Saturday, July 27, 2013

Excess in Abundance, San Diego Comic-Con 2013

This tale may or may not be true, and the names have most certainly been changed. So do not only take it with a grain of salt, please consume the shaker. Or perhaps, just as likely this is a toned down version of the exact events that took place, dumbed-down with the intention to protect myself and my not-so innocent compatriots. Guess you have no way to tell, but then again, who ever does with writing?

Bike Cleaned For Con
We took off on a Wednesday afternoon and the idea was that I would follow my buddy and his wife down to the Con on my motorcycle. I assumed we would become separated and that I wouldn't be able to stomach the traffic and would begin splitting lanes to make up time, of which I was correct. The idea still being, that if anything were to happen to me along the way, they would be behind me at some point to pick up the pieces of either my bike or I.

About an hour and a half in to the two and a half hour ride I regretted this decision. I was safely (as safely as you can) splitting the car-pool lane at about 40 MPH as traffic was slowed down to around 15 MPH around me. Suddenly, a man crossed the quadruple yellow without signaling and came into the lane of which I was occupying and grazed my tire before even looking to see where he was merging. He almost immediately realized his mistake and hopped back into his lane but the momentum shift of my bike threw my front tire off of balance and began to skid around the road.

Now, the rest of this is my assessment of what happened because I had to piece the event back together due to it all taking place within about 5 very unclear seconds. Which upon retrospect felt like an eternity. I regained control of my front tire by wrestling it with my arms but had inadvertently locked up the back brakes and my ass-end began to slip and slide wildly. I instantly disengaged the brake but my bike was already all over the road. I plowed down my right foot to regain balance and upon doing so, threw the bike in the opposite direction to which I corrected with my left foot.

Eventually this process of ping-ponging back and forth resulted in my not going down, but it severely hurt my already weak (another story in itself) left ankle. The driver then waved apologetically at me to which I returned his gesture with a middle-finger and drove on to the next gas station where I sat for a half-hour and re-examined the all-too-late idea of riding to San Diego. Inevitably I got back up, dusted myself off, and went back on the road. I met up with the rest of my crew once I got there and immediately went to the most important task: Drinking. I checked my bags and headed off to the hotel bar to knock back a few before attempting the mile long walk to the con.

If you've never been there, the size of this convention can not be overstated, and it is rumored to double next year. The eye cannot help but dart back and forth between over-weight men who have never had a lay in their life, to amazing bodied cos-play girls showing less clothes than they do skin. The place somehow encapsulates both what it is to be a true basement-dwelling, masturbatory nerd, as well as the now embraced "geek culture" consisting of heavily CGI'd comic-book adaptations and video games. It is truly two sides of one weird coin, and somehow they both achieve some strange symbiotic existence.

Waking In Car
Wednesday night was child's play. We went out drinking, ran around town with our friends, ran into people we would rather avoid, made new friends, created a few enemies and generally pursued the most aggressive destruction of our livers possible. However, with our personal excess never being enough, the rest of our crew winded down early for an easy first night. The pussies. So my buddy and I took the whiskey and beer and headed to have our own private party in his car located in the parking garage. We laughed, we over-talked one another, got stupidly sentimental, and ultimately passed out for the night in the front seats. To many, this must sound like a weird, terrible thing to do.... to us, it seemed second nature.

Crazy Christians
I woke up that morning with a hangover... go figure. Upon sweating our asses off at 9AM, my friend and I separated and returned to our hotels rooms to shower and prepare for the next days offerings. He went to his hotel directly outside the parking garage, and I went off to my hotel a mile away. To say that I stunk was a colossal understatement, but that did not stop the crazy Christians outside from hounding me with "Get Out of Hell Free" cards. One of them must have smelled me because he turned to me on his megaphone and uttered "I'd never turn my back on one of those stinking homosexuals, you never know what they might do behind you". Way to represent your lord buddy. Bigoted asshole.

Eventually I got cleaned up and made my way back to the show floor where I had to wait outside for my credentials. Now, I look a bit aggressive with my tattoo'd arms and punk-vest with leopard print on it, but with that said, the many, many ways that this is interpreted to outsiders is often hilarious. For example, I was standing in line for my badge when I notice a couple looking at me and whispering. No biggie, happens all the time, however... they were in hardcore bondage gear. The male ventures over to me and asks, "Hey man, do you like Adult fun?". He fully had my attention, after-all, what a way to introduce yourself to a human being. "Sure, why not?" I replied. He then explained to me how he was the head of a club that sponsored "Discreet Adult Parties" and invited me to attend. I of course asked, "Wait... is this an orgy?". "Well", he replied, "We don't use that word, we just get together in a group, wear protection and see where the night takes us." I laughed and said "It IS an orgy!" of which he did not seem to find quite as funny as I did and he moved on.

Flash forward to that night, I was showered, drunk, and primed for the second night of the con. We went out to a few bars and drank quite a bit before one of my friends mentioned that he knew someone that could get us into the biggest party of the weekend thrown by one of the biggest internet content providers on the market. I'm not really an exclusive party kind of guy, I find the whole standing in line and trying to look cool enough to get in thing retarded as hell. If someone doesn't think I'm cool enough to get in, then I would rather not be in anyway. However, in their pitch for me to go, they mentioned that there would be free booze at said party. "Sold." I stated and off we went.

We got there and of course we couldn't get in. The whole event seemed way too far up it's own ass with a line of people that would kill to get in and us getting denied at the door. The rest of my group went to go stand in line like suckers, I however had no interest in coming this far and not ingesting all of the free booze I could. I stated, "Watch this" to my friends as I walked up to the doorman, they laughed at me, I handed him a $20 and stated "Here is my invitation". He opened the door, let me in, and I walked directly to the bar where I ordered two shots and two beers. Although I had no desire to be "seen" at the party, it would be more than a lie to say I didn't have a great time pushing my way through the door with nothing more than balls and a twenty dollar bill.

Drunk At Party
This is the part of the story that I am forced to piece together through the recounts of those around me as I blacked the fuck out. I was told by two of my friends that were in attendance that they spotted me making no less than three trips to the bar within my 15 entire minutes spent there. I also was later told that my group was mad at me for disappearing when they couldn't get in, and one of my best friends, who we will refer to as Moral Jon, realized how drunk I most assuredly was and attempted to come in and collect me.

Now, Moral Jon had an "in" with one of the main people in the organization throwing the party and he asked if he could come in solely to collect me, to which this amazing person obliged. How I have heard it described, I was found taking a shot while holding two more with two beers next to me. I was also told I was attempting to dance, but in my defense, I can't dance sober, so I'm sure this was a sight to behold. I attempted to make Jon stay with me and ditch the rest of the party, but alas, he was too kind as always. So I relented, drank my booze, dropped my bottle on the floor (not sure whether this was intentional or not) and exited with him. Mission accomplished, I walked in the party drunk, paid $20 and walked out a new man that could barely stand.

I'm not sure what it is about comic-con that makes a few of my friends and I think its funny to whip our dick out, but it does certainly seem to be the case as I allegedly flashed my member at Joss Whedon as he was greeting people in the Hall-H line last year. This year was to be no different and what happened next was also recounted to me. I have a friend who is a bit uptight in my opinion, now in his defense, I view as everybody who does not make a scene when they are drunk as uptight.

I'll cut right to the quick of it and outright state that I allegedly chased him for 3 city blocks with my dick out. Now to me, this seems like a funny time because after all, who is intimidated by a dick? Especially one that is flaccid and my size, but he did not share my particular brand of humor. The rest of the night I was told I went to go and greet and annoy the inhabitants of the Hall H line, drink more and more, shout about the Christians coming to kidnap me and many, many other things. Thankfully, one of my friends escorted me back to my hotel where I attempted to sleep it off.

I drunkenly awoke only a few hours after I had went to bed to the sounds of my roommate screaming at me that we urgently needed to vacate the room due to it being used for other purposes I won't get into. So I threw my clothes in the closet, grabbed my completely uncharged phone, and headed to the only place I could think of at the moment, the comic-con floor. I followed my buddy around for a bit but ultimately got distracted by Deathlok comics and lost him. There I was, still-drunk, stinking of booze, and left with no phone. Thankfully I had memorized my buddy's phone number and stumbled over to his hotel to give him a call.

Now, I had no idea what room number he was in, but I asked the concierge to use their phone and they were nice enough to oblige. I called up and informed him as to my predicament, but he responded that the room was still completely full (this was still 9:30AM) and everyone was asleep. He instructed me to wait in the lobby and he would come and collect me in time. So I went into a corner of the very crowded lobby, plopped down, put my sunglasses on, and promptly passed the fuck out. I must have been a sight there in my sweat and beer soaked vest, audibly snoring, and obviously residually-drunk, but everyone was nice enough to leave me alone.

After what must have been at least 3 hours passed, I was slightly less drunk and made my way back to the concierge again call my friend and see exactly what the hold up was. He informed me that he had came down to find me but had no luck because the lobby was very crowded. However, I find it hard to believe that I was not a spectacle that everyone was pointing and laughing at, but perhaps that's was just a drunken paranoia that had set in. He then collected me and we went up to his room where I was hostilly greeted by the man I had chased with my dick the night before. He made it overly apparent that it was not appreciated, I apologized though at that point I did not know that I had done such a thing, and we went our separate ways with me still wearing the same clothes and filthy. Due to work obligations, I was not able to shower that night until right at 9:50 when I was supposed to arrive at 9:45PM. However, my amazing boss saw the condition I was in, and insisted it was ok for me to take the time to shower. The rest of the night was spent working and recovering from a two-day drunk.

I actually got the privilege of sleeping an entire 6 hours in a bed that night, waking up only to go see my buddies panel at 10AM. We got up, grabbed a taxi and watched him knock it out of the park in front of a huge crowd. Afterwards we did little more than prep gear that night in anticipation of more work that eventually let us out around 10PM. Once out, we decided to take it easy that night and just go to the hotel bar to drink....

I believe we were at the bat for less than a half hour when an impromptu break-dance battle let loose in the corner of the bar. Yes, I too was amazed and bewildered that such things actually happen. I watched a girl dance in circles dressed as a tornado with sharks all around her as the crowd chanted "Sharknado!". I watched Jessica Rabbit, Xena the Warrior Princess, and Harley Quin bump and grind on one another. I even watched old Moral Jon stop, drop, and do pushups where he clapped in between.... shortly before he blew everyone else out of the water with his badass antics. They danced, we drank, and I drunkenly pushed my friends into hitting on girls that even resembled that they may be single.One of them even ended up walking away from the night with someone... and my damn hat.

Once the bar closed, everyone was comic-con'd out, including myself. However, with yet another night sleeping in a car in front of me, I convinced one of my friends to crash in the car with me and continue to drink. After all, who wants to sleep in a car with another dude if you're sober. We got in and drank about another hour before my girlfriend called and began talking all sexy to me. She thought it was VERY funny that she was getting me all hot and bothered in the car when there wasn't a damn thing on the planet I could do about it... she's mean to me in the best of ways. Eventually I got off the phone with her, finished my beer, and passed out at around 3AM.

I hated Comic-Con at this point. Days of drinking and walking had taken their toll and I was ready to not come back for another year. However, I just HAD to get one of my new favorite posters signed by the artist, so off I went again, this time hat-less. Now, I sweat a lot. I really, really, sweat a lot. A hat helps hide that quite so much and I hadn't showered again at that point in around 30 or so hours so I was a filthy, stinking mess. So I drunkenly approached the artist, face dripping the alcohol I had ingested the night before, and asked him for an autograph on my $400 poster. I looked and smelled as if I had just emerged from my parents basement and hadn't seen light in years. He was gracious and nice, though I'm not sure I would have been the same and I finally took off to find my bike in the garage I had parked it in 4 days prior.

I picked up my backpack from the hotel concierge, finally found my bike, and drove around the parking garage gate in order to avoid the steep price they thought they would charge me for parking. It was at this time that I reached into my saddle bags to pull out my riding glasses that prevent the wind from blowing out my contacts... only to discover that they had been stolen from my bike. Without hesitation, I whipped on my sunglasses (which suck at preventing wind), and took off down the highway in roughly the correct direction, hopping to find a Home Depot on the way.

Unfortunately there was no Home Depot within sight line. Or hell, maybe there was and I just couldn't see it for my damn contacts attempting to remove themselves from my eyeballs every time I wasn't blinking. Finally I took a random exit, and plugged in the coordinates to the local Home Depot 3 miles away. What I didn't realize is that I was stuck in some bum-fuck town built with horses in mind more than automobiles and that I would end up behind a horse driven carriage 3 times on the trip. Guess what? Horses poop as they walk and that really sucks for those of us that aren't on a fucking horse.

After several miles and an hour of exploring, I finally obtained my glasses and went along my long, traffic ridden journey home to which I ultimately returned home safe.

Long live Comic-Con. See you in 2014.

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