"It looks like you are suffering from being back-blogged," said Dr. Dippel. His slightly hunched-back assistant nodded in agreement.
I shook my head in disbelief. "It can't be. I must have a bad head cold, nothing more."
"Tsk, tsk," said Dr. Dippel. "You do nothing else but stay up all night reading questionable literature and writing that silly blog of yours. As if anyone reads it." I could have sworn his assistant snickered.
I looked at them. They whispered to each other, then smiled at me. I hate when doctors and assistants do that. "You must remain in bed all day, and especially, no blogging for a week," he said. His assistant nodded in agreement. I could have sworn he wagged his finger at me, too.
"But doctor," I protested, "I am so behind in my blogging I cannot quit, not even for a moment. And then there's I-CON! I must go, I must keep searching for all that is horrorful and wonderful to blog about."
"Tsk, tsk." They threw up their hands, scolded me, then started to leave my bedroom. Dr. Dippel turned and said "If blog you must, then I suggest you take some NyQuil and dress warmly."
"And write shorter blogs!" said his assistant. There, he did it again, he wagged his finger at me.
I was left in silence. How could I stop blogging when so much still needed to be said? If only I could find more hours in the day and night. There is so much to do. How will I ever catch up? And write shorter blogs!? Such effrontery to literary etiquette must not be allowed to happen, even if the average attention span of a blog reader is measured in milliseconds and page blips. How will I ever make do? Such are the eternal questions we face when blogging. I put them aside for the moment and got out of bed, dressed, and headed to I-CON 25 at Stony Brook University. I would not let little things like a painfully throbbing headache, stuffy nose, and mucous-filled membranes stop me. No way, no how.
It did not take long to get to Stony Brook, but finding parking was a hassle. The overflow parking lot had filled up, and there appeared to be no over-overflow lot. I eventually settled for a metered space, dropped in a few quarters, and went to buy my ticket; other drivers continued circling around and around, looking for parking spaces, like souls lost in limbo searching for the exit. The line to buy tickets was not too long. Lots of geeks were dressed up as their most inner persona or favorite character from fiction, gaming, anime, movies, or what have you. I, of course, was dressed as myself. How sad. Deep down I want to be a Klingon. Maybe one of these days. Definitely. HIja!
With my name badge firmly pinned to my coat, I headed toward the dealer’s room, but stopped first at Ghoul a Go-Go's table, the underworld’s hippest show. Being a cable broadcast show from the farthest reaches of Long Island, I was anxious to pick up one of their DVDs. Unfortunately the gruesome trio was out and about, but I did snag a DVD containing three episodes of their kid’s “put a head on a pole and let’s have a party” shindig of dancing, funny skits, more dancing, retro-industrial brainwashing videos, and even more dancing; all done in glorious black and white. With mind-blowingly funny 50’s industrial public information shorts like “Paper and I,” where young Willy meets a talking paper bag that takes him on a magical journey of discovery.
Willy becomes so enamored with his new brown paper friend that even his parents worry about him, finally causing his dad to yell out “he’s sick again!” to mom, who quickly calls the doctor. Leaving the question of just what, exactly, his dad meant by that comment unanswered, poor Willy soon experiences a horrendous day without paper. Happily, all ends well for Willy as Mr. Paper Bag tells him to crumple him up and throw him away because his useful life is over. Willy gleefully blows up Mr. Paper Bag and pops him but good, then tosses him. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but damned if I could find it. I look forward to seeing the sequel, where Willy meets Mr. Transparent, the evil twin brother of Mr. Paper Bag, in “Plastic and I."
The dealer’s room had wide aisles to walk and peruse in, and my first stop was at the Elder Signs Press table; I found horror! William Jones, writer and editor of ESP, was a pleasure to talk to. I snapped a photo of Mr. Jones and his lovely wife (at least I hope it was his wife; sorry in advance if not). I picked up ESP’s Horrors Beyond: Tales of Terrifying Realities, which was edited by Mr. Jones. I read two stories from the anthology that night; Vuuduu, a subtle techno-madness tale by C. J. Henderson that leaves the reader wondering who actually went mad, and Experiencing the Other by Ann K. Schwader, which builds to a chilling climax of alien horror. I also got a copy of Dark Wisdom: The Magazine of Dark Fiction #8. I read the first panel of John Shirley’s strongly character-focused Techno-Triptych, and Mr. Jones's editorial on the dwindling literacy level of the average American reader, before my cold and sleepiness got the better of me. Indeed, with the more visually oriented and shallow, attention-byte span of today’s environment, one can only hope that blogging, and the occurrence of the “what’s old is new again” dictum will bring the literacy level back up in time.
I moved on to see the delightful Debbie Rochon. She presented her behind--wait that's not right--she presented a behind the scenes video on Slither, a movie yours truly will likely see. She also showed an unaired Fangoria’s Trailer Park episode, which was paced a tad too slow. I handed my camera to her number one groupie to take the photo. Judging by my red eyes in the photo, I appear to be possessed by a Level 2 demon as described in Hornsby’s Secular Field Guide to Demons. After her presentation, I planned on viewing some of the independent horror films being shown later that evening, but as my head cold worsened and the NyQuil wore off, I decided to head back to the mansion.
As I was leaving, the Ghostbusters arrived. I was about to tell them there was a Level 2 demon walking around the convention, but as fate would have it, they were frozen in place by evil photograph-taking sprites dressed as fans. They were still frozen in place as I drove away.
So remember kiddies, put a head on a pole and let’s party! But don't forget how awful the world would be without paper, especially that folding green kind, with the heads of dead presidents on it.
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