Rolling with my crew: my bro John (flew in from Bahamas) and good friends Jenn and Marcel from B.C. For those who do not know, Radcon is the Tri-Cities’ own science fiction convention. To some it’s essentially the geekfest (and they have a point), but to a lot of us, it’s something not to miss.
Registration at past Radcons has been a disaster. How disastrous? How about a three hour wait in line for those who failed to pre-register, half and hour to an hour for those who paid in advance? I was certain Radcon would never, ever fix this. I was wrong. John, whose pre-registration failed to reach the destination, was in line maybe ten minutes. He actually got in quicker than did Jenn, Marcel and I, in the nearly non-existent pre-registered line, because the person handling it was on break. We were badged and ready to rock in fifteen. I’m still processing the amazement.
I wore my Boer veldkornet outfit: farmy clothes, bandoliers, sjambok (an African whip), bush hat with purple plume–steampunk without the goggles. Jenn went Victorian and looked like a figure from a different time in corset, frilly blouse and long dress with knee boots. Smashing. Marcel, who is a big dude, went pirate with a big longsword, eyepatch and period shirt. As strongly as one would never want to aggravate Marcel even under normal conditions, one would really not wish to in that case.
None of the Friday panels were must-go events for me, though everyone else was in panel heaven. For me it was more a day of exploring and shopping. Many friends from past cons, howdies and updates swapped, many hugs and smiles: a feeling of being by now something of a fixture and familiar sight oneself, comforting. Jenn and Marcel found what John found, and what I found before: people at Radcon are in the main embracing and open, easy to talk to, with no tendency to try making new people feel like outsiders.
Dinner with Sharon and her friends from Spokane (all delightful ladies; Sharon fairly lights up a room), Jeff and Nyssa (probably the most competent and successful vendors who attend Radcon, year after year), and of course our crew. Nyssa is a riotous deadpan storyteller and entertained us greatly, as she always does.
We were going to go to the Spocon room party, but it was completely packed. We were going to head down to Irish Heather’s for a nightcap, but no one was around, and by universal agreement we were all footsore and zonked from staying up too late the previous night. We thus made it an early night and came home.
Shortly thereafter, I did one of the more boneheaded things I’ve done in some time. It speaks well to my comfort with my guests. I was getting out of my Boer accoutrements in the dining room (where, to Deb’s annoyance, everything I need for Radcon is piled on the dining table). Without really thinking, I shucked my trousers, leaving me in a short-sleeved shirt and my underwear. I then remembered the gift necklace I had gotten Deb, and mushed over to show it to her.
That was fine, except that Jenn was still upstairs. Oops.
In such a circumstance there is nothing to do (after making a hasty retreat to repair one’s insufficient attire) but accept that there will be much hilarity at one’s expense from the women. And the men, too, when they learn about it, which will occur within seconds of their next meeting with the women. Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t also ditch the underwear too.
As we relaxed to tell Deb of our day, and hear her comments on our utter geekery, Jen whipped out a bottle of Buckley’s. This is a Canadian cold remedy not sold in the U.S., and while she had brought it to combat lingering cold effects, it was also a chance for me to sample its legendary nastiness of taste. If you search on Youtube, you’ll find videos of people suffering through their doses of Buckley’s. First, of course, I smelled it and got a shock: imagine Vicks mixed with ammonia. Seriously! Now, I’ve had a faceful of ammonia in life, and I didn’t like it much. Since I didn’t have a cold, I just put a little in a teaspoon and…down the hatch. No sweetener, no alcohol; it looked and tasted something like an acrid liquid Vicks. Pretty unpleasant, but nothing as repulsive as Nyquil.
What, you mean you all don’t accidentally drop trou in front of your guests, then taste-test a new Fear Factor cold medicine on your first day of a science fiction convention?
Then You’re Doing It Wrong.