post ‘Tis the Season for Conventions

November 15th, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:50 pm


WARNING! Do not wear a High Chaparral Reunion t-shirt to a convention if you wish to be left alone!

Although I was unable to go to Tucson, I attended Supernova this month; the annual, sci-fi/fantasy convention. As usual, Jesse went in costume and Kristian, his older, ultra conservative Web Developer brother wore dress pants and a work shirt. (When I asked him why he didn’t dress up, he smiled and said, ‘I did, I came as a Web Developer.’). I wore my Reunion t-shirt and shorts.

It all started with a few sideways glances. Given that I’m no Dolly Parton, it didn’t take me long to realize people were looking at my t-shirt.
‘High Chaparral Reunion?’ asked a passing Jedi. ‘Is that a sci-fi show?’
‘No,’ I replied, wondering why he would think that. ‘It’s a classic western series.’
‘You know, cowboys and Indians.’
I thought they were meant to be smart but this Jedi looked confused.
‘So why are you wearing it to a sci-fi convention?’ he asked.
‘Because I like it.’
‘High Chaparral!’ boomed a deep voice that frightened the dim Jedi away. ‘I love that show!’

Towering over most of the crowd, Harry Potter’s Hagrid made his way toward me. His beard was enormous.
‘2011 Reunion? Here?’ he asked, pointing toward my t-shirt.
‘No, Tucson.’
‘Is there any other?’
‘Awesome, did you go?’
I shook my head.
‘So how did you know about it?’
I told him about the newsletter and forum, recommending he visit Google for more information.

After Hagrid left I returned to browsing through Star Trek memorabilia.
Not for long.
‘Oh I love that show!’ said a pencil thin, well I wasn’t quite sure what it was but it sure creeped me out when it jumped in front of me.

The man had half a normal face and the other half looked like oozing yuk. Rubber innards dangled out of clothes that appeared to have been dragged from a grave. I later learned he was a zombie from the 28 Days/Weeks movies.
I was still recovering from him jumping out at me when he said, ‘Who’s that guy? I loved him… Spanish landholder.’
‘Don Sebastian,’ called an elegant brunette from nearby. She swept toward us in her medieval dress. It was Arwen from Lord of the Rings.

Arwen and the zombie questioned me about the reunion. Half wishing I’d printed up information sheets I repeated details about the forum and newsletter. Nearby Kristian, who nobody identified as a Web Developer despite his brilliant costume, leaned against a pillar, grinning.
‘I bet you’re glad you wore that today,’ he said.
The interruptions continued. Everyone wanted to know about High Chaparral. A storm trooper, a Halo soldier, Tim Burton’s Mad Hatter and Gandalf the Wizard all questioned me. Evidently HC is popular in many worlds throughout the universe.

We managed close to an hour without interruption and I was lulled into a false sense of security about no longer having to discuss newsletters or forums. As I dug through my purse looking for the list of Halo books Jesse already had, with a view to buying him more for Christmas, someone tapped my shoulder. It was Batman’s Poison Ivy.
‘High Chaparral Reunion?’ she said, ‘Is that the old western?’
For a split second I felt like saying, ‘No, it’s where racing fans go to visit the stallion,’ but thought that might open a whole new can of worms. Besides, I remembered Penny once describing HC fans as, ‘a wonderful, friendly bunch’.

Drat. I had to be wonderful and friendly. I smiled, nodded and repeated my speech about newsletters and forums. No one interrupted me for a while, presumably because I walked with my arms crossed to hide my t-shirt. That lasted until I changed position.
‘Excuse me.’ A teenage Vulcan pointed to my t-shirt.

I gave her my wonderful and friendly smile.
‘What’s High Chaparral?’
‘A classic western,’ I said, feeling like the parrot that’s always being asked if she wanted a cracker.
‘Classic? Like, old?’
‘I guess.’
I glanced anxiously at a man who had just picked up a little figure of the Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man. I hoped he’d put it down so I could buy it.
‘Really old?’ asked the Vulcan, ‘Like eighties?’
That called for a sarcastic remark but I was too busy hoping the man would put the Ghostbusters figure down.
‘Sort of depends on your idea of old,’ I said, trying to move away.
She considered the remark and I watched, disappointed, as the couple bought the figure.

Years ago, I bought myself a little Pillsbury Dough Boy. I have always loved him. I even planned to buy his little sister. When a very sweet, very ill lady asked for it how could I refuse? Dough Boys are like hen’s teeth Down Under so I’ve never been able to replace it. I thought the Ghostbuster’s figure would make a close second.

I had almost forgotten the Vulcan when she said, ‘Before the eighties? Like, Charlie Chaplin time? My parents love him.’
‘Charlie Chaplin was forty years earlier,’ I said, wondering if I should go to the Ladies’ to turn my t-shirt inside out. But then, people might stop me to point it out. ‘It was the sixties.’
‘Forty years!’ she asked, incredulous. ‘I didn’t think they had TV then.’
‘No, I meant -’ I stopped, realizing the Jedi wasn’t the dimmest visitor after all.
‘So what was it about?’ she asked.
You know what followed.
I finally joined Kristian.
‘So, will you be High Chaparral’s rep again next year?’ he asked.
‘No,’ I said, ‘I’m coming as a Web Developer.’

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