by Laura Atkins
Rest assured, fellow fans, that this is only one article. I have no intention of writing the "Con-Virgin" series. But I did want to share with you the events of that fateful weekend when I lost my Con-Virginity.
As with everyone on their first time, I was somewhat apprehensive -- I mean taking two days to do it, and with so many. people, most of whom were not the sort I would invite back for a cup of coffee afterwards, Furthermore, I had to pay 530 for this dubious privilege. But Nichelle Nichols was to attend I-Con I, and my friends were there to give me immoral support, so off I went, elegantly clad in jeans, T-shirt, and matching belt and socks (a most demure shade of purple).
Upon arrival, I filled out a form (which I do quite nicely, thanks) and paid out $30, in exchange for which I received my registration number and an I-Con badge with my name on it, that I promptly pinned to my chest. Seemed like an awfully small prick to me, but then, being a Con-Virgin, I had no way to judge.
As I was leaving the registration table, a gentleman who claimed to have been christened Ogre (by loving but misguided parents) leaned over the table and said that he knew what colour my socks were, and if I didn't behave he'd have the security men down on top of me in a flash. Monica very kindly explained that I would enjoy that, but then dragged me away before I had a chance to ask how many.
We wandered into the dealer's room, an area which reminded me of the bar in Star Wars. Monica assured me that most of the people in the room were in fact humanoid, but seeing them grunting and scratching, and excavating in various orifices as they haggled over the shimmering goods on the tables left me doubtful as to their true origins. However, throughout my time at the con, I only encountered English-speaking aliens, which made them almost as good as Terrans in my case. I found the spherical aliens to be particularly intriguing; I never got a chance to watch one negotiating its way through a door, but as they were present at the various panels and the dance, I assumed that they had collapsible girdles, or perhaps they lost form and oozed through door-openings, reforming on the other side with a grand, alienesque flourish.
I attended TWO panels at which Nichelle Nichols presided. She has a very good sense of humour. In fact, she was better at making jokes than telling a story smoothly, but she did give us the inside scoop on anything allowed by her agent, -including the tale of how she met Whoopi Goldberg, and told us some stories about winning or losing parts and how the filthy pieces of distended rectum at the studio didn't allow her to sing during her fan-dance in Star Trek V. She also sang for us at the end of each panel, and charmed us all with her wit and vulnerability. I concede that she appeared to be less than gruntled at the autograph session, but after the sort of day she must have had, I would have been feeling somewhat less than angelic myself.
Afterwards, me and Nichelle went for a beer in the bar. She told me she could get me a starring role in Star Trek VI with her if I felt like coming out to Hollywood. I thanked her very much, but told her I had to be at work on Tuesday to clean the telephones. (Does that cover the name-dropping clause of the "Loss of Con-Virginity contract"? I wasn't sure.)
'During the first day of the Con, I saw one gentleman whose costume I found to be particularly effective, and I almost went up and congratulated him on mimicking Tolkien so effectively. I'm sure glad I didn't, though — imagine my chagrin when my friends told that he always 'smoked a pipe and wasjust naturally masterful! Still, I am quite sure he was someone important, because every time he told a joke his audience listened in round-eyed, awestruck silence.
Later on, Ogre came up to me, looked me in the eyes and said earnestly, "I love you. Will you run away with me?" It was awfully sweet of him, but I thought I should finish losing my Con-Virginity first, so I told him to ask me on Sunday. He was crushed, but bore his sorrow most bravely.
After supper came the Costume Contest. It was fun despite the entertainment, and there was very little spandex abuse. But I guess they've had to tighten up the rules on this sort of thing since the SPCS (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Spandex) created an uproar and threatened to close the Cons down entirely if they didn't shape up. (AR AR AR!)
After the contest was the dance. The aliens seemed particularly fond of such garments as gold stretch lace and fur loincloths, but then, I guess that's what makes them unlike humans. They all seemed to enjoy dancing to "Rasputin," too. I must say that having alien armpit sweat smeared all over my shoulder was a never-to-be-forgotten experience, and I got to do it twice because they played it later on in the evening for those aliens who missed it the first time.
I worried about the bodily integrity of some of the aliens, though. I don't know what their melting point is, but whenever there was a slow dance, they seemed to sort of osmose into each other, and to have great difficulty extricating themselves from each others embrace afterwards. I think the people who put the Con on should find a hotel with better air-conditioning next time, to prevent further tragedies like this from occurring.
I met one most interesting alien whose name I shall change to Willie and who came from the planet Saltspring Island. His friend Peter was also a Con-Virgin, and gratefully accepted his ritual hickey from an American alien called Tracey. Willie wasn't a Con-Virgin, but took a hickey anyhow, as these sorts of shared rituals help to cement the bonds between interplanetary species. She offered to give me one but 1 declined on the grounds that she wasn't my type.
I had fun dancing with 'Willie, and we engaged in ritual conversation. I feel that I made a most sympathetic listener, and held up my end of the conversation by asking such leading questions as "So why is your brother a prick?" He was actually just
like a human, except drunk, and we got along swimmingly. At the end of the dance, we danced a slow dance. I became alarmed for his bodily integrity, but he became quite firm at the end, so I breathed a sigh of relief.
I said I was going home, whereupon Peter and Willie informed me that I couldn't really be said to have lost my Con-Virginity unless I stayed up all night watching B-movies, presumably on the theory that losing one's Con-Cherry should be a painful process. I appreciated their concern, but felt that I really should go, as I had been drinking ice water all night and was in no shape to keep partying. Before I left, Willie gave me a warm fuzzy in traditional fashion, but I was still apprehensive about his bodily integrity so didn't allow tradition to overtake common sense and immoral integrity.
Next day, I woke up feeling like exhilarated excrement, and made my way back to I-Con in time to miss any events of importance, except for the second panel with Nichelle Nichols. I thought this was extremely clever timing on my part, as I noted that many of the aliens were suffering from the heat and looked rather pale and tired. Obviously, I would best serve the Con's needs by remaining out in the cool lobby, where I could assist with
any alien medical emergencies. So 1 went up to the Hospitality suite and had coffee and a cigarette. Ogre asked me where I'd found a blue cow to kill to make today's belt. I didn't tell him, as blue cows are an endangered species, but did add that it was a small cow and didn't supply more than a belt's worth of hide anyhow.
All good things must come to an end, much like Cons, and so four o'clock found me in a denuded dealer's room, which had only humans and one elf left in it (a well-dressed one, named Ebon Lupus, who according to the Con scuttlebutt was planning to return the following year as Burgundy Coyote). The aliens were gone, and the entire stock of U.S.S. Resolution fudge maggots had been sold. A young man had given Nichelle Nichols the shirt off his back (he offered his pants and socks too, but she regretfully refused, saying she had to wash her hair), and Veronica had kept many of the panels running smoothly. Plus many poor suckers...ah, noble volunteers...had presided over the Resolution's table. I commended the of all these people most highly, but felt that I should leave the specialized positions until next time.
And that's how I lost my Con-Virginity!