Saturday, April 9, 2022

221B Con 2022: Thank gawd, it's Friday!

 221B Con finally came back today.

It's just sinking in now, as I sit in my second session of the evening, listening to four Sherlockians discuss Sebastian Moran, three of whom I definitely know, the fourth person harder to identify under her mask. We're all masked here this weekend, even though much of the surrounding world now goes without, even a lot of us in the bar. It's a fascinating combination -- recognizing the reality we've all been living with while discussing the fantasy characters we all love.

Yes, I just called Sherlock Holmes a fantasy character. You have your fantasies, I'll have mine. (Not talking sexual, perv. Calm down.) Anyway, 221B Con is always one of my real life fantasies, too.

After getting a good morning walk in, I sat down with some friends finishing their breakfast, which somehow turned into larger group waiting for lunch, which, when it came, took a full hour from order to getting food . . . did I care? Actually, no. The conversation was keeping me satisfied until the food finally came. Also, it was both the official John H. Watson Society con luncheon and the Reichenbach Falls Lemming Society 2022 member induction. Fourteen people signed the Lemming book, which is what it takes to be a member (with one exception). Sometime earlier in this paragraph, a floor bacon tour was conducted, and our con hosts were happy to come out of their workroom and point out the famous spot on the hotel floor of con lore, after the tour guide failed to find it.

Registration for the con started early, vaccine cards were checked, the restrooms became gender neutral, and badge ribbons were obtained.

A John H. Watson Society zoom happened a bit after that, with Madeline Quinones hosting, and me wandering around the hotel zooming with my phone.  I had to leave that when my old friend Pj Doyle turned up, whom I hadn't seen for years and years. 

When the con fully began at five P.M. -- pause as the Moran panel I'm writing this is erupting during a fancasting debate over whether or not Tom Hardy could play Sebastian Moran --anyway, when things started, the first panel I went to was a roundtable called "The 2(0)21 Sherlockian Society -- A Round Table." Since it was a panel without set panelists, and I was pretty sure I suggested it, I volunteered to run up front and lead the discussion, and was soon joined by Steve Mason, as well as helped a lot by Kate the back-of-the-room volunteer. We wound up filling the hour with good discussion, and I think we did the con well.

Due to the covid cleaning breaks, we got time to have a little post-session hall discussion, a quick wander of the dealer's room (which has some amazing stuff this year, like you find nowhere else), and into the Moran session as mentioned earlier. About thirty or so people in this one and some lively discussion of Moran with almost everyone in the room engaged and putting something in at some point. There are fewer rooms running at once this year, pandemic measures and all, and they're like Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear, size-wise. Moran got the Baby Bear, as did the scion society panel, which was, as Goldilocks always says, just right.

That brought me to 7:30 and another dinner in the hotel bar. Working their way through the menu pretty quickly, and the salmon with vegetable and parsnip puree was good, as was the company, which is pretty consistent this con. A quick room trip, then down to geek pub trivia, designed by con hero Heather Holloway. By the time I get there, my team has formed and named itself "The Five Orange Dips." Heather's choice of three question rounds is a good one, and we rolled through topics at a goodly pace: Movies, literature, science, the names for beasties in groups . . . and we got to assign point values to our answers to make sure our strongest choices got the best shot. 

Quick cut to end result: Out of the five or so teams, the Five Orange Dips got second place and five bucks in con cash to spend in the dealer's room. It's ten o'clock at this point, time to buy tickets to the burlesque show that benefits the Beacon Society and teaching kids Sherlock, then a quick retreat to the bar for a drink. My comrades from the Parallel Case of St. Louis, Kristen and Ed and I discover that the blackberry fizz on the bar menu is an excellent choice, and after a couple of those, head over to the show.

The geek burlesque show at con is always some hooting and hollering fun. The dancers' choices of characters were deeper pulls this year, but they always do a great job, acts referencing Buffy, Cowboy Bebop, and Overwatch among others with a Weeping Angel finale. The standout had to be the Ministry of Silly Walks number, though, which was kinda unbelievable. For discretion's sake, I won't name which member of our party was inspired to get up and dance during the show, but just going to put that out there.

Okay, it's Saturday morning now and I need to get moving. And I'm guessing those blackberry fizzes didn't have too much mescal in them, as I'm not feeling too bad after more drinks than I've had in a row in quite some time. On to Saturday!

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