Things to Avoid at Dragon Con this yearPhoto from Dragon Con 2013.
Like a junkie to his demons, I simply can ot resist the siren song of Dragon Con. It calls to me from some alternate history, where mankind has invented spaceships that somehow still use land line telephones and all the characters inexplicably have British accents.
But listen well, my nerdy brothers and sisters. Many dangers await you in Con Land, also known as downtown Atlanta. A few, in no particular order.
And here I must speak for my tribe, or as I like to call them, Roll Tide. Every year it seems that some diabolical alliance between city planners and the Chamber of Commerce conspires to mix SEC football fans with people they may or probably would have beaten up in high school. I assume they do this because it’s fun to screw with people, particularly when you have permitting authority.
Dance puppets. Dance.
Bama fans are, for the most part, pleasant folks, but like any fan base they have their share of fans who engage in random troll-dickery. Dragon Con is about nonconformity. Bama football fandom is about dressing alike and bowing down to worship a 4-foot-tall Satan. (Hail Saban.) We can be nice, but we can also be a little one-track minded. While a 9-win football season would be good at most schools, at Alabama it would mean at least one, perhaps two virgin sacrifices. We like winning and like surrounding ourselves with a culture of like-minded winners. We are the apex predator of college football. We feel our success is derived from our ability to move in herds and chant in unison.
If you must interact with us, please do so in a way that reinforces our perceived importance. It’s important to remember that interaction isn’t necessary at all. We have sufficient self-esteem to sustain us through a game against West Virginia. Also, T.J. Yeldon.
There’s something about packing a lot of people from all over the country into a small geographic area during a hot weekend in August that is just conducive to spreading germs. Science has struggled to unravel this mystery and the government even set up the Centers for Disease Control here in Atlanta to study the problem in depth.
Every year otherwise-healthy introverts leave Atlanta with nagging, flu-like symptoms caused by germs incubated in cramped, agonizingly slow elevators. No one is immune, not even the slowly-suffocating people who have covered themselves from head to toe in movie makeup and/or latex.
The only remedy appears to be bathing. This custom, long shunned by the French, involves the generous application of soap and water. Also, washing hands is advisable, unless you can knock that mess out with some Jedi voodoo.
Some years the clever folks at the host hotels try to “upgrade” you by putting you way up on floor 60. While this sounds all fancy, you are actually being sentenced to a slow death of being crushed by nerds. This situation is particularly gruesome on Monday, when all of those nerds are hungover from a weekend of partying and carrying all of their stuff back to the car.
If at all possible, get a floor at level 20 or lower. You will save yourself a lot of elevator-related stress and awkward conversations.
Labor Day weekend traffic in Atlanta is a case-study in human derp. People who don’t know how to walk across a street meet people who don’t know how to drive on one. Tempers are running as hot as the radiators. If you must go downtown please, in the name of all that’s holy, walk, bike or take MARTA.
Or, if you’re a superhero, fly.