B-Con in Words, Part One

In addition to the jetlag and mental exhaustion I suffer every year post b-con, there’s also this weird kind of humor decompression that I go through. I always get very tight, very quickly with friends I haven’t seen in a year and a whole crop of complex, multi-layered private jokes develop over the course of the weekend. When I get back to the civilian world, it always takes me a day or two to realize that the people around me have no idea what I’m talking about when I say “long handled saucepan.”

That being said, here’s the Cliff Notes.

I arrived late Wednesday night to find the hotel bar already filled with troublemakers. I didn’t stay too long, just long enough to reconnect with old friends and meet a few new ones.

I was staying in one of the spillover hotels and the entire convention center complex was set up like a giant hamster habitrail for humans. There were glass tubes connecting the hotels, the expo center and a huge mall so you never had to actually venture outside. Very Logan’s Run. On Thursday morning I managed to navigate my way through the tubes and find the registration table. First stop, the dealers room.

There were hardly any vintage paperbacks this year, which was a good thing. I managed to get out the door with only two. A lot of people were bitching that the dealers room was nothing but 4000 dollar collectable hardbacks but I couldn’t complain. It made packing on Sunday much easier. Unlike Badsville Broad Donna Moore, who had already bought nine pairs of shoes before lunch.

Speaking of lunch, I’ve developed a b-con routine of lunch with Martyn Waites (if two years in a row counts as a routine.) Last year we did sushi, but this year was all about the meat. (Insert your own gratuitous meat joke here. I’m fresh out because I think we already cracked pretty much every single one that exists and then some over the course of that meal.) We wound up in this insane Brazilian steak house that had an all-you-can-eat set up where guys in MC Hammer pants come around with huge slabs of meat stuck on swords and pile it on your plate until you tap out or die from cholesterol poisoning. I think I ate more meat at that lunch than in the whole rest of my life.

On our walk back to the hotel, we stumbled upon Red’s Classic Barber Shop. Martyn had been talking about needing a hair cut and I was dying to check the place out, so we went in.

Over the past few years, I’ve come close to despair regarding the state of men’s grooming. I’m horrified by the trend of young men sporting homeless bum beards and unkempt, raggedy bedhead. The existence of a place like Red’s gives me hope that all is not lost.

They were able to fit Martyn in right away for a shave and a hair cut, so I got to hang with the cute counter girl and chat about vintage clothing. I scored a fantastic handmade silk bow tie for my pop. Meanwhile, the counter girl gave me the lowdown on what was worth doing in Indianapolis. She told me she also worked in a Tapas restaurant and mentioned a bar called the Dorman Street Saloon. She even drew me a very detailed little map showing both the restaurant and the bar. Remember this map, because it will take center stage the next episode of my b-con (mis)adventure.

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