Every year, for the last 44 years, Memorial Day Weekend is a big deal as sci-fi, fantasy, and otherwise "interesting" folks converge in the Central Ohio Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. MARCON, or Multiple Alternative Reality Convention, is a gathering for fans, readers, writers, and anybody who is interested in comics, sci-fi, and fantasy. The three-day event is one of the most enjoyable events I go to in a year, but it is also one of the strangest. Let the tale end:
It's the last day of MARCON and my head is spinning. Too many drinks in the wee hours of the morning at room parties will do that to you. For those of you who don't know, room parties are parties that are forced into private hotel rooms because they get out of hand with either too much drinking or too much sexual play, though never both at the same time. Mine was the drinking kind.
Looking over at my clock, I notice that it's already 9:30 in the morning; I have a panel at 10 so this is a big issue. Jump out of bed, jump into the shower, and run to my car. A quick drive, along with the proper tipping and payment for valet parking, and I am in the convention center. Woot, I make it on time.
I head to Madison and look around; there is almost nobody there. This seems to be what happens on Sundays: everybody who is attending the con is either hung over, still asleep, or taking down the displays. What is officially a three-day con is more or less a two-day convention for most people. This disappoints me; not only am I on two Sunday panels, but I usually think that Sunday panels are the best panels of the convention. Oh well.
So I migrate to Madison and meet up with Madame Heaphy as we are about to start our panel. Low and behold, there is only one person there, a teacher-in-training who is focusing on science and math. Well, our panel is about teaching science fiction (even though I am only 21 I have taught scifi to high schoolers and studied it at many levels). So we'll do a one-on-one, but that's perfectly fine. Instead of the lecture and slide show we have planned, we sit down and simply ask him to tell us the subjects he must cover.