Thanks to the amazing generosity of some of my friends, I was able to attend DragonCon 2013. Financially speaking, DragonCon was always out of my reach, but my friends made it happen for me and I will forever be grateful to them.
So now that we’ve got that sad sappy shit out of the way…
On the road to DragonCon! Photo by Will Thompson.
The first thing I learned at DragonCon was that pre-registration is not worth the money saved getting your tickets early. My tickets were Will Call and I walked right up to the desk. There was no one in line in front of me. Sure, the ticket was $150 compared to $60 (prices go up throughout the year as you get closer), but I didn’t have to stand in line for two hours in the hot sun and then sweaty and ass-smelling line inside the Sheraton.
The second thing I learned at DragonCon is that my fat disabled ass can’t handle DragonCon. Within a few hours I had to go to CVS and buy a cane. And even then I had to sit down more than I wanted. I couldn’t stand in the lines because it was too much pressure on my back and legs. For those that don’t know, I was medically discharged from the Navy after a nasty wreck that caused damage to my legs and back, ultimately resulting in emergency back surgery and permanent nerve damage. Wait… I thought we got all the sad sappy shit out of the way?
Someone recommended that I get a handicap sticker for my badge, but DragonCon makes you go all the way to the fucking Sheraton to do that. So you make all your disabled participants walk all the way to the farthest hotel that is also isolated from the skywalks? Why can’t I get that at any DragonCon information desk? UGH! So fuck it, I wasn’t walking back over there.
By the middle of the second day I realized that if I didn’t want to be miserable and miss out on everything that I had no choice but to walk my ass back to the Sheraton and get the wheelchair sticker on my badge. Up until this point I hadn’t done a damn thing except people watch and sit on benches being miserable. So I walked my fat broken ass over to the Sheraton in the hot sun.
Ready to Roll!
If I had only known that the wheelchair sticker was like Harry Potter’s Luck Potion, I would have done it right away! That little sticker changed my entire experience at DragonCon and put me in the right place at the right time to meet some amazing people. If it wasn’t for me sitting in the handicapped seats while waiting to see Professor Elemental, I would have never met William Shatner. Having to take the elevator instead of the stairs had me talking to Jamie Hyneman for almost 15 minutes waiting for a fucked up elevator. We chatted it up for almost fifteen minutes until an elevator finally got down to us.
The third thing I learned at DragonCon is that it’s too fucking hot to be in costume. I had three costumes ready to go: Gary Wallace (Weird Science), Captain Morgan, and a Sorcerer Troll. At the end of the first night I was thankful that I had packed shorts and t-shirts. By the middle of the second day I had decided I wasn’t wearing costumes except at night. By that night I had decided I wasn’t wearing a costume no matter what. It was so hot that I even stopped carrying my backpack and just got water where I could. Speaking of water, to whoever found my awesome water tote at my seat after the George Takei talk, you’re welcome.
The best part of DragonCon for me was being able to enjoy a Con as an attendee and not a speaker, organizer, or emcee. It was great just going around and doing what I wanted without a care in the world. It was great being able to walk from point A to point B without people stopping me to ask questions, take pictures, etc. That’s one more reason not to wear an awesome costume. I was recognized a couple of times, but no one made an ass out of themselves. That’s why I never went fan boy on anyone I ran into or met. I pretended to not know who people were so they would feel more comfortable. Running into Wharf, Data, and Counselor Troy just got a nod of my head and a, “Hey, what’s up?” from me. In other words, my penis stayed in my pants the entire weekend.
Here are some other things I learned at DragonCon:
When you see an amazing ass in front of you, there’s a 50% chance that it belongs to a dude.
I have a new-found appreciation for the mixing of genres.
If you’re not going to go all-out on your costume, please spare us your half-assed attempt.
Never pre-judge a costume until you get close enough. We saw a horrible Harley Quinn and were laughing at it until the group got closer and we realized they were all super villains in their pajamas. It was fucking brilliant. We also saw a Thor with a plaid flannel cape on that we laughed at until he got closer and we realized he and his partner were dressed as Redneck Thor and Loki (funny and brilliant).
Sometimes you can’t tell the difference between a nerd and someone with Down’s Syndrome.
99.99% of attendees didn’t notice my cane and I almost got knocked over a few times. It’s okay, people are self-absorbed and that’s human nature.
You would think that in a crowd of 60,000+ attendees that you’d never run into someone you know. You’d be wrong.
Half the time at DragonCon is spent trying to figure out what you’re going to do next.
There are more nerds and geeks that smoke than I ever imagined. Maintaining the E-Cig battery was impossible, so I had to go analog that weekend.
Cameras are overrated: use your brain to store those memories.
There is entirely too much Dr. Who at DragonCon. Fuck Dr. Who.
Steampunk is cool, but it’s not punk.
The free food is horribly delicious, because free is always delicious.
There were a ton of beautiful women dancing by themselves at the concerts and dances: and a bunch of nerds lined up against the wall. Apparently DragonCon is a cosplay of the movie Sixteen Candles.
DragonCon helped me realize I wasn’t a racist: I wanted to have sex with every female alien species I ran into.