May 17, 2012 by deadorcs
Alright, Nerds. The summer convention season is once again upon us. Hundreds (and occasionally thousands) of us will be packing ourselves into rooms, corridors, and showroom floors in order to celebrate all of the various things we enjoy about being a geek. Whether its comic books or gaming, or a dozen other geek specialties, we’re going to be out there in the public spaces rubbing shoulders with the famous and obscure.
You need to put your best foot forward.
Now last year (if you recall), I ranted at considerable length about the odd habit that certain nerds have of refusing to shower or use deodorant while attending a convention. I am happy to report that after attending GenCon last year, Nerds are getting the message. In the four days I attended this rather large convention, I only had one passing encounter with an individual who’s funk managed to melt my eyeballs and corrode my sinuses. It was brief, but all too memorable.
One encounter? Not bad, Nerds. Not bad at all.
While it might be too soon to lock the “stinky Nerd” stereotype away forever, I’m pleased with this progress. That said, there are plenty of other things Nerds do at conventions that drive me fucking crazy, and today I’m going to talk about a big one. This convention season?
GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY.
That’s right. Get the fuck out of the way. Seriously. I am tired of being body-blocked and kept from my appointed rounds (or events, etc.) by lackadaisical Nerds aimlessly going about their convention day like a bunch of half-wit zombies. We’re at a convention, people, not the fucking mall! There are things to do! Things to see! Events to attend! Go about your day with purpose, and stop the damn meandering.
You might ask, “But DeadOrcs, what do you mean?”
I’ll tell you. There are two ways Nerds hold up the works needlessly. One involves Cos-play, and the other involves Introversion. They’re separate issues, so I’ll tackle them one at time.
At many Nerd conventions, Cos-play is a constant feature of the environment. Cos-play (which is short for “costume play”) is simply folks that like to dress up in costume as their favorite geek icon. Superheroes, anime figures, fantasy & science fiction characters are all game and they are mostly awesome. I love seeing amazing and creative costumes and I wish I had the guts to pull off a similar appearance. That guy in his 40s that keeps showing up as Sailor Moon? Rock on, dude.
But here’s the deal. When you see someone in a costume like that, it’s very tempting to get them to stop what they’re doing and take a picture. It won’t take long (you promise!). Inevitably, you ask that person in costume to stop right in the middle of the damn busy corridor. The poor Cos-player doesn’t really want to say no, so they stop. Well, guess what.
YOU ARE NOW IN MY FUCKING WAY.
Nerds, get this straight. I love the Cos-Players and I get you want to have your Kodak moment with Sailor Moon Guy. Don’t have that moment in the middle of the corridor. Politely, POLITELY, ask the Cos-Player to move to the wall so you can take a picture. If the Cos-Player is busy, WAIT FOR ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY. Better yet, many conventions have Cos-Play events where that’s the only thing going on. FIND THOSE EVENTS AND BRING YOUR CAMERA. I don’t care how you handle it, but please…
GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY.
Cos-Players, I don’t hold you quite as responsible for this irritating behavior, but you still have a stake. It’s flattering to be asked (especially if asked nicely) to have someone take a picture of you. I get that. But seriously, this season? Please just move off to the side, and get your picture taken there, and NOT in the middle of the corridor. This will make me VERY happy.
While I don’t want to paint any group with too broad a brush, I don’t think it’s a big stretch to say that many Nerds are introverted. Smart, creative, people are often insular and not the best at navigating the tricky social mores of public spaces. It’s okay. I’m like that, too. I rarely speak first in conversations, and will wait and gauge people by their own discussions before jumping in and joining the conversation. Call it shyness, or simply a desire to be left alone, it’s all about being introverted.
Knowing this, it’s nearly unfathomable that we manage to pull ourselves out of our little boxes to even attend large conventions. While most of the time our introverted behavior isn’t a problem, there’s one place where it has NO PLACE, and that is on the Vendor Floor.
Ah…the Vendor Floor. That location at every convention where we can find the most delicious and precious of Nerd treasures. The Vendor Floor is busy, crowded, and filled with Nerds of every stripe meandering around like befuddled goblins. Here’s the problem: Nerds, being introverted, don’t like to engage in conversation with strangers at Vendor booths. AT THE SAME TIME, there’s too much shiny to prevent the Nerds from just passing by the booth. The result, Nerds standing in the middle of the already crowded Vendor aisles and GETTING IN MY FUCKING WAY.
Kids, I’m here to tell you that the Vendors DO NOT FUCKING BITE. Some of them even have really cool products to sell, and interesting things to say. If you’re interested in a product, do NOT stand in the middle of the aisle looking at their goods from TEN feet away. GO UP TO THE BOOTH. Not interested in the Vendor’s pitch? Then I suggest you practice the following sentence:
“No thank you, just looking.”
Pretty simple, right? It’s respectful, a vendor will understand, and most importantly, it gets you OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY. This way, I can get to that booth that sells the leather utility kilts because MY WIFE THINKS THIS IS A GREAT IDEA.
Look. I know this rant has been born out of the fact that I’m getting older, and really don’t like to have to physically fight crowds. Nevertheless, there are some practical issues to keep in mind. Not everyone is as nimble as your bipedal self, and may require the use of extra wheels, walking sticks, etc. Let’s show these folks some respect and GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY. In addition, if there’s an emergency, the medicos can reach a location in the Vendor hall quickly without having to push your dumb ass out of the way.
Oh, and if you’re Cos-Playing as the fucking TARDIS and decide NOW would be a great time to visit the Dr. Who booth on the Vendor floor – YOU HAVE MADE THE WRONG DECISION.
My Name is DeadOrcs and This Is My Game