.. Happy to be a 56.1 miler ..

Part 2


No time for a proper set of banners, Elle is excited to make them, if only we can put 5 more hours in a day. My quick stop-gap measure to replicate our little poster as a large painted sign is a bit of a pain, as Iím no sign painter, but a little work with a projector and a sharpie magic marker has resulted in a fine display that will serve me for years to come.

The show was now 2 weeks away, and with another unrelated convention planned between now and Arisia, I had to put this baby to bed, was it done? Was it ready? Well not quite, but I had to call it done. Everything was photographed in place, making it easier to reassemble at the event, and then packed away.


Show time, the big day, this is nothing different from any other production. I had come to think of this as a theatrical production rather than a freak show, so I could feel more comfortable with the familiarity of presentation rather than fear the unknown. We were initially slated to set up our little display in a common area along vendorís row, but later found out that we were banished to a room like the other vendors. Seems there was a little battle between the convention chair, and the vending coordinator, and I was used as a fulcrum between the two. Great they fight and I loose.


We carry up our loaded trunks, our display turntables, and our miles of velvet table coverings. We were one class act! Once the sign was set outside we had interest, people couldnít wait for us to set up. Unpacking went well not a thing broken; perhaps a little formaldehyde was spilled but no real problems. I realized that my carefully laid out plans were not going to happen without the photos. Holy crap! The photos were left home, no problem, I can fake this, it was only a guideline after allÖ so long as I start with the Cyclops pig in the center ill be fine.... but where the hell is it...


Shock runs through me, I forgot somethingÖ make that some things... a whole damn boxÖ and itís the good stuff. In my rush to get out of the house I forgot the last trunk. Without a Cyclops pig, or Mary Kate & Ashley the Siamese pigs, or the shrunken head, I had nothing... this one case had all the highlights in one safe place... and that place was my living room.


My girl Friday was left to set up the room while I raced back to Rhode Island, a drive of 56.1 miles each way. I am in a panic; this is no way to make a good first impression. This drive should take about 45 min with only a few laws broken, a few minutes to make the pick up, and then back again, I have a decent chance of getting back for the start of the event. I knew that chance was shot all to hell just 5 minutes out the hotel, when I encountered the worst traffic I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in.


Almost 4 hours later Iím back in the hotel lot, important box in tow, hustling my way through a hotel filled to capacity with freaks and geeks, not the fun carnival sort, but rather the star trek and renascence faire variety. As I squeeze into the elevator I realize that it is not just rumor that these folks donít bathe regularly. This socially awkward group made no concession for me as I tried to rush down the hallÖ I actually overheard a couple talking about how they couldnít wait to visit the museum. Seems that they had tried to enter earlier, but were turned away. So wrapped up in their little geek world and too rude to let me pass even after I informed them that I had the key to the museum in the form of my little trunk of goodies, they sort of brushed past me as if I was a bastard for trying to enter the room before them.


Within 15 minutes of my arrival, the museum was set, and ready for guests. Yes guests... as much as these rude people had pissed me off; they were to be my guest and deserved my fullest attention. After all they were paying my salary for the day, 3 dollars at a time.


I encountered plenty of nice folks, and a few fools who were smug enough to tell me that they could spot the fakes amongst the lot. Not only were they all wrong, but I took a petty joy in screwing with them the second I realized they thought they were smarter than me. There was one young lady who first let me know how smart and worldly she was, (after all she was a student of anthropology) then let into me for exploiting the indigenous peoples of the world was set at ease when I told her of the FUGAWIE tribe, and how they support themselves through toe carvings, and selling teeth. There were several folks in the know around that simply let out a smile, and let the fool dig her own grave.


Scott Bonelli


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