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Sunday, September 25, 2016


I was unsure as to why I went in for the contest for 'Comic Con' tickets, other than it was a contest, and I could!  I always had a mild curiosity about the event.  The television programme, the Big Bang Theory, helped to fuel this, together with the event being held in Austin.  I had wandered through the Convention Center in the past, when the event was taking place, but could not really see anything, other than attendees dressed up in outrageous costumes.  Although not a great comic book reader, I was brought up with Batman, Superman and those heroes that, for half an hour a week, made our world a safer place.  When I saw that Dr. Who was part of the package, my curiosity levels went from mild to moderate.  I entered as many times as I was able, and on several different sites.  

When I received the email to say that I had won, I was rather excited. The prize was 'entrance' for two people.  I did consider 'donating', the prize to a more deserving couple, but found that the email contained a voucher, which I (and I alone) had to take to the 'Will call' booth at the convention center, where I (and I alone) would have a wrist band placed upon my arm, and then one would be placed upon the arm of my companion.  As my (and mine alone) identification was needed, there was no way that I could give this to anyone to collect.  The rules firmly stated this!  The voucher was for one day, Sunday, and this too was not transferable.  

Samantha and Edward had plans to go to Dallas for the weekend. They were leaving Friday evening, and would come back Sunday afternoon.  Dana and I had dinner plans on Sunday night, and I considered that, perhaps, my curiosity would have to be unsatisfied for another year.  Fully aware that Dana would not want to join me, I resigned myself to passing up the opportunity.  

The weather was looking particularly inclement for the weekend, with storms threatening, and the chance of swimming becoming less and less likely.  

I received a call on Saturday from our Sunday evening hostess, asking if it would be possible to reschedule dinner to another weekend, as some 'things' had popped up.  After an abundance of apologies, I reassured her that it was probably for the best, as we were dog-sitting, and with the possibility of raging storms, I was not happy leaving him in the house alone, as his reaction to thunder is quite alarming!  Comic-Con was suddenly becoming a possibility.

During dinner on Saturday evening, I broached the subject with my husband, and suggested that I could probably run downtown on Sunday morning and spend a couple of hours at the Convention Center, just to see what all the fuss was actually about.  He agreed it would be an 'experience'.  

Deciding what to wear was my first challenge.  I was not going to 'dress up', but perhaps I could put on some eye make up to look like a Star-Trek character.  I thought about wearing a t-shirt, instead of my usual collared top, and was sure that somewhere in my vast collection, which had been obtained during my SXSW experiences, there would be one that would suffice.  I chose a pair of three quarter length jeans, and a sleeveless shirt.  It was going to have to be 'all' or 'nothing', and I decided to go with 'nothing'.  My shirt did have stars in the pattern, which was the extent of my 'outer-space' effort!  

I asked Dana if he would object to driving me downtown, and picking me up, thus saving me the bother of finding somewhere to park, and taking an umbrella, as the forecast showed showers were imminent.  He said "No!", he did not object.  I asked him if he would like to join me, and take advantage of the second ticket.  He said, "NO!", he did not!  

Standing in line, I was not the only one who failed to wear something other than regular attire.  However, there were many sights to be awed at; some I recognised, and some I did not.  A young man wearing a white apron, and a false mustache, stood next to me.  "Oh you are.......", said the volunteer who was making sure everyone stayed behind the blue line.  "Yes sir", came the answer, and I was still naive as to whom he was supposed to be.  Captain America joined the line, as did two people who looked like rooks. I filed in behind those who were 'living the moment', happy in my oblivion, and walked to the booths that displayed the various 'redemption' options. I saw that there was an opportunity to buy tickets, and hovered in between the entrance and the booths, wondering whether I could be someones fairy godmother.  It did not take long before I espied a young couple, unadorned in finery, counting their cash to give to an attendant.  "Excuse me", I said, startling them.  (Although seeing the various characters that had just entered into the arena, it was a wonder that anyone could be startled by a middle-aged woman wearing a hat.)  I asked if they were going to purchase the regular, no frills, tickets, and they responded, albeit slightly wary, that they were.  I explained that I had won two tickets, and was only going to use one, so would one of them like to join me at the booth to redeem the tickets, therefore saving them $54.  Suddenly, I became less frightening!  The young lady that was now instantly my bff, walked from one booth to another, as we were sent further and further down the line, and let out a slight squeal when we were informed that as a winner, I got the 'priority' tickets.  I was not sure what that meant, and her partner would have to live vicariously, through her, should there be any advantage, as she had given him $54 for a basic ticket!  She thanked me profusely, and I bid them farewell.

Feeling rather pleased that I was able to at least benefit someone, I walked into the main hall.  There were various sections with rows of seats, where people had already taken up residence, awaiting the start of the a 'special edition' screening of an 'epic'.  I took a seat and looked at the programme I had been given, to attempt to see what, if anything, would be of interest.  I did not want to purchase an autograph from Judge Reinhold, so there was no need to stand in the queue that was already forming, nor did I wish to pay to have my photo taken with the character whom Captain America refused to kill in one of his movies.  Presumably, I was the token 'bore'. Many booths had many opportunities to purchase games, costumes, and books.  I was invited (presumably because no one else was walking past) to take part in a 'puzzle game', in which I had one minute to solve the clues, and put the pieces into their correct places.  It took me thirty seconds to understand the rules, (which obviously I did not) and then another fifteen to realise that the screen was not going to change and what was on it was 'it'.  I did complete the task, much to the amazement of the child that was attempting to explain the game to me!  The second game came with a far less comprehensive set of rules, and perhaps mind reading would have been a more appropriate method to understand what she was trying to explain.  It was simple enough.  Four colours, each flashing, put them in the order they appear.  I did.  What she failed to say was, "Put them in order depending on how many times they flash".  Perhaps I should have known.  Oh well!  I won a 'button', and a 'sucker'.  (Perhaps appropriate!)

The 'rooks' that had been behind me in the queue, were being escorted through the hall by a volunteer.  They were nodding at each stop, and looking around, as if eyeing up their prey.  I was curious, but no one else appeared to be bothered.  Perhaps it was Judge Reinhold in disguise, or the character that Captain America refused to kill in that movie, thus preventing anyone stealing a picture without having to queue and purchase!  As I watched them strutting with their personal guide, I almost tripped over 'R2D2'. Spinning around in the middle of the room, the droid was being followed by a little girl, who was desperate to have her picture taken with the robot.  At last!  A character I recognised!  (The droid, not the child!)

The Doctor was not at home!  "Are you familiar with Doctor Who?" asked a man barely out of his teens.  I informed him that I was brought up with 'The' Doctor, and remembered the Police boxes,  I did not wish to pay $15 to have my picture taken next to the box, and was starting to wonder if I was the only one who questioned 'What does the entrance fee include?'  I was invited to stand inside the box. "It's not bigger on the inside", I said, half sarcastically, half disappointed.  I was informed that I was actually in the box with all the Doctors at one time!  Or at least their signatures.  Once again, I deflated the man who was attempting to sound informative.  "I don't see my Doctor", I said, scouring the walls for John Pertwee.  Signatures from 1996 did not all the Doctors make!  "Actually, I am not a fan, and I don't know much about the programme", the young man admitted.  I smiled, somewhat motherly, and said that it was okay.  He looked from side to side, and then over each shoulder, as if he was expecting someone to be watching his every move.  "Can I ask you something", he started, looking over his shoulders once again.  I nodded, wondering what this contraband question might be!"These boxes,  Why did they have 'phones in them.  Was it because not all houses had 'phones?"  I nodded, and then explained that the phones could be used by the public to make calls to the police.  The boxes were also used by the policemen, should they need to contact the station, or get back up, or anything else they might need.  The 'phone was in a box on the outside, for the public to use, and inside was like a personal police station for the officer.   He was astounded!  "That is so cool!  And you remember them?"  Oh yes, I am that old.  "Oh yes.  And what's more, when we used to see them, as children, we thought they were 'THE' Tardis!"  The delight on his face was accompanied by the comment that he was now 'one up' on his friends who were Doctor Who fans, as he knew the real reason for the police box.  Apparently, I had answered the one question they all wanted to know.  Really?  Me?  The person who could not work out the sequence code for the colour game!

Darth Vada walked past as I basked in my own glory, and was followed by a skeleton who was pushing a wheelchair bound 'storm trooper'.  The rooks were no where to be seen.  

I signed up to win a t-shirt and bag from a TV station that had a booth next to an author of 'distant earths' books.  I was familiar with the TV station.  I had entered the contest to win tickets for the convention on their site, although theirs was not the station from whom I won!  I had seen some of the programmes that they displayed upon their wall, but not all.  I would look out for a text, and if I received one, I would return to collect my prize.  I scoured the lady's face for signs that she was human, and not a hologram, as her patter was rather robotic.  Now that would have been something to report!

With very little more to see, without paying a premium, I decided to call Dana.  It had been rather an interesting experience, but not one I would rush to repeat (although I would not say 'no' to winning another contest).  It was not 'my scene', but I could see why it was appealing to those who were 'into' such things.  Each to their own! 

Waiting to be collected, I called my mother, and told her where I had been.  She was rather interested to hear about my adventure, as she, too, watches the Big Bang Theory, and wondered if it was as good as they portray it to be.  I explained that if you are 'into' it, I guess it was!  She also found it amusing that I went alone, and that Samantha had said that Edward was a 'little bit' jealous.  Dana appeared (not in a Tardis) as I was saying 'cheerio' to my mother, and took me home.

It was a little upsetting, although not too much so, that I was not there to claim my prize of a t-shirt and bag, as I received the text about half an hour after I had arrived home.  Safe in the confines of my condo, I showed Dana the pictures I had taken, all rather covertly, as I was not sure what I was not meant to take!  The t-shirt that I did gain had printed on the front 'Comic con 2016', and although I planned to give it to my 'little bit' jealous son in law, my daughter claimed it first!  

With another fun experience under my belt, reminding me that I am indeed living a blessed life in this, the capital city of Texas, I plan to brave the elements, and go swimming in between the storms that have been forecast.  The dog will be reunited with his parents soon, and my evening will not be interrupted by a round of yapping each time a 'phone pings, or he thinks he hears a door open!  

I have absolutely no plans for the forthcoming week.  I shall take each day as it comes, and revel in anticipation.  Something will, no doubt, either tickle, astound, irritate or delight me.  Anticipation alone is not enough, but the event leading from said anticipation, will be ............. another story!

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