Monday, October 25, 2010

Free Candy: A Belated Comic Con Tale

"What's a diorama?" "I beat the smart kids! I beat the smart kid-
No, I didn't have to do some stuff for a guy in the back of his windowless van, but yes, I did get free candy at New York Comic Con a couple weekends back. It should really come as no surprise to you that I did this by being a complete nerd.

There was an event listed as "Best Japanese Game Show," though, much to the crowd's dismay, not a single man-crotch was wounded by large, swinging apparati. The teams were simple: a group of cosplayers (costume nerds) from the NY Anime Fest on the lower levels, a delegation from the NY Jedi league (Star Wars nerds), a herd of comic comics (comedians/comic book nerds) and a pack of wrestling nerds (actually pudgy Jewish kids who wish they were strong enough to beat up nerds in high school but were only mouthy instead. I'm looking at you, Scott). In order to get the crowd cheering appropriately, one of the assistant hosts threw candy to the audience. I did not get any, which was rather disappointing as I was very hungry.

The game began simply enough with a game called "Sillo-WHAT?!" Silhouettes were projected onto a large screen and the character was to be named. First team to shout "HAI!" ('Yes' in Japanese) won 100 points. This was followed by some nerdy trivia and a couple of physical challenges that didn't make a terrible amount of sense, both in that they were pointless and in that they still refused to involve scrotum trauma.

But then, a shining moment. The scores were closely matched: Comics 600, Wrestlers and Jedi 400, Cosplayers I think maybe 200. That's conservative. The anime kids were just entirely useless and even their physical challenge gear was malfunctioning on them. Basically, unless the next 12 questions were about Pokémon, they were out of the running. The hosts thought it best to spice things up with a 500 point bonus question.

"Alec Guinness, best known for portraying Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope was approached by a fan at [x-event] who told Guinness he had seen A New Hope in theaters 72 times, to which Guinness responded, 'That couldn't have done a lot for your life.'" - I'm paraphrasing somewhat, but that's hat I remember from the time. Where the hell was this guy going? This sounds unreasonably hard, even for a Star Wars nerd of my caliber. And jeeze, I haven't been keeping up with that stuff. Ever since they invented Wookiepedia, I've just sort of let the internet do my nerd trivia for me.

"On the topic of Alec Guinness," the quizmaster continued, "In The Simpsons episode 'Lisa's Rival,' Allison Taylor invites Lisa back to her house where Mr. Taylor plays a word game with Allison. She is expected to form an anagram of a person's name that will be descriptive of that person. What anagram does she come up with for 'ALEC GUINNESS?'"

Oh, Christ. I can't believe I don't remember this. I loved this bit. This was in my heaviest Simpsons period, too. It had the best jokes. The best Star Wars references. If I can't remember this, I don't know if I can live with myse-

Oh, wait. It was "Genuine class."

I muttered under my breath. Carolyn, my friend sitting beside me, said, "What?"

"Genuine class," I repeated. The stage, though, was still silent.

"Anybody?" the announcer asked. "Jedi? No?"

He turned to the audience. "Does anybody know? In the crowd, just raise your hand.

I was already moving my arm up, but obviously not fast enough for Carolyn. As some douchebag in the back began shouting things like, "Giant douche," Carolyn leaped to her feet and began shouting and flailing her arms like a deranged runway coordinator, trying to draw attention to me and my far less spastic arm. Considering that she was jumping up and down in a rainbow wig and tutu with a fishnet bodysuit and pasties, I have no doubt over how exactly I came to be called on.

"Over here?" the announcer looked at me.

"Genuine class," I said.

"What?" he shouted over the din.

"GENUINE CLASS!" I exclaimed, and as I heard a thoroughly shocked "That's right!" come from the stage, the crowd began cheering. The Comics Comics looked impressed, the Jedi nodded in strong, silent approval of one of their own, even the wrestlers stared wide-eyed in amazement while the anime kids dazed off into the corner of the room, dreaming blearily of Ponytas.

Then the crowd around me turned first quiet, then ravenous. The American co-host had grabbed the remaining bag of candy and began flinging it, really heaving Mars Brand confections at the crowd in my general vicinity. I caught a Snickers and a Twix bar, quite welcome to my drooling face, and just for good measure I casually reached up and snagged a fun-size bag of peanut M&Ms before it careened into Carolyn's face.

Honestly, I don't even remember the rest of the game. I think the comics won? But the Jedi were close, I think. Whatever, I had candy.

And I won it by being nerdier than an entire roomful of nerds at a nerd convention.

Man, I'm badass.

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