A Chat With Your Con Chair

I'm one of those who, when asked if they can help, have trouble saying "n-"... "nNNnn-"... well, the "N"-word. Refusing, that is. Eventually, that concept got me to thinking about the Berrymans' "F-word song".

This also gave me an opportunity to get bardic revenge on a couple of really idiotically do-it-by-the-rules, no-flexibility con security people. See the story here. No disrespect or insult is intended to the Dorsai Irregulars who contribute mightily to helping conventions run smoothly.

Actually, every incident mentioned in this song is completely true and hardly exaggerated at all. Possibly excepting the BDSM stuff; I don't want to know, one way or the other.

(Lyrics copyright 1997 by Joel Polowin. To "F-Word (A Chat With Your Mother)" by Lou & Peter Berryman)

There's the half-wit hotel management
And all their front-desk flunkies
Who cannot read a contract
Or ignore it if they do
Can't understand the spirit of compulsive volunteering
It's from them I would expect to hear
The N-word, not from you

We sit down to have a chat
It's N-word this and N-word that
We need volunteers to work and organize and go-fer
And I don't want to hear you use the N-word with your con chair.

There's the folks in con security,
The Klingon/Dorsai crossbreeds
With their rampant paranoia
And their fascist leanings too
Banning any kind of weapon
And each weapon simulation
It's from them I would expect to hear
The N-word, not from you

There's the mundane folks with whom we share
The hotel function spaces
The herds of middle managers,
A wedding group or two
Not to mention the convention
Of the Southern Baptist bishops
It's from them I would expect to hear
The N-word -- and lots of other words! -- not from you

There's the BDSM players
With their bags of strange equipment
The clamps and chains and leather
And the chocolate-flavoured glue
If it's painfully erotic
And by mutual consent --
It's from them I would expect to hear
The yes-word, and from you...

Ah yes, the convention of the Southern Baptist bishops... That was one of the MapleCons held in the function space in the residences at Carleton University. We tended to collide with a number of (other) unusual groups, most frequently crowds of pre-teen youngsters visiting from Latin America for some kind of athletic event.

One of the regular attendees was artist Guy Frechette, whose most striking work was done with animal bones, sometimes rearranged and wired back together, sometimes as components in larger works. The scale of the pieces ranged from earrings to furniture. Much of the work was engraved and inked, including some pentacles, monsters, and various forms of erotica. (One of Guy's most eye-catching creations was a costume that his wife Sharon wore, consisting of three cat skulls and a few leather straps.) Guy usually had a couple of tables in the dealer room.

And when the convention was wrapping up, the dealers were packing their things and lugging it out to their vehicles. A lot of Guy's stuff had been packed, but the big pieces were just carried as-is out to his van. A chair built of large bones, decorated with a big skull with antlers and a lot of inkwork, was on its way out the door -- just as a group of Baptist bishops arrived to look over the function space that they were about to start using.

And there was chaos.

Eventually, they did use the facilities. But not until after they'd exorcised the area.

Copyright (C) 1997 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5

jpolowinXYZZY@sympatico.ca but remove the XYZZY -- itís a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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