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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Comic-Con 2006 Beymer Family Vacation

With the exception of the AVN awards, Comic-Con is my favorite annual social event. And since I couldn't plan our family vacation around Inari Vachs and Miko Tan, Comic-Con was the next best thing.

300 Days Ago
This pivotal conversation with my wife occurred over dinner one night.

WIFE - We should go on a family vacation next summer.
ME - Yep. Hmm. Where should we go?
WIFE - Someplace easy, since we'll be carrying around a two year old baby.
ME - Hmm. How about San Diego? They've got a zoo, lots of water, Seaworld, Lego Land...
WIFE - (Suspiciously) Maybe...
ME - ...great weather, nice restaurants...
WIFE - When do you want to go?
ME - Oh, I don't know..(pausing. Not sure how long to pause... Don't want wife to get suspicious. If I pause too long she'll figure out -)
WIFE - Why aren't you saying anything?
ME - Just off the top of my head, maybe July 19 through the 23rd?
WIFE - You fat bastard.

Journey to Con

  • Our first hurdle involved the family dog. We couldn't just leave her in the house with a bag of food, a gallon of water and a sheet of newspaper - at least, that's what my wife told me - so we needed to board her in a kennel. The idea of leaving the dog in a kennel for five days made my wife cry, but we managed to dump her there anyway.
    "See, it's a vacation for her, too." I said. This only made things worse. I might as well have taken her behind the shed with a shotgun like at the end of Old Yeller.

  • Arrived at the airport. Lugging suitcases, a car seat, a stroller, two backpacks and a two-year old across a hot, complicated parking lot. "Is this Hell?" I asked. A little voice answered "No, son. This is SFO."

  • It sucks being a tall, fat guy in the aisle seat of a cramped airplane. The airlines don't exactly design their seats with the "Exceptionally Girthed" individual in mind, and I'm accustomed to the look of horror on a passenger's face as I walk by their row. Looks of "Oh, please God. Don't let him sit next to me..."

    Once I settled into my aisle seat, I was treated to some guy struggling to get his luggage on the rack above me while boring his crotch into my face like I just paid him twenty dollars for a lap dance. I don't remember much else - something in his crotch poked me in the eye and temporarily blinded me, causing all further memories to repress.

    Hotel Breakfast

  • Went to breakfast downstairs with the other Comic-Con folks. One lady brought her own box of Life cereal and asked the waiter for nothing but a bowl and a carton of milk. I laughed and shook my head thinking "What a retard", then I opened the bill for my "Continental Breakfast", saw the $40 price tag and felt like Ned Beatty in Deliverance after the director pulled "Mountain Man Number One" off of him. Horrified, I looked up from the bill and saw the woman - milk dripping off her chin, a square of Life stuck to her bottom lip - laughing at me. I swear she was mouthing the words "What a retard." from behind her box of cereal.

    Comic-Con Bus Shuttle

  • We took a shuttle from the hotel to Comic-Con. The bus was filled with ComiCon attendees - felt like we were surrounded by that creepy family from The Hills Have Eyes.

    There was a 500 pound guy sitting in front of us. I smirked, pointed, and whispered some clever remark to my wife. She grabbed my spare tire and jiggled it. Point taken.

  • A man dressed in a Storm Trooper costume stood at the back of the bus, unable to sit. He said he wanted to sit down, but that it wouldn't be a pretty sight. I don't know what that means, and I don't EVER want to know what that means. He was staying at our hotel, and I'd seen him walking through the lobby earlier in full uniform.

    One of the shuttle passengers was giving this guy so much shit, I kept waiting for the Storm Trooper to shoot him like an uppity Ewok.

    "Dude," the guy said, "You should go down to the lobby in your costume, tie a towel around your waist, and complain that there's no hot water in your shower."

    I don't know why, but I found this so damned funny that I was crying. Funnier still was the fact that the Storm Trooper didn't get the joke. "I don't think Storm Troopers take showers in their uniforms." He said. Nice comeback. And I don't think Storm Troopers live in their mother's basement either. So put your helmet back on, dude.

  • Passed a homeless woman reading a newspaper on the sidewalk. Perusing Used Shopping Carts? Checking the stock market perhaps? Later, I saw her walking around Comic-Con as an attendee. I was wrong. She wasn't homeless, just hygienically impaired.


  • As I attempted to navigate my baby stroller through the massive crowds, I overheard this gem: "I can't believe people still bring their kids to this thing." Um, it's called Comic-Con, not Porni-Con.

  • Autograph Row contained such prominent theatrically trained thespians as Erin Gray, Richard Hatch and the Asian guy from Star Trek Voyager. I tried to get a photo of Marc Singer without paying for it, and he nearly went Beastmaster all over me. I thought I was going to get blindsided by an eagle and a couple ferrets.

  • As I wandered through the Convention Hall, I kept catching whiffs of something horrible in the air - like finding a bunch of rotten bananas on the kitchen counter that you forgot about, or a dead rat in the cupboard. If some of these guys would spend as much time with a bar of soap as they do with 20 sided dice, the experience would've been a lot more pleasant.

  • Carrie Fisher was signing autographs on the show floor. She really aged poorly. Doesn't look like Princess Leia at all - more like Vanessa Redgrave with spackle smeared all over her face.

    After the Con

  • Got drunk. Wife took off my leash for a few hours and allowed me to get sloshed with some friends while she and the baby hung out at the hotel. Too many pitchers, too many shots. Stumbled back to the hotel room holding a bladder full of beer. Philosophized with a pirate and slave Leia in the elevator to my room while trying to keep my bladder from rupturing. I must have been quite the conversationalist.

    Vacation verdict = Sweet Awesomeness. Hopefully I will be back in San Diego next July.
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