I eventually stopped going to Science Fiction conventions, and as I recall this might have been the last one I did go to. I guess there wasn’t a whole lot of interest for this sort of thing in Vegas, and I found that kind of odd at first. I’m not sure why, but I expected Vegas to be a place teeming with well attended con’s. The reality of the situation was quite different. I had paid 15 dollars for admission to the Gold Room convention hall at some sleazy downtown casino so that I could get Richard Hatch’s autograph. Adam West was supposed to be in attendance as well and I was looking forward to pissing him off. You see, it’s always seemed to me that most people tend to fawn over celebrities when they meet. The plebe gets all excited and gushes about how much they love what the Important Person has done. “Oh, golly Mister West, I so loved Batman. It was such wacky fun, and even if you did do Young Lady Chatterley II, I still respect you as an actor.” “Hey that’s swell little boy, did you give my manager Johnny five bucks for an autograph? Good, then here you go, now piss off.” You see, I believe most celebrities aren’t real interested in your sycophantic attention. They have PA’s for that. The wonder of the fan’s adulation must wear off the first time a stunted, pale, teen falls out of your garbage can while rummaging around looking for something you may have touched. These feeling can only be amplified in an actor who was typecast thirty years ago and hasn’t been able to work since. I figure what celebrities really want is for someone to treat them no differently than any one else. Towards that end I almost always refer to such folk by their first name. I also go out of my way to try and piss them off, you know, bring them down to earth a little. “Hey, thanks for the glossy Adam, I loved your work in Young Lady Chatterley II.” It remains to be seen whether they really appreciate my efforts or not. So, I was at this pit of a convention with maybe 150 other weirdoes. The star attraction so far was the crazy guy with the Mohawk from Mad Max and the lady who played Lady Hawk on Buck Rogers. I was piffling around at the twenty or so tables trying to swing some deals for some vintage Starwars Figures and kill time before Apollo and Batman showed up. I struck up a conversation with a dealer and quietly enquired as to whether he knew when said heroes would show. “Sorry guy,” he replied, “They both cancelled this morning. I think they wanted more money or something.” The only reason I had agreed to this atrocious quest was to get Hatch’s autograph and upset Batman. I was livid. He must have recognized my building fury. “Hey it’s cool man. At the last minute we got the guy who played Anubis in Stargate.” I stared blankly at the man. I could care crap less about a two bit pretty boy who had a CG helmet on his head for 75% of his screen time in a cheap knock off of Return of the Jedi. I had either frightened him, or confused him into thinking I cared about Anubis, for he pointed towards the corner of the room. I turned my head. Behind a large cinema standup was Anubis. Anubis was mostly naked and was attempting to pull on his Anubis costume, using the sign for cover from the small and disinterested crowd. I boggled. Boggling was a mistake. Anubis looked up to see me boggling and smiled at me. It wasn’t a happy smile. It was the kind of smile that makes you nervous in the locker room. I quickly turned and walked away, I was now on a mission to have my admittance fee refunded. I was super pissed about the lack of advertised celebrities and someone was going to pay. After a lengthy and loud conversation involving a short greasy man, several bored security guards and a few intimidating threats, I gave up. The money hungry grifters who put on this con were not going to part with their precious lucre. I was defeated and decided to make the best of a poor situation. I returned to a table that I recalled had sported several unopened packs of Empire Strikes Back trading cards. After brokering my deal I turned to leave, and nearly collided with a tall man all greased up like a pig at a county fair and dressed in a rubber costume. It was Anubis! He smiled at me, gave me a little wink, rested his hand on my arm and uttered, “would you like my autograph handsome?” in the most stereotypically gay lisp. I was at a loss for words. His hand continued to rest on my arm. I stared at it for a second then lifted my head and with all my mustered wit replied, “Wha…? Uhm, no.” I turned on my heel and swiftly exited. It was a traumatizing day. I learned two valuable lessons that day.
  1. If you believe someone may be gay and you are not, don’t boggle at them while they undress in public. They may get the wrong idea.
  2. Never attempt to eat the gum from a packet of trading cards that has been sealed in wax paper for twenty years.

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