HeroesCon '04: The Untold Story - Part 2
When we last left our heroes, they were swooning over the best-looking man in comics. But little did they know that the real action at HeroesCon would be off the floor... and after dark.
For some reason, at both the cons I've been to, our booth always gets parked across from a guy selling bootleg DVDs, and both of these guys--who were completely different--seem to be extremely averse to hanging out at their booths for extended periods of time. Suffice to say, our crew got a lot of "Hey, could you watch this stuff for a minute?"
As a result, Josh was cut a deal by the friendly, if highly illegal, proprietor: Half price on the Paris Hilton Sex Tape.
Now, being that this is the internet, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you've all seen it. But on the off chance that you haven't, do not, under any circumstances, pay ten dollars for it and then waste twenty minutes sitting around Tug's portable DVD player while Rick Solomon grunts and thrusts like a failed audition tape for the Bang Bus.
It is rough.
The first bit isn't too bad, but I mean, it's a pretty girl walking around in her underwear. It's almost impossible to screw up. But once the actual sex starts, and you realize that Paris is as bad an actress in the bedroom as she is on TV, you've already caught about five minutes of out-of focus close-ups on her boyfriend's wang. He's the real star of the show, since he constantly focuses the camera on himself. He's always checking to make sure he's centered in the shot and coming out with creepball lines like "Look at you... nineteen years old" that make it obvious he's been watching a lot of internet smut to glean the best techniques that make amateur pornographers so popular. Absolutely wretched.
But still, half off. That's a deal you can't say no to.
Still, I doubt we would've encouraged him to buy it if we would've known about the hot action just down the stairs in the hotel bar. Here's something you might not know about comic book pros, kids: they love to drink. Which means the bar at the hotel closest to the convention center is usually a good place to go if you want to spot a few after hours. Which is exactly what we had in mind when we went down there.
What we got... was Drunk-Ass Katie.
Katie (whose name I remember because she handed us her driver's license) was from somewhere up north--Pennsylvania or New York or something--in town for another event, and already drunk by the time we got there. She was a trouper, though, and didn't let a minor inconvenience like complete and total fucking inebriation stop her from drinking. The long couch she was sitting on was the only unoccupied seat in the bar, so we ended up at the other end, talking amongst ourselves and keeping an eye out for the pros.
I think it's important at the story that I clarify how drunk Katie was. The word that comes to mind is "astonishingly." She was drunk enough to tell us no less than six times that when she was a kid, she liked to watch "He-Man and She-Man," though to her credit, she did realize we were comics fans.
She started out talking to this other guy, who in my memory is oddly motionless and silent, who had probably been supplying her with the booze in an effort to get her in bed. Shoulda stuck around, pal. Every few minutes she'd turn to us and ask a question, and we'd do our best to answer it, since we're so darn polite. But that was before she spotted Josh's hat.
I've worked with Josh for more than a year now, and I've only seen him without his hat maybe five times. He's a hat guy. It's his thing. Superman's got a cape, Wolverine has claws, Josh has the hat. I don't begrudge him that. But Katie sure as hell did.
"Heyyyyy," she slurred, "Take yer fuckin' hat off."
This was a sentiment she would revisit approximately three hundred times over the next two hours. At this point, her would-be paramour realized that she had become fixated on us, trapped in a loop that inexorably wound up back on the subject of Josh's headgear, bolted, pawning her off on us.
She kept on with it ("You're in the fucking WESTIN, Josh... take that fuckin' hat off an' let me see you") for a long time, steadily moving closer and closer to us, inching her way down the couch. More accurately, she was inching her way towards the member of our crew who had the good luck to sit closest to her: Me.
Now I'll be honest: Despite being, oh, ten years older than me, Katie was not unattractive--or rather, she wouldn't have been if not for the complete and utter drunknenness and the way she prowled towards me like a farm animal ready for insemination. But the fact of the matter was, I was tense and extremely uncomfortable when she settled herself into the couch right next to me, staring around the room with glassy, unfocused eyes and telling Josh how cute he'd be without that damn hat.
When she grabbed my thigh, Tug knew it was time to leave.
"I'm going to go close out my tab," he said, with disgust just dripping from his words. I tried to brush her hand off nonchalantly, and she didn't seem to notice. Tug got up and strode away quickly, leaving me to stare, wide-eyed and panicky, at Josh. He stared back with a similar She can't be reasoned with! look on his face and gave the slightest of shrugs.
Okay, I thought. Tug's paying at the bar. He'll get back soon and we'll get the hell out of here. Good plan, but I'd misread his actions--there was no tab to close out. He'd grabbed the first excuse he'd thought of and was around a corner, waiting for us to manufacture our own. We were each committed to waiting each other out.
Katie leaned across me, and I knew she was coming in for the kill. Oh dear God, I'm going to be this chick's midnight snack! I clenched my fists and dodged backwards into the cushions, the fumes coming out of her mouth distorting the air like the heat from a forest fire. She settled back in, completely nonplussed and oblivious to my discomfort.
"Do you guys like.. you know... Batman?"
"Hey, big day tomorrow. Time to go!" Tug had walked back over and Josh and I bolted out of our seats, bidding Katie a hasty good evening. Once we were safely in the elevator, putting as much vertical distance as possible between us and her, we had a good laugh, but my mind was elsewhere.
If only you had a night vision video camera, I thought...