July 17th, 2006



Back from another four days of hard living at Necon. I swear, I find new gray hairs every year when I get home. I didn't get as crazy this year as I have in the past -- no raging hangovers, no stumbling back to my room just as the early morning joggers are leaving theirs, no bikini top -- but it was a fun time all the same. I don't think I've ever had a bad Necon, come to think of it, and that's because it's all about the people. This year there was a nice mix of veterans and virgins (like sarahlangan and pamphiliawrites, who experienced their first Necon without running away screaming). Sarah's boyfriend J.T. was supposed to come Saturday, but a family emergency kept him away. Hopefully we'll get him next year.

The 9 AM Saturday panel went well, if a little violent. As soon as I sat down at the table to moderate, someone in the much larger than expected audience yelled, "Ready? Three...Two...One..." I looked up at him like The fuck is this guy doing? When he reached one, everyone in the audience stood up and hurled little superballs at me in what had to be the most elaborate practical joke Craig Shaw Gardner, Chris Golden, Dan Booth and Trish Cacek (now collectively known as the Legion of Doom) ever masterminded. All I can say is thank God I was wearing a baseball cap with a visor for protection. My coffee, unfortunately, was not protected. Spilling a man's only cup of coffee at such an ungodly hour verges on the unforgivable.

They'll get theirs. Next year I'm bringing a supersoaker and going after all those mofos. Vengeance will be merciless, brutal and wet. Just like my honeymoon!

The panel proceeded without a hitch from there, with Gary Frank proving he can be more eloquent than anyone at an hour that was never meant to be seen by people drinking until 3 AM the night before. las was charming and knowledgeable, as were bev_vincent, sarahlangan, L.L. Soares and surprise panelist Michael "I've written over a thousand posts on Shocklines and hope to publish a story some day" Myers.

Then there was more partying, more drinking, and people doing something unspeakable to a Twist & Shout Elmo. Someone caught it on video. Watch for it on youtube. I laughed so hard I almost cried. I think Blow Me Elmo will be very popular this Christmas.

While I'm honored to be the only person in Necon history to have a panel named after him, it's a bit of a dubious honor given the hour involved. Craig told me the only way out is to name my successor.

Which I did.

See you next year, suricattus! Or not, since I'll be sleeping.