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Penguicon 2012 Report - Saturday
Oh Dear God, We're Almost to the End!

A continuation of Friday's report…again, probably forgot people and events, blah blah blah…

Convention of Infinite Busyness

After the normal business of ensuring that everything was opened and ready to roll for the day, I had a few moments' break for breakfast before it was time to go to the Penguicon Board meeting. Fun was had, business was done; we decided to name our storage cube the Aaron Thul Memorial Cube in honor of the late Aaron Thul, who stepped down to move to the great white north. (Late, meaning he was late to the meeting, don't be morbid). Amanda Long-Adams was voted in as our newest board member and the board treasurer. The board purchased the networking hardware that we used this year for the convention.

The concom meeting immediately followed the board meeting. This, too, was extraordinarily productive. We were able to chat about plans for getting 2013 off to a running start, discuss some strategy, and make notes on improvements that can be made. Unfortunately, between planning and keeping things moving, I was unable to do the Match Game that I had been wanting to do. That especially sucks, since I was really looking forward to it. Luckily, Nuri and my co-host Carrie were able to do it without me. I understand that they had a great time.

The Food, It's All Made of Poison!

During the ConCom meeting, one particular volunteer wandered in to warn us of the end of our hour. He was specifically singled out by a few members of the committee as being something of a go-getter perhaps capable of handling more responsibility in next year's convention. Imagine my surprise, then, when I was summoned to the ConSuite later in the afternoon to address a volunteer being abusive to staff and attendees and it was our new friend.

When I walked in the room, the young man I'll call Paranoid McInsaneyPants immediately charged up to me and barked that I should “get over here,” and “look at this right now.” I asked if I could speak to him in the hall for a moment to try to calm the situation. Clearly, this wasn't what he wanted, as he repeated his orders in a shout. I reiterated my desire to see him in the hallway (with, perhaps, just a hint of anger in my voice for good measure) and he finally complied.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who has utterly and completely slipped their grasp on reality? That was how the next few minutes went as I tried to calm down the nutter and he tried desperately to convey to me that Lithie, our consuite head, was POISONING EVERYONE WITH POISON. I am not joking, the conversation went something like this:

Paranoid McInsaneyPants: You have to listen to me, they're poisoning everyone!
Me: Settle down, what are you talking about?
PM: There are cardboard boxes everywhere and the ice is melting!
Me: There is no reason to treat the staff and volunteers that way
PM: Everyone is going to get sick or die and it will be all your fault!!!

It is important to note that every single one of his lines was delivered with that exact degree of chicken-little sounding mania that conveys a thoroughly weak grasp on reality. At this point, I explained that Mr. McInsaneyPants should probably see his way off-site. He agreed, but not without a villainous parting warning that we would “all be sorry.”

Hours later, our hotel contact pulled me aside to point out that the health department had called. After explaining the circumstances, she joined me in laughing about it and it was handled without incident. You might find yourself asking what our resident lunatic might have been so concerned about…as it turns out, having a stack of broken down cardboard boxes in a pile awaiting pickup, half-full trash cans, full trash bags set aside for pickup every two hours by the hotel, and sealed containers of lunch meat sitting immersed in ice in a lined bathtub all are dangerous toxins that might kill us all.

Needless to say, we won't be asking him to staff the next convention…probably…

Geek Prom

Sarah's Geek Prom was amazing. Literally, the only truly successful dance Penguicon has had as long as I've been around. It is a bummer that it was running against many of the headline concerts, because I got to pop back and forth between the two and both were absolutely fantastic. Sarah, Amanda, and Geralyn all looked gorgeous in their fancy dresses and everyone in the DeSoto room was having a great time. Ultimately, Ger and Amanda's consumption of booze without food meant we needed a dinner break, so we had to abandon the prom for some dinner before my accidental panel.

The Jer's Bored Panel

At one of the last planning meetings before the convention, I was making fun of how little programming had made it onto the schedule and said something regarding needing to add panels to the evening hours. I might have made reference to a Jer's Bored panel. I was amused to see, as we approached the convention, that it had made it onto the schedule. When the panel was brought up on Saturday and I indicated the unlikelihood that I would attend, Scott mentioned that a number of people had marked it on the schedule as something they'd be attending.

How could I disappoint my half dozen loyal fans?

The panel was actually a lot of fun…I had absolutely nothing interesting to say, fortunately James showed up absolutely inebriated, so he entertained the audience of 20 or so friends while we sat around and shot the shit for a while. The awkward moment arose when not one but two of my students from this semester showed up at the panel in time to hear such delightful nuggets as the time I tasted (not ate, tasted) dog shit and the 100 taco lunch stop. In all, I had a great time.

Missing Children Parts One and Two

While relaxing with a friend or two back in my room, I got a concerning phone call: the Dearborn PD had been called by a father who had lost his son. It being currently around midnight or so, I bolted down stairs to aid in the search. While determining how best to move forward, several things were revealed: the missing child was 14, the father hadn't looked in any of the function rooms, and the child was last seen playing a game called Werewolf with other con-goers.

Did I mention that we had just had to move a bunch of people that had been playing Werewolf an hour or so before?

I walked into the first room off the elevator, immediately saw a person who fit the description, and led him to his angrily waiting father and two equally angrily waiting police officers. Parents…if you lose your teenage child, consider looking for him or her for a moment before calling in the police.

Just as I was getting ready to head back upstairs, another person came wandering over to point out that their child was missing. Age? Around 14. Last seen? Playing Werewolf. I suggested the parent check the Steamer room. Paydirt, again!

I'm like the 14 year old kid whisperer.

I spent the rest of the evening sitting in the lobby and chatting with friends until I finally realized that the next day's work would require at least SOME sleep; at 5am, I finally wandered up stairs to turn in.

My hope is that I will manage to get the final report (covering both Sunday and Monday) up tomorrow. We shall see.