Monday, March 31, 2014

Con Ten

Ten Things That Always Seem to Happen at Conferences and Conventions

And You Live . . . ?: At some point the largest/freakiest/scariest dude that you see at the con will ask for your home address, personal phone number or other information you would never give out to a stranger. S/he will not tell you why s/he wants this information. This person will also do this five minutes after everyone who came with you leaves for lunch.

Bathroom Breaker: The queue to use the facilities is never short, but will be at its lengthiest when you really, really, really have to go.

Closest Encounter: You will be caught in a crowd and find yourself wedged in a corner with possibly the cutest guy/gal you've ever met, who astonishingly wants to chat with you. This will happen at the precise moment you have an attack of gas, the burps, or your breath turns lethal dragonish.

Critical Asker: While browsing through your stock, a pleasant someone will regale you with a painfully detailed list of all the things they dislike about your last book, your cover art, your web site and/or your writing. When you're ready to melt into the floor in complete and utter misery, your critic will mention how cash-strapped they are and ask for a free signed copy of your latest release.

Gift Giver: Someone you don't know will hand you something unexpected that astounds you and then will disappear into the crowd before you can thank them (Cupcake Girl, I thank you for the lollipop.)

Hunger Games: You will stand (starving) in line (behind 20+ people) at the only food concession that sells tea as well as coffee and bagels along with all the sugary buns. While waiting you will debate the merits of bagels versus buns and tea versus coffee with the person behind you. When you finally reach the counter the person in front of you will grab the very last bag of the tea you prefer, and buy the only bagel left in the bread case.

Let's Get Physical: People you don't know will touch you. This usually comes in the form of a handshake or an arm press but occasionally you'll get a grabber/hugger/kisser. If you get the latter, they will be wearing bright red lipstick that transfers during the grabbing/hugging/kissing to your cheek, your neck or your lapel. You will not be aware of the lipstick print they left until three hours later when you see it in the restroom mirror.

Loyalty Payback: You will meet someone who has loved something you've done for years, and confides in you that love, and never expects anything in return, which gives you the perfect chance to do something for them (Heather!)

Objects Desired: When selling at a con, the item you invested the most time/money/hassle in creating/obtaining/transporting will move slowly or not at all. The cheapy item you almost left home because you didn't think it was worthy, on the other hand, will be snapped up by every other customer and sell out the first day. P.S., you will always bring extra of the former and zero of the latter.

Uh-Oh: After a long final day at the con you will return to your hotel to strip and take a nice, hot shower, which is when you will discover the front zipper on your trousers has been open and displaying a swatch of your pink floral underwear for an unknown amount of time.


  1. Fran K9:13 AM

    Oh so many truisms ... big smile. I generally lie when asked the address question or just give the county I live in rather than the town. I know they'll be unlikely to find me either way but the county is bigger! The close encounter usually happens after garlic .. and the physical thing can be offensive when in a big crowd but you can't complain really. The uh-oh is also something like parsley stuck in your teeth or mascara smudges that no-one thinks to tell you about so unknowingly you've spent the day looking like a noodle. Conventions can be great fun but they are also exhausting, whether looking around or exhibiting. The best part is taking your shoes off at the end of the day and sinking into a nice hot bath - oh the joy.

  2. I stood with a rather glazed expression on my face in our receiving line after our wedding, accepting hugs and congratulations without much thought, hoping it would all be done soon so we could leave. My father had a stroke that morning (no, it had nothing to do with who I was marrying!) and all I wanted to do was get back to the hospital. Only when we finally arrived and my husband was trying to help me use the bathroom while I was still in my wedding dress did I discover the huge, bright red lips on my shoulder from where someone must have missed my cheek. *sigh*

    And if it's any consolation, I walked around work half the day last week with my zipper down! How do we do that?


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