the Shiny Show Pig

With 30 minutes to kill before my movie started, I looked around outside. It was biting cold, so I headed into the nearest store, right next door to the movie theater and in the same parking lot of the city mall in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Some sort of wholesale ranch and rodeo supply store. This place was huge! Being in Wyoming felt like being in a foreign land. I started making my way through the store with curiosity and fascination.

Rows and rows of cowboy boots. Aisles and aisles of ropes and lassos. Shelves and shelves of belts and buckles. It felt like a Wal-Mart, full of rodeo stuff.

In the book section, my eyes widened at the array.

Goats: Small-Scale Herding Book

Chick Days: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chicken

Homegrown Honey Bees: Beekeeping: Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest

I moved over to the Dog Food section and started looking at the various pricing, arrangements, and labels. So many flavors! It was someone’s job to come up with and market all of these!

Salmon and Chicken Grill. Red Meat Dinner. Hearty Beef Stew. Lamb Dinner. 

And as the prices went up, the flavors got weirder.

Mom’s Chicken Pie. Backyard BBQ. Turkey Day Feast. Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables. 

I thought of every dog I have ever known. They rush to their food, particularly the wet clumpy stuff, and inhale it. In three slurps. What did they care how fancy it was?

Fish and Sweet Potato. Beef, Bacon, and Cheese. Chicken and Rice. Turducken. 

Turducken! Turducken! For dogs!

And for cats, it was somehow worse.

Chicken and Egg. Chicken, Pasta, and Spinach. Hairball Remedy with Real Salmon.

Okay, I gagged a bit at that one. And, as I have a natural revulsion to fish, the next flavors kept the ill look on my face.

Salmon, Tuna, and Rice. Sole and Spinach. Trout and Pasta. Beef and Cheese. Chicken and Liver: Long Coat Formula. Salmon and Ocean Fish Medley for Sensitive Skin. Sensitive Stomach Lamb. 

And then it got fancy, like reading a menu at a fancy restaurant.

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline Formula with Roasted Venison and Smoked Salmon. Feline Greenies Dental Treats: Oven-Roasted Chicken. 

It only got more baffling in the food for various farm animals.

Rooster Booster Multi-Wormer Triple Action Type B Medicated Feed Concentrate. Happy Hen Treats: Meal Worm Frenzy. Premium Wild Energy Wild Bird Suet. Lamb Milk Replacer. 

I moved through the rest of the store with wonder, a delighted smile on my face. These products were sheer entertainment. With glee, I got out a pen and paper and began jotting down product names at random. Following are several of my favorites:

The Cowboy Living Western Buckle Slotted Spatula. 

The Original Mane n’ Tail Detangler: Spray-on with Friction Free Slip. 

The Equestrian Hoof Pick. 

Bovine Rhinotracheitis-Virus Diarrhea Parainfluenza 3 Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine: Modified Live Virus Version. 

Leather Now Easy-Polishing Glycerine Saddle Soap. 

Excalibur Sheath and Udder Cleaner for Horses. 

Pink Lady Wound Dressing.

War Paint Insecticidal Paste.

Apple-Flavored Equistrength Paste. (Also came in Triple-Berry, and Oats and Honey).

Purina Premium Poultry Supplement Flock Block for Free-Ranging Poultry and Game Birds.

Y-Tex All-America 2-Pierce Ear-Tag System for Livestock Identification. 

Molemax Mole and Vole Repellant (which also works on gophers, armadillos, skunks, rabbits, ground squirrels, and other burrowing mammals).

Goat and Sheep Nutri-Drench. 

Liquid SpectoGard Scour-Chek Oral Solution for Pig Scours. 

Python Dust Livestock Insecticide. 

Purina Berry Good Artificial Raspberry Flavor Senior Horse Treats. 

Nature Wise Feather Fixer. 

Bird-B-Gone Plastic Bird Spikes.

And then I came across perhaps the most fantastic product label of all time. A giant-white bucket with a purple label and white lettering read Sunglo Bling Show Pig Supplement next to a drawing of a pig made out of shiny sequins. That was one fabulous pig.

I glanced at my watch, realizing the movie was starting, and took off with a rush. As the movie began, I was left with three thoughts.

  • I love how much wonder I have at the world around me, even in a rodeo store. It made those products downright entertaining.
  • Thank heavens I don’t live in Wyoming.
  • Someone get me some bacon.




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