Yesterday I spent the afternoon downtown at another trade show – this one designed to cater to companies that do metal working and heavy machining. It's always an interesting show to walk, if for no other reason than many small family-owned companies are there with their entire families*. So you have these groups walking together consisting of the dad trying to close the deal for carbide inserts, mom at the bar drinking, and the kids running around from booth to booth trying to see which sibling can make off with the most/coolest free giveaway stuff. For me, half the fun of these shows is getting to see the big laser cutting and milling machines in action, the other half is looking for the most shameless examples of “booth babes”.
I've blogged before about the booth babe topic. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures this time around since I was with my manager and felt that snapping pics of attractive young women in short shorts wouldn't be in my best interest. Still, there were some very memorable incidents from my time walking the floor – of which I now present to you my Top 5 Booth Babes from yesterday:
Most booth babes fall into this category – young, attractive woman in a short/tight/lacy skirt/dress, well made-up and smiling constantly. The booth where this one was working had her working the front just long enough to slow or stop passersby by chatting pleasantly and just saying hello. Once stopped, she would step to the side and allow the homely guy in the polo shirt who actually worked for the company to begin his sales pitch. Blondie was bait – nothing more. She probably spent half the show wondering what she was going to do after work and trying to decide if her career as an aspiring model was really all that the “agency” she had won the contest for had promised it would be back in Rockford. Given that the show was 6 days long, one wonders why she was still thinking about it at that point.
4) Lanyard Woman
The only booth babe I interacted with. The name tags given out at registration were in pin-on holders, forcing attendees to score a giveaway lanyard if they didn't want to have holes in their shirt. Passing by one booth early on, I saw that they had one booth girl staffed solely to hand out lanyards. The trick was to walk up, ask for one, and then leave as quickly as possible before the aforementioned sales guy came over to pitch. While I was successful in that respect, I'll just say my execution was not as polished as it could have been. As I walked away, no doubt Lanyard Woman thought to herself “That's so nice of that company to hire the mentally challenged!”.
3) Japanese Anime Girl
One of the more common companies that you see at shows like these are companies from Asia. Japanese, Korean and Chinese makers of Heavy Equipment work these shows just as hard as American and European ones. They even have started bringing their own booth babes. One company had a booth babe dressed like one of those Japanese Anime women – complete with short skirt, pink wig with hair in pigtails high on her head, bright, clashing colors, and little fuzzy hairclips.
2) Cutting Tool Dancers
One of the companies there selling carbide cutting tools had hired a troupe of six models and basically decked them out like cigarette girls for the new milennium – shirt skirts, cropped tops and the big shallow cigarette box complete with the band around their neck to hold it. Only instead og being filled with cigarettes, mints, candies, gum, etc – these boxes had a variety of cutting tools in them! Ooohh, can I see that one please? Even better, they had a choreographed dance routine that they would stage every few minutes, whenever the booth wasn't busy. Complete with music.
1) Jungle Jane
The best one ever. As my boss and I were coming out one aisle and coming around to head down the next, I noticed that the first booth had an odd “beach/jungle” theme going on – complete with a blonde woman with a bad fake bake clad in nothing more than a very small bikini**. We were coming up to it quickly and my boss was looking over in the other direction, so I was optimistic that we'd be able to skirt by without her seeing it. Unfortunately, when we were almost to safety, a guy walking in the opposite direction elbowed her in the side***. She turned quickly to see who had elbowed her, and found herself about a foot away from a smiling Jungle Jane – and looking directly at her chest****. My boss, being a nice midwestern girl who attended a small liberal arts college***** was stunned, and turned a bright shade of purple with embarrassment. All said, it was hysterical and we pretty much laughed about it the rest of the day.
All told it was an amusing time. Not the most productive in terms of work, but entertaining enough to make the time pass and provide blogworthy material.
* Having turned a work trip into a family vacation to Chicago in order to justify the expense to themselves
** All right, and sandals. But that was seriously it.
*** No doubt distracted by all the butt on display in the girls booth.
**** Obviously, it was unintentional, but honestly at that close a distance it would be impossible to look at anything else.
***** No, not OAM, or the other one in town.