One woman had a song, I don't remember all of it but here is a verse:
"Ferret oh ferret, gatherer of stuff,
Ferret my ferret, when will you have enough?"
The producers intertwined her singing of this little diddy throughout the broadcast. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch a clip here.
Along with the song, there were also people displaying their handmade ferret costumes. Who wouldn't be proud to show off something like this?
The culmination of the broadcast was at the annual ferret show in Ohio, apparently the biggest of its kind. Each of the ferret owners that had painstakingly prepared their ferrets for showing (including shampooing them using shampoos specifically for color-treated hair based on their coat coloring) went into the show with high hopes. It was determined that biting a judge might not necessarily be cause for disqualification. Several of the owners had large gashes across their noses where ferrets had bitten them.
They went on and on about how big of an honor it was to earn a ribbon. At the end of the show, PBS scrolled a message on the screen that said (not an exact quote but close enough), "287 ribbons were presented at the show. 250 ferrets participated."
All in all this might have been the most entertaining thing I have ever seen on television. It wasn't completely clear if the people at PBS were trying to make fun of the people, but the ferret lovers for their part seemed to take themselves very seriously.
I tell this story because it led to one of my family's new traditions, namely torturing my mother with ferret references. She hates anything that she considers a "varmint" and ferrets are at the top of the list. It started out innocently enough, with my sister-in-law emailing my mom articles about ferrets.
Then, I had a stroke of brilliance. As I was glancing through my Drs. Foster & Smith catalog (pet supplies for dogs and cats) an insert flew out that advertised the company's specialty catalogs. Immediately I filled out my mother's mailing info in order to send her the ferret catalog.
Months passed. Finally, I got a call from my mother in which I could hear mostly laughing and squealing. I knew that the day, and the catalog, had arrived at last.
Now, I was pretty proud of this feat and nothing had been done to top it for quite a well. Until last week. Recently, my four year-old niece got a goldfish. My brother and sister-in-law had relayed this information and the family was all aware of the new pet. Then, my mom got an email from them, entitled, "We didn't just get a fish." Inside was a picture of my niece and her new favorite pet ferret! If only I had been there to see my mom's reaction upon opening the email, I'm sure it was priceless.
They didn't actually buy the ferret, but you couldn't tell that from the photo! I am so proud of my brother and sister-in-law for pulling off this joke, though I am a wee bit sad because I just don't think there is any way to surpass it. Short of actually buying a ferret, and thereby cementing my mother never again coming to visit, there just doesn't seem to be any way to continue this tradition.
Of course, a really long blog post complete with pictures and links to the crazy ferret singing lady can't hurt!