I recently read my daughter a bedtime story (for the 987th time) which centered on a young dragon taken in by Princess Aurora (of Sleeping Beauty fame). Starting with her husband, Prince Phillip, and continuing with each encounter with the story’s other characters Aurora is met with storybook disdain for her new pet. The universal reason: dragons are dangerous. The dragon, in an effort to fit in, tries to emulate other animals who do not suffer the same unearned contempt. But dragons are what dragons are and each attempt to be something he is not leads to moments of chaos involving, as you might guess, fire. It’s not until the end of the story that the dragon comes to terms with what he is and finds a place in the life of the story.
None of the characters in the story offered anecdotal evidence as to why dragons are dangerous; they just knew them to be so.
I love going to reptile trade shows. As a breeder it gives me a chance to buy, sell and trade with other breeders and enthusiasts. The shows are a lot more personal than doing Internet sales and it’s cool to meet new people, forge new friendships and make a few bucks at the same time.
For me the whole experience of the show is a blast. I like the hectic scramble of packing for the show, the long drive to wherever the show happens to be, the inevitable lack of sleep and the breakneck pace of the actual show. The time rockets past and the show is over before I even know it. I almost always thoroughly enjoy the experience. But the Long Island Reptile Show that took place last weekend (March 7, 2009) was an unusual exception to the joy I normally get from going to shows.
The show was not good. Compared to the last Long Island show we attended very few people showed up. There were window shoppers and families roaming about but the people looking to add some nice animals to their collection must have stayed home. They were few and far between.
The disappointment of a poor turnout was all the more evident because the previous Long Island snake show was a huge success. That show was packed! People were elbow to elbow and it was 2-3 people deep waiting to get to the table. It was like, well, Hamburg. Or White Plains. You know, good shows. I thought Long Island was on pace to become a good show like those. It may not be in the cards.
The story relayed to me was that the show promoter did put ads in the newspaper but accidentally listed the wrong address. I am not 100% sure this is true; it’s just what I was told. If it is true it may or may not have had an impact on attendance.
I don’t blame the economy (which is a scapegoat for every problem these days) because the last Hamburg and the last White Plains (both in the past month) were excellent shows. Reptile lovers are relatively impervious to our global financial crisis.
On the very long drive home from the Long Island show there was a lot of discussion about whether or not the show will get another chance with us. As of today it’s not looking good. My total drive time (round trip) was over 20 hours (including dealing with rush hour traffic). That’s a long time to spend in a car only to be disappointed by a poor show turnout.
But I’m optimistic! The Richmond reptile expo is at the end of the month and there is another Hamburg snake show toward the end of March. Hamburg always redeems!
See you at the next show!