Friday, September 10, 2010

DragonCon 2010

I walked into work on Monday and heard the stories of what I had missed over the weekend. First, there were complaints of the unusually large amount of homos walking around and coming into the store due to Black Gay Pride Weekend. Second, there were jokes at the expense of all the people in town for DragonCon.

“I saw this one at the gas station, dressed as, I don’t know, some kind of Star Wars monster or something. I just don’t get it. Why would you want to dress like that?”

Why? Because that’s what they’re into. Some people like dressing as gangsters everyday, some people like dressing in skirts while others prefer pants. Different strokes for different folks, y’know?

I calmly explained this to them, but they still didn’t get it. So I looked back and forth at the two people I was talking to, tapped my foot a few times and said, “I was there. Both nights.”

After their initial shock wore off, the questions started pouring in. “What do they do? What is it like? Why the hell were you there?”

We had an entire crew ready to depart on Saturday night, but only half of us made it there. No costumes, we simply walked up to the hotel and joined in on the craziness I had come to expect from my experience last year. I got a picture with Scooby Doo, my friend got put in a headlock by Sergeant Slaughter, and we connived our way into a VIP-ish bar. I say VIP because there was a line to get into it, which we bypassed after my friend sweet talked the security guard. I say “ish” because we saw other friends up there that obviously had no trouble getting in, as well as a pile of puke next to a table, which I got unjustly blamed for. When I think of VIP areas, I don’t think of sloppy drunks puking on the floor.

We observed the general craziness, rode the elevator to the top of the hotel and tried not to spit on people, and then took a horse-drawn carriage to O’Terrils were I promptly blacked out, fell out of my barstool, and almost broke my shoulder on the way home because my roommate’s a dick.

And that was only the first night.

It was decided that for our return to DragonCon, we were going to need costumes. We noticed Halloween candy at Wal-Green’s earlier in the day, so we figured they might have costumes as well. However, while walking to the store, my friend Jackie decided to simply break in to somebody’s house and steal one. So we did.

Okay, it wasn’t a complete break in. She knew the guy and happened to know where he hid his key. But we were there without permission so I’ll still say we broke in.

So we broke into this guy’s house, found his pink, full-body, rabbit costume and hit the road. Wal-Green’s ended up being a bust so we headed to O’Terrils to figure out a game plan. After putting our Hurricanes into to-go cups, we decided we would have her fiance bring over her bag of costumes from their house once he got out of work. I know, “her bag of costumes” is a pretty funny sentence.

A couple hours later, we were suited up and ready to rock. The bag of costumes ended up not having any complete costumes, so we were forced to improvise with what we had. Ted had some leisure suit kinda thing that he threw on as well as his Barney Rubble wig. Jeff had Santa pants and an Andre the Giant Shirt. Jackie had the rabbit costume. I had blaze orange shorts with an electric blue Club Med tank top as well as a blond, surfer wig. On the way to the hotel, I also found a bike helmet on the street which I decided would perfectly complete my outfit.

However, entrance wasn’t as easy as it was the night before. The security guard was actually checking for entrance passes this time. We collectively whatthehelled for a while before I found a knife. Ted walked up to the security guard and told him about the knife, he threw up a big WTF, and Ted said, “I think letting you know about that should get us into this place, eh?” The security guard agreed.

We entered to find the hotel lobby to be less full than the previous night, but still surprisingly happenin’ for a Sunday night. After buying two drinks for $30, I managed to get a green army man to flip me off, meet the dude that got his thumbs broken by Jerry Seinfeld, hug a mermaid, get an entire bathroom to harmonize with me, and finger a robot. And that was just me. There were three other people with me that did equally ridiculous shit.

And still, that wasn’t the craziest part.

After a while, we decided we had enough. After riding the same escalators about twenty times we finally figured out how to get outside. We exited the hotel, said something to the extent of “That was ridiculous,” and then heard the bass. We figured it was just some car passing by, but it wasn’t. It was something much more magical. As we turned the corner we saw the crowd. In the middle of said crowd, were two guys that had amplifiers strapped to their backs like backpacks. Blasting rave/dance/ecstasy music. Surrounding them? About twenty people dancing their asses off and following the music like the Pied Piper.

Without looking at each other to see if the others wanted to join, we all ran into the crowd and joined in. The dance riot skipped down the street like a parade. Onlookers either laughed, took pictures, or joined in. It was like a costumed katamari ball set to a pounding bass line. Occasionally the group would pause at a certain point and party for five or so minutes before moving along.

Chants were also in abundance. Crossing a crosswalk? Might as well chant “Crosswalk!” while doing so. Approaching a different hotel that has nothing to do with DragonCon and has no idea what’s going on? Might as well chant “I’m so horny!”

After about a half hour of dance rioting, we decided to split off and head home. The crowd had grown twice the size as when we started and didn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

While explaining my DragonCon experience to people at work, I left the majority of this out. For one, I didn’t have the energy to tell them everything. Also, they wouldn’t have understood. The fact is, it’s a pretty hard thing to explain to somebody and have them fully get it. There is a weird energy at something like that that can only be described as one of those you-had-to-be-there kinda things. It’s pretty easy to make fun of some skinny kid dressed up as a ninja walking around downtown at three in the afternoon. But, there’s a good chance that kid is going to go have a brand of fun you’ll never be able to understand unless you join in yourself.


  1. one of the many mermiads there...September 21, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    I was there when the "vip" bar was puked in. Epic nights were epic.