and slot machine drenched Las Vegas. The Midwest Veterinary Conference also has an amazing locale: Columbus, Ohio.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Columbus. I spent eight years there at the Ohio State University, but central Ohio in the middle of winter isn't soon to be featured on "Bikini Destinations".
The scheduling people for the Columbus Convention Center have a pretty good sense of humor. Over the years, the veterinary conference has typically overlapped with one of two events: the Arnold Sports Festival or the Midwest National Pure Championship.
Yes, Arnold, as in AHHnold Schwarzenegger- this is a body building and fitness competition.
The Pure Championship? It's a cheerleading and dance contest.
This year the cheerleaders swarmed in, setting up camps and practicing their routines with their advisors in the passageways.
As I people watch, I like to play a game called "Veterinarian or Cheerleader?" while navigating the concourses.
Are you ready? Let's play!
Female. Long, straight blonde hair. Well laquered. A very large bright blue bow is attached to her head. The blue shades of eye makeup look like it was applied with a putty knife and fine paintbrushes, and it extends well beyond the margins of her eyebrows. Cleopatra like. Matching form fitting, long sleeve, midriff baring, top has shiny silver letters across the chest. Black spandex low riding pants with white athletic shoes tied up with neon pink laces. As she does a handspring, a flurry of glitter erupts from her.
Hmmmm. I don't know. Veterinarian or cheerleader? It's a challenge, I know! Well, she's about twelve years old, so it's not likely that she's had eight years of college. She MUST be a cheerleader.
Let's try another one. A middle aged female. Long, straight brown hair held back with an umbilical clip. Pale complexion, not much makeup. Maybe she needs to see the sun a little more. Wire rimmed glasses perched on her nose. Moderately pressed paisley cotton shirt with the collar buttoned up close to her neck. Brown slacks, probably polyester, match the comfortable crepe soled shoes. Lots of earth tones here.
Well, I'm not sure yet. She's carrying a tan canvas shoulder bag. It has the logo of a dog food company on it! Bingo! She must be a veterinarian!
Alright. This one's male. His overly producted hair has been formed into a rhino's horn on the top of his head. This in itself isn't so strange, but its dense green color is, slightly. His black shirt is snug, with sparkly green letters across it. Stretchy black pants complete the outfit. I was undecided about his category until another guy showed up that looked just like him! He must be part of a CHEERLEADING team!
Here we go again. Another middle aged female. Maybe a little stout. Short brown hair, not well attended to. A look of frustration on her unmade-up face. Maybe she needs a cigarette. This could very well be a vet! A T-shirt covered by a wind breaker on top and blue jeans on the bottom. No easy answer yet. Let's check the accessories for further information. Her shoulder bag is double the size of a military duffel. It's covered with thousands of glittering sequins. The back of her windbreaker has "The SCREAMING EAGLES" silk screened onto it.
That gives it away! Cheerleader mom!!!
Another male walking the hallway. Ooop! Caught in the draft of an open door his hair flies up, revealing a bald area. His plaid western shirt's snaps strain against an ample girth, but the large belt buckle helps hold it all in place. Nobody wants to see that in a belly shirt. I don't know: I could see this guy doing the splits! Except his jeans aren't stretchy enough, I don't suppose. Those boots could help support him on the bottom of a pyramid, though.
Wait! I've been looking at my reflection! I'm a VET!
I know it's a fun game, but this is the last one.
An attractive young woman. Long blonde hair with a small bow mounted on top. A significant amount of makeup highlights bright eyes and a broad white toothed smile. Her light colored top is scoop necked and close fitting. There might be a little glitter dusted across her clavicles. A tight, short skirt reveals long, athletic legs. Wow. This one is a challenge. Wait, wait. Let's check the shoes. Ouch. Red pumps with spiked heels. Not very cheerleader like, but not very vet like either.
OOOOOH! I've got it! She's a veterinary sales representative!
(This game is for entertainment purposes only. Any implied stereotypes are purely coincidental.)