I am one sweaty bastard and living in Reno for the last 13 years had not prepared me for the moist sweaty nature of coastal southern California. On the surface, 70 degrees sounds nice. It’s the 50% humidity that makes it like your sitting is someone’s mouth (thank you Scott and Deb for that). I’m walking through the convention profusely sweating like I’m being interrogated by homicide detectives. At one point I was standing next to my friend Bill in one of the endless hallways, the AC is cranked, and I feel something crawl across my face. Instinct tells me it is probably a black widow or centipede slithering down my brow, judging by my violent knee-jerk reaction and subsequent flailing at my face. Bill looks over at me like I’m some sort of plague rat “dude , you’re sweating like a whore in church!” Ok, maybe those weren’t his exact words. My eye witness testimony is tainted by the pathological response I had to the “black widow.” Anyway, once I swiped away the crawly thing from my brow and my hand came away completely soaked, I realized I was sweating like crazy. I must have broken the surface tension of the sheet of perspiration because it proceeded to droid down my face. I look over at Bill and he is dry as a bone. I seem to always be at a certain level of discomfort in any environment. What the hell is that all about?
Speaking of discomfort, I go to this convention thinking I’ll probably fit in pretty well. No one will notice how fat or bald I’ve become, because every one else will be in the same boat. Nope. Nerds have gotten in better shape over the years. A good portion of them a fit and dressed well. Many look good in Tarzan loin cloths or Wonder Woman S&M latex. I almost never saw the middle aged fat guy painted up like the Flash in a speedo, posing creepily with the ladies. Times are a changing, it would seem.
One thing that has not changed about nerd culture is the sad lecherous and leering nature of being a fanboy. These guys may look good in spandex or know how to dress like fashion models, but get them near a Slave Leia and they’ll fall all over themselves to get a sweaty arm around them in a badly framed iPhone photo.
Overall an interesting experience. I learned that I am a bigger Dr Who fan than I had originally thought. I bought 2 Dr Who t-shirts, 2 posters, a sound effects key chain with Daleks screaming EXTERMINATE, and a sonic screwdriver. Guess what? Fanboy!
I’ll kind of miss the massive collection of like-minded dorks, artists, and movie fans, but the crass commercialization of the whole affair leaves a bad taste. By bringing big time movies and tv shows to the convention, with all its associated strs and promotion and media coverage, it loses a bit of its soul. It becomes a mainstream money grab. I can at least say I was there once. Not entirely disappointed. I woulda missed seeing Kevin Smith rail against Bruce Willis…
It’s 11:24 and checkout is at 12:00. I need to pack my shit, get my clothes out of the dryer, and hit the road. I’m already way behind.