So tomorrow I'm headed to the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, and I'm psyched!

Crabby goes "Au Natural"!

Although oddly enough, no purveyors of natural products have even tried to recruit me as a brand ambassador for anything.

Seems awfully short-sighted, don't you think?  Just imagine the cachet a natural product could obtain by having a frequently foul-mouthed health blogger who goes by the name of "Crabby" spreading the word to millions... er, thousands, or, well... literally several regular readers who might buy something someday!

Well, their loss I guess.

However, even though I may be unsponsored, I did manage to wrangle a press pass for myself and my wife helpful Co-Blogger, the Lobster. And I am hope-hope-hoping to run into other bloggers I admire, like the most awesome Jody who may very well be there.

Will I actually end up turning this adventure into a blog post? We shall see! Depends on what I find there and whether the camera-phone catches something interesting or if I end up with the usual abstract art featuring underlit blurry objects or the inside of my coat pocket.

So in case I get too lazy, I at least have a few random preliminary thoughts to share before heading out on our great Natural Foods Expo Adventure.

1.  I Seem to Pathetically Desire Some Token Symbol That I Am Important.

Because I'm totally looking forward to wearing a lanyard, which is the technical term for that thingy you wear around your neck at conferences and trade shows.  (Although the dictionary definition I consulted suggested it should be something more exciting and piratey, like a knife or a pistol.)

Apparently Crabby needs to pluck her chin hairs again.

However, if I do wear a lanyard with a knife or a pistol, I promise it will be crafted from 100% pesticide-free, organic, fair-trade vegan materials.

And sure, those of you who have normal jobs with badges that require entry behind locked doors, or who have ever traveled to trade shows or conferences or whatever must think I'm nuts to be excited to wear a badge slung around my neck.  But one downside to self employment is that you almost never get to wear something that says YOU get admittance to somewhere that not everyone else in the world can go too if they want.  The website even says: "Natural Products Expo is a private trade show open to the trade only, and not open to the public."

Music to my f--cking ears.  The only place I ever get to go that's even a little bit restricted is  the women's restroom.  And I don't get a lanyard for that.

Oh wait, once during a blog break I had a brief gig doing some medical device writing! And, well, my fondest memory of that time was of the free pens, totebags, refrigerator magnets, and yes the lanyard I got to wear at a conference I was writing about.

Ah, the glory days!

2. There is a Special Feeling When You Are Amongst Your Own Tribe.

You people who travel many miles in order to get up at 4am so you can stand in an ungodly long line waiting for a porta-potty before you compete in some crazy-ass race in order to possibly score a T shirt or belt buckle know what I mean. 

Are there other people who sigh sadly at the offerings in most grocery stores and must seek out specialty retailers, who obsessively check labels, who can't eat at normal restaurants without being a total pain in the ass to waitstaff with their questions, who have the whole EWG "Dirty Dozen" list memorized and who generally think more about what goes on their dinner plates than what might be available on their cable TV channels?

It will be fun to spend a day where this sort of behavior is possibly considered "normal!" 

3.  I Can Not WAIT for Free Samples!

Yeah, I'm not fooling anyone, this is the main reason I decided to seek out admittance.

It seems there are hosted breakfasts, lunches, "relaxation lounges" and booths and booths of companies pitching edible products that are normally a bit on the expensive side. I'm really hoping to hell they have a lot of free samples on offer.

However, the ground rules say we can only carry out one bag of samples per day.  What?!?!?  And I'm only going to be there one day!

I'm just hoping they mean a bag like this?

But if not, this means I am planning on doing a lot of grabbing and then snarfing up product, and then re-grabbing and re-snarfing more product while pretending to be an entirely different person, all day long, or until I get tossed out.

Because everyone knows that free samples, particularly natural free samples, do not contain calories, right?

Am I the only person in the world who could be excited to attend a natural products trade show?  Do you all think I am TOTALLY Insane?

Huge Bag swiped from The Bag Lady TV
Expo photo from somewhere off the Natural Products Expo West website
Pirate Lanyard from the lanyard store.

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