I actually did have a decent camera with me at Western Veterinary Conference this year. But I didn’t use it.
Vegas is, of course, a spectacle. One expects to see tourists walking blindly through the streets, eyes to the sky at the visual cornucopia of overstimulation, mouths hanging agog in disbelief. When you’re strolling through the casino behind two 8 foot Amazonian showgirls in purple feathers and not much else, it’s a given people will be whipping out their cameras. Ditto for the automatron monstrosity at Caesar’s Palace featuring an animatronic alien/dragon, Julius Caesar, and Merlin.
However, in the subdued, showgirl-less confines of the conference halls, one was expected to maintain a tad bit more decorum. So despite my now ingrained blogger instinct to want to whip out the old point and shoot and shove it in the Elanco rep’s face while he held up the latest heartworm/flea control hybrid pill (it’s super cool- more on that later), I kept my picture taking on the DL during the conference, confined to what I could sneakily shoot with my trusty cameraphone.
Navigating the vast warren of conference rooms reminded me of being a red blood cell bouncing along in a swooshing current. The escalators serve as the aorta, disgorging the little corpuscles to the foyer for re-distribution.
The hordes migrate south in search of free food at the lunchtime sponsored lectures. Note the general consensus is that ‘business casual’ translates to “Effortless transition to the sportbook after 6.”
Perhaps you are asking yourself, where in the casino did you snap this? Because surely this was not taken AT THE CONFERENCE. Oh, but it was. See, this is what happens when vets try to dress up.
I desperately wanted to tap him on the shoulder and ask, “Did you already own the go-go girl cardigan? Or did you buy it special for this trip?” but I chickened out.
There was no shortage of businesses offering various enticements to get us into their clutches. This was far and away the most effective. Consider it the vet equivalent of a chick in a bikini on a car hood.
After tiring of the lectures, one could wander to the exhibit hall to see the latest and greatest in veterinary and pet items up for sale. At this booth, a ceramic artist offered a beautiful version of the traditional clay pawprint. This picture doesn’t do this justice- she actually glazed the print with colors representative of the seal point Siamese it honored. Their site isn’t up yet, but I will share it when it is.
I wasn’t in the market for a portable CT scanner this go round, but I could be talked into a shirt.
That about sums up my life.
Once the conference wraps up for the evening, the next phase of the journey involves meandering into the vast meadows of slot machines gently waving in the desert breeze.
“And in the rolling green dales of the Shire there dwelt a hobbit. And that hobbit had a very special ring, which when placed upon his finger, would confer the gift of invisibility.
“Every weekend, after a long night of ale drinking and merrymaking and epic poem singing with those insufferable dwarves, the hobbit would slip on the ring, tiptoe out the hobbit-hole unseen, and make his way to Mordor Springs for some slot machine action.”
It is a place of crass grandeur, where one can stroll covetously down the marble halls and jealously eye all the things just beyond one’s reach.
It is also a place of magic, where wizards of a different type might spontaneously appear from behind a puff of truffle oil infused demi-glace and confer upon you the honor of being Happiest Person in the Casino.
When you retire, exhausted and serene, you can take in the stellar view of the Strip and gently drift off to sleep.
Well, you could, if you didn’t have a rollercoaster right outside your window.