Dragon*Con 2011 takes downtown Atlanta by Stormtrooper every Labor Day weekend. This is its 25th year. I’ve never attended. I’ve never even watched the infamous and flamboyant costume parade down Peachtree Street.
According to the official website, Dragon*Con is “the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!”
Woo hoo! I want to go. I do. I think. Well, actually, I’m afraid to go.
Maybe it will be fun. Maybe it will be supernaturally bizarre and uncomfortable.
I might get the opportunity to meet Carrie Fisher. More likely, I will spend $50 (plus Marta fare) to walk around the fringe for a few hours and feel like an outlander blocked off from the bright shining center of the universe.
This is why I’m a CLOSET Star Wars geek. For most of my life (over 30 years!) I have been simultaneously attracted and repelled by this type of phenomena. That’s why I generally avoid Cons. (Well, that and the fact that I have never, ever felt comfortable enough in my own skin to flaunt it in a metal Leia-as-slave-girl bikini.)
My one and only Con-type experience took place in Northern California about 5 years ago. I lived within 5 minutes of the hotel. A friend offered me a free two-day pass if I agreed to work at her vendor booth for one of the days. My registration packet included a half-page instructional diagram entitled How to Bathe (Soap Not Optional). Even better, the other half of the page featured a tongue-only-partly-in-cheek essay on the importance of bathing prior to climbing into the hotel’s hot tub. The essay went into excruciating pseudo-scientific detail explaining why it was just a wee bit inconsiderate to pollute public waters, even chlorinated public waters, with weeks of your personal bodily funk.
And yet, by the smell of things and by the looks of the hotel hot tub by Sunday afternoon, many of the attendees ignored that section of the program materials.
Now I don’t want to give anyone the impression that ALL sci-fi, fantasy, comic, gaming con-types have personal hygiene issues. No, no. And seriously, a little funky smell doesn’t really scare me. I lived, worked and dated in the Silicon Valley for over eight years (home of the highest percentage of six-figure-paycheck-earning adults with Asperger’s Syndrome in the universe).
[Holy lazy grammar Batman!…I am using too many words-strung-together-with-dashes in this post.]
Anyway, the other big event this weekend (at least big on my personal list of high priorities) is the Decatur Book Festival. Now this event is much more my scene. Authors, writers, and all things literary surrounded by a sea of readers. So, of course, I volunteered to work the Atlanta Writers Club booth from 3-5 on Saturday.
But there is a Marta train station directly beneath the Decatur Book Festival that can whisk me over to Dragon*Con for a few hours. Hmmmm….
Are you asking, Why not go to one event one day and the other event the next day?
Yeah…..because the Snake Whisperer I agreed to marry absolutely has to go hiking with me up in the mountains this weekend and I have not even started to pack for my move to the new house and there’s still about a million things to do to fix up the new house and I am grossly behind on the new novel and I may need to bring home some work from the office this weekend in preparation for transitioning to a new position and oh good grief is it almost midnight already?
So seriously, any advice? Should I spend my $50+ dollars to check out all the Star Wars stuff over at Dragon*Con? Or save my money but miss yet another year of the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe because I am a way-too-old-to-be-this-afraid-of-my-own-freak-factor type of loser?