Throw-Back-Monday:My First Dragoncon (guest post)

This week’s  Throw-Back has been submitted by community member Papa Monkey.  A definite No-Take-Back. Thanks for submitting!

So I have never had a problem admitting that I’m a geek.  In doing this, I made sure to set certain boundaries.  Am I ever going to spend my evenings in some poorly lit basement playing Dungeons and Dragons? No.  Do I have any desire to write poetry in Klingon?  Never.  Am I ever going to go to a sci-fi convention?  Certainly not.  THOSE are the people who need to get a life.  Not me.

Things started to change.  I had met the woman who would eventually be my wife and early on in our relationship she mentioned that she was being dragged to Dragoncon in downtown Atlanta by her sister who wanted to check out the art on display.  My future wife certainly is not as geeky as me, so I couldn’t wait to hear horror stories about fat sweaty guys in stormtrooper costumes freaking out because there was a female in their presence.  Here’s the kicker: she loved it.  She told me that she and her sister were already planning on going back next year and I had to go with them.

Fast forward one year and there I was in Atlanta having no idea what to expect.  There are not enough words in the English language to describe the sensory overload that I experienced. People of all ages were dressed as every character in popular culture that you could imagine and thousands more that you couldn’t.

Above view of Dragoncon

Every character you could imagine.

Four hotels full of people.  Thousands and thousands of them.  Is there every “con” stereotype there?  You bet.  Fat guys?  Check.  Women in corsets that look like they might explode at any moment? Unfortunately.  Poor personal hygiene?  You betcha.  Here’s the thing though.  The vast majority of convention guests were nice.  They represented every group from every walk of life, and they were all totally patient waiting in the miles of lines.  It all just reinforced to me that I have no problem standing up to being counted with the geeks.  They are good people.

Mice costumed people

Good people. No idea what they are, but good people.

Spaceballs group costume. Fantastic.

Spaceballs group costume. Fantastic.

Oh by the way, I GOT BOBA FETT’S AUTOGRAPH!  Boba “no disintegrations” Fett!  I saw Bishop and Newt from Aliens! I got to hang out with the man who played Darth Vader! Did I hear or understand 2/3rds of what he was saying?  No, but I didn’t care.  My then-soon-to-be wife got Sean Astin’s autograph and I am pretty sure that if he had asked her to fly away and live with him in The Shire she would have said yes.

Sean Astin speaking at Dragoncon

Good Ole Samwise.

At the end of the day, we all have some geek in our heart.  I encourage everyone to take at least one weekend a year to let it out and play.  Just make sure to wear some deodorant.


One Response to “Throw-Back-Monday:My First Dragoncon (guest post)”

  • Lib Lib

    I totally agree that Dragoncon is a great time to let your geek flag fly. We had a total noob with us this year and watching his reaction to it all was so much fun. I would highly recommend that when you let your geek out, be sure to share it with someone!

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