Origins ’08: Almost Legal

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a bad movie out of my…ummm…bucket.

Ahh indeed. Today was the big show day in the small show room. As usual, we didn’t do much con stuff on Smithee day because…well personally I do not like to get embroiled in something when we have a show to put on. Maybe a stroll through the dealer room or possibly some short demo games. Looney Labs is perfect for that sort of thing so we put it on our agenda. But first, since we had hooked up with the Sultan, we went to check out the room.

Why can we never get the same room two years running? Last year’s ballroom was awesomely hyooj and this year they gave us 3 rooms! However, all three rooms had a combined fire marshal approved seating capacity of 250 and were only set up for 215. Last year’s peak count was just shy of 300 if I remember right so hours before the show we were running into issues. There was also no screen or video equipment or table for the counters or microphone or… Thus, we set out to find the Special Events coordinator to let her know that we would need a couple things for the show. After a bit of this and a touch of that we were hooked up with Andrew, the “Tie Guy” from the Buttons in the Breezeway. It turns out the suit, who I made take a button (because I’m like that) was the S.E.C.’s right hand man.

Not that we were complaining much because Andrew is very easy on the eyes and he is possibly the nicest person on the face of this earth. He jotted down our list of demands and hurried off to do his assistant to the S.E.C. stuff. Poor fella looked like he was being run ragged and I have to say, I was not the shining star of diplomacy (had cranky, needed nap) so we routed back to Andrew’s beat and asked if there was anything we could do for him to make his day nicer.

I’da said “Stop being a bitch” because dude…someone was well in need of a bit of a time-out but he just said a cup of coffee would be wonderful. See? Nice fella. Thus, we quested for coffee and I think made his harried morning a little nicer. He also seemed surprised that we would do this small thing for him and genuinely pleased about the whole thing. Well aside from the initial surliness I’m sure.

Then on to a much needed nap. Zzzzzzz.

Afterwards, we swung by Looney Labs for a bit of The Big Experiment action and got to play a demo of the soon to be published Fluxx set: Monty Python edition. It’s so not yet released that they had the cards printed on stickers and stuck to the face of some poor sacrificial Fluxx deck. It’s also awesome, as Fluxx in any set that I’ve played so far has been. I’m especially fond of the card “And now for something completely different…” but that may be because I really like the same sketch.

Dinner time fast approached so we headed out to eat, gear up, and get our free booz. I love the Drury. We crossed paths with some Smitheeites on our way back and learned that they were heading to the room (which was properly set up by this time). Showtime was two hours away and they were going to stake out seats. Krazy!

Shortly after food, dressing and booz we began the 17th Annual Smithee Awards. The Norbert give-aways seemed to be a big hit this year and look!

How often can you say that you saw a guy in a kilt give another guy in a kilt an eye monster puppet? These men know how to dress. Rowr!

Here’s one packed Smithee room. There were 244 max voters and 311 total voters. That’s a bit of a drop from last year but with just 250 seats I’m not too surprised. The rumors afoot are that they will be moving us back a day so we can get the ballroom. Currently we run head to head against the Origins awards and since they are the awards for the convention, they get first choice of rooms. They also pull about a quarter of our audience which makes for an odd look as we are all sardined in and they are lounging about but their convention, their rules.

Lastly, our official stalker had a new surprise for us:

Smithee branded for life!

2007: Did you know violets are rhizomous plants? I did not until I started growing a crop of them.

2006: Dayum. There is nothing quite so soul sucking as having to traverse Ohio three times in less than a fortnight. Oh wait, there is: Having to traverse Ohio the third time in less than a fortnight after working an 8 hour day.

2005: I want my shirts!

2004: We are a hedge.

2003: They have two baskets of sweety things, donuts, muffins, fritters and the like and then they have errrr hot dish thingies (chaffing? Or is that separating the wheat and stem? Or is that rubbing really hard? Well the French word for big ol’ hot dish, whatever that may be) with biscuits, sausage, eggs and French toast in them.

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