The Husband and I had a full day today. After the usual morning stuff, and dropping my car off at the dealer's to take care of a "Why did the car not stop when the brakes were stomped on in a panicky hurry Friday morning" problem, we went to Megacon. We bought our tickets in advance for one day, so they were $20 each. It was $10 to park in a distant, grassy field so we could walk for 1/2 an hour to the actual venue of the convention. We put on our little wristbands and stepped into the heart of the con -- the dealer's room.
Our first thought -- both of us, as we confessed in the con post mortum -- was "Welcome to the Land of B.O." The room was dense with people, and the people were dense, and some very special folks had apparently chosen to skip personal hygiene routines. There was also majoy halitosis to be enjoyed from the multitude of mouthbreathers standing mindlessly in every aisle staring at walls of comic books, or walls of t-shirts, or walls of pictures of nearly naked females, or walls of pictures of nearly naked females on t-shirts or comic books...you get the idea. The crowd is overwhelmingly 25 and under.
And I realized I am too old for this shit.
We fought our way back to the artist's alley to see the people we'd come to see for the few minutes we could. In particular, we had to see Jenny and Tracy and Jeremy (who was freezing) and Nigel. Nigel is a Pirate, if you don't know, and I used my magic to make him weak at the knees, because one cannot see a Pirate without wanting to touch him just a little and I was completely without any rum. The Husband did even more to make sure that Nigel is seriously contemplating getting a massage before he drives northward. We also saw my long time friend Paula, who is now successfully making a living as an artist. Yay, Paula!
This took about 45 minutes, including time spent pushing aside assorted backbacks. It's hard to actually converse because everyone is trying to sell their stuff, but we wanted to make contact, show we cared, and generally be friends because we like these people and see them, in general, only once or twice a year. Once all the greetings were exchanged, we tried to look around the room.
There was no looking around the room. We didn't see Uberbot (the coolest comic shop in the area and possibly the world) and our local store had a booth we could not get near. We fought through the congested traffic lanes and found ourselves near the doors again. We had a short conference:
Me: Is there (pardon) anything else (sorry) here we (ouch!) want to see?
Him: (Oof!) Not (Oh, 'scuse me) really.
Me: Want (sorry) to go?
Him: Sure (ooops, sorry).
Once we were on the other side of those double doors, the sweet, cool, fresh air of freedom poured over us, and we realized at the same moment that we didn't love cons anymore. At least, we don't love comics cons. Megacon and ComicCon were both huge, teeming, smelly, stinky dealer's rooms, which are our least favorite parts of any large convention (DragonCon has tons of stuff to do that don't require ever going into the labrynthine depths of the dealer's room). On the walk back to the van and the drive to find food, we discussed this and pondered if we would ever really enjoy a convention again. Had too many years of working as dealers ruined us? Did we truly hate the masses of humanity when they were...well, massed? Were we just too old, no longer involved in the rabidity of assorted fandoms, no long enamoured of ourselves in costumes, no longer consumed with seeing celebrities ?
In a word...yes. Mostly. We shall see. We have two conventions we are working this year. It might be the last year we do this. We might just take a few years away, or only go to smaller cons that have non-dealer's room activities.
I know this much. I have no desire to ever ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER smell Megacon again.