Please welcome my guest blogger, John Erickson. One-up him with the famous people you’ve met, share the lessons you live by, make a poop joke, visit his blog, and send some rawr-love his way! http://windycitywonderer.wordpress.com/
Before I tell my tale, I am putting forth one of my key philosophies – don’t judge a person prematurely. I violated that rule only once, and got a HECK of a story from it. Here it is.
Back in the eighties, I started going to science-fiction conventions. As I got more into “the scene”, I stared working at the conventions, eventually helping to run a number in the Chicago area. One of them, a large convention for British sci-fi TV shows, I also helped financially support. What the convention committee (concom) did to reward supporters was bring the guests in a few days before the con weekend, and fly them out a couple days afterward. This gave the guests a sort of mini-vacation, and the supporters a chance to hobnob with the guests on a mere personal basis.
One year, I was with 2 other folk who volunteered to take one of the actors, Michael Keating from “Blakes 7”, out for the day. We went to the Lake Michigan beaches in Indiana, and on the way back, we passed a sewerage treatment plant. Michael had no idea what it was, and asked about it. Now, Michael is quite the jokester, so our serious answers quickly turned into a one-upsmanship of wacky ideas. We had soon manufactured an entire story including tours, a gift shop, and even before-after taste tests.
That evening, I was sitting with several other sponsors and Michael, when in glided (yes, GLIDED) the very beautiful Sally Knyvette, also from “Blakes 7”. I had only met Sally in passing, and had gotten the notion that she was somewhat aloof and distant, very prim and proper – the complete opposite of Michael. Michael called out to her, and she came over, so we squeezed together to make room for her. Once Sally was seated, Michael launched into an entire shtick about the sewerage treatment plant we had seen, right down to all our fanciful add-ons. I was watching Sally, rather enjoying the look of disbelief (and slight tint of green) that came across her face as Michael went the whole nine yards, especially as Michael mentioned the before-after tasting samples. Michael finished, Sally sat there for a second, then asked in her very crisp upper-class accent “Where was all this?” Michael restated it was the sewerage treatment plant. Whereupon Sally, in an accent just this side of Cockney and a voice that cut through the bar, exclaimed “What, a SHIT factory?!?”
The bar went totally silent for two seconds. Then the ENTIRE place broke into laughter, except for Sally. As I resumed the seat I fell out of (literally), I noticed Sally had a rather “cat that ate the canary” expression on her face. After we all recovered, we spent several more hours talking back and forth, with Sally not only keeping up but often leading the conversation.
I gained a great appreciation of Sally that night, and re-learned that key philosophy, “don’t judge a book by its’ cover”.
Now that you love John as much as I do, check out his blog for more life lessons mixed into humorous tales, heartfelt poetry, military history, and your fix of geekery. If I were you, I’d start here: