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John Clemens AKA Flanker flankerbravo@hotmail.com writes...

I'm assuming this is where we're supposed to post our little Gathering journals.
This year was my first Gargs con and it started off on a real down note. Even though I was told I could get off early, I didnt get off early enough and I missed my flight by ten minutes (ottawa to laguardia direct). So I had to take a flight that cost four times as much. There was also a connection in Montreal. I got to New York way behind schedule and with no money. Fortunately the airport shuttle took credit and I got to the hotel. I scrounged up some US money and managed to call Gabe who I had arranged on the gathering forums to share a room with.
While I was waiting for him I decided right there to stop being bitter and miserable and just relax and have a good time. Gabe was great guy. After I dropped my stuff off in the room I wandered around and met Dave AKA Wingless whom I already know, which was comforting after what I had been through.
By this time it was the blue question panel. It was the first time I had seen Greg or Thom in person and it was very interesting. I finally got ask about the politics (or lack thereof)in Deadly Force which had been bothering me. Thom blurted out that Lexington has a ten inch tongue. I can't remember how that came up but it was hilarious. Thom really seemed to indentify with Lex which was interesting. We got kicked out by a security guy. I could've handled him no problem, but I was tired anyway.
The next day I got up and ate 'breakfeast' in some grease hole called blimpie's. I headed back to the hotel and figured I'd try my hand at voice acting. Someone handed me a list of characters and reading material. On the form I circled 'yes' for accents and chatted nervously with some other people auditioning. I went in knowing I was not going to get a role, I just thought it would be fun. Being a moron I read for Hudson thinking I could tackle it. I ended up goofing off and joking around more than auditioning. Thom seemed to think I was funny, but I dont think I impressed Greg. Oh well, there's always next year. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I finally registered and got my con badge which was neat. I had my internet handle on it instead of my name so people I've chatted with could recognize me. When people started calling me Flanker in person it was kind of weird. I ducked in and out of various panels. It didnt take me long to realize I was totally outclassed by the artists and writers present at the convention. You can't teach me how to pop a wheelie if I cant even ride a bicycle in the first place. The original show concepts hanging in the art room were disturbing. It looked like gummi bears crossed with the gargoyles from the hunchback movie. Creepy. I watched Greg's panel on Starship Troopers and 3x3 Eyes. It was very interesting and freezing in that bloody ballroom.
I cant remember what else I did before the radio play. That was very enjoyable. I could have done a better Sevarius though.
The Banquet started on an awkward foot. Anyone interested in sitting with a Guest (Greg, Thom, Vic or Nichelle Nichols) would get in a different line. I'm no math guy, but it was a small line. There were fewer people who wanted seats with guests than there were seats. Then someone handed out numbers. I had 001. So I figured I would have my pick of where I would sit. That was weird. I figured I wanted to eat dinner with Thom Adcox. He had laughed at my stupid jokes earlier and we chatted a few times since. I figure if I had a rapport with anyone, it was him. It didnt matter since the same person came along and put us in groups of four. That was really weird. We go in and sit down. I see Thom sitting at a different table. Fortunately whoever was supposed to be at my table hadn't arrived yet. So I committed the one seat sneak and darted over to his table. He knew my name which was kind of flattering. I sat down and no one seemed to care. I was happy thinking I was at 'the funny table'. Nichelle Nichols came in with her entourage. It was odd how we were all in our jeans and T-shirts and she looked ready for the Oscars. I'm glad I wasn't at her table. I'm sure I would have had nothing intelligent to say to her. Anyway, someone asked about Thom's dogs and he mentioned that one had been put down recently. One by one everyone around the table shared a depressing story about their favourite dog passing away in some tragic fashion. All I could do was think about Maggie (greatest dog in the world) and how much that sucked. Before I could make the comment, Thom smiled and said "I thought this would be 'the funny table' John looks like he's going to cry." It was funny and then on it was all jokes and laughs. I didnt really have a masquerade costume. I had my tac-vest and some camoflauge paint. I wanted to find a bad guy and work out a skit. This never happened in time, so I figured I'd have to come up with something. I've already been participating in the M&M prank, so I figured I go with that. I got another package and hid under a table right next to the judging table. I could hear all of Thom's lewd comments. I waited for a perfect moment. I would have prefered a steathly crawl and maybe place the M&Ms on Gregs shoe or something. The layout would not permit that, so I waited for all the skits to end. I wanted to strike when Greg started talking but not yet announcing winners. When he left someone place M&Ms on his seat. Bastard. Greg and the judges returned and found the treat. He started speaking by saying "and what's with all the M&Ms its starting to freak me out.."


I popped out and tossed the candy at him and bolted for the exit yelling about being spotted and aborting the operation. I think maybe one person in a room of a hundred people thought it was funny. I felt a little embarassed. Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose. Maybe in the post 9/11 NYC a guy wearing camo springing out from under a table and lobbing candy treats at unsuspecting Greg Weismans just isnt funny anymore. I offer an honest apology to anyone who felt that I acted innapropriately.
After the masquerade music came on and I left before I made an ass of myself trying to dance. I was tired from waiting under a table having many photos taken of my boots.
Sunday was a little depressing, but I really enjoyed hearing the audio tapes and seeing the videos of Greg's other projects. The world of animation seems so hostile and bizarre. The stuff that gets made vs the stuff that gets rejected, I'll never understand.
As the con was ending I had another chat with Thom and he told me he hadnt been 'officially invited' to next year's con. Is that even neccesary anymore? I mean, c'mon, seriously. Same with you Vic.
Dave AKA A Fan lead a walking tour the next day. I went with Leo and the Deutsch Duo. (I forget your names, beat me up next time you see me). We had a good time and I got lots of cool photos with my tiny camera. Then I forgot to give Leo the book he bought ( I was carrying it around in my back pack). I mailed it back to him when I got back up north. I'm already planning my next trip to NYC for some more sight seeing. And Montreal shouldn't be a problem. I'll see you all there. Hopefully the DVD will be out by then.

Greg responds...

Well, the DVD wasn't quite out by Montreal, but it's out NOW!!!

Anyway, I don't think anyone was actually frightened by the M&M attack. All in good fun.

Response recorded on January 27, 2005