Sunday, November 12, 2006

ConBestiary #3

Gibbering Mouther: These pathetic, yet savagely dangerous creatures stalk conventions looking for unsuspecting victims they can attach themselves to. Anyone who pays them attention rapidly becomes their prey, as they latch onto the poor soul and begin an endless, one-sided conversation about the Mouther's personal geek-related obsession (which can be anything from his brilliant Magic deck to his theories on what the writers of Lost are really thinking to the super-cool character he made for Dungeons and Dragons that only bends the rules a little but is sooo bad-ass.) Once a Gibbering Mouther attaches itself to a fan, it can take hours to successfully extricate oneself--if indeed you can. Convention staff find upwards of twenty dead bodies every year after every con, gruesome victims of Gibbering Mouthers with gaping holes in the back of their heads where the poor fool's brain force-evolved teeth and chewed its way out through its own skull to escape the conversation.

But the worst thing about Gibbering Mouthers isn't the horrible, debilitating effect they have on their prey. The worst thing is that due to the symptoms--total obliviousness to one's own dullness, a tendency to assume everyone is interested in everything you have to say, and a blanket assumption that failure to shout, "SHUT UP!" at you and run away means that you should continue talking--you may already be a Gibbering Mouther and not even know it.

1 comment:

Eryn Tzun said...

I have met yon Beast, and usually the wost part is when they do it to a Guest then hold up the autograph line for several minutes.

Question number five-hundred and sixty-two could have been asked while the Guest was on stage taking questions. The Beast thinks it's going to be both special and memorable by asking said inane question 562, plus many others, directly to The Guest.
It's not the first time The Guest encounters this issue. Most often they're too nice to tell them to "shut the hell up and go away." The Guest may not be a really nice person, in actuality, it's just that they're very good at faking it. The best kind know how to answer all the questions in a short way that will ensure the Beast becomes bored and moves on because of it. The worst kind engage them in conversation because they crave the attention, usually this happens with actors whether out of work or not.

That's when security or the line movers get irritated and escort them away to explain how rude it is to hold up the line, especially when it's so long and the guest has limited time. Several times I have received my autograph and wish to leave, but I've been blocked from exiting the line by this Beast. It's really too bad they can't be bitch-slapped when they act this way.

That's when security or the line movers get irritated and escort them away to explain how rude it is to hold up the line or distract the guest. By this time the line is probably long and the guest has limited time.

If they don't know how to handle them properly then security or their husband/wife/girl/boyfriend/booth-worker/agent must be the bad guys and get the person to move on. In the worst scenario the Beast reacts as though it's harassment, so they get loud and won't shut up about it for the rest of the convention. This is fine if it's a large Con and you are not working it, this is terrible if it's a small Con and you can't avoid them no matter what.

It's no wonder I stopped caring about getting autographs. Not that I won't take them if someone offers it when I can't attend. I also won't shoot it down if I am the one who is a line herder or Guest Security, but only if The Guest offers.

Free Con entrance is one thing, but putting up with that kind of bullshit when you are not The Guest has no proper consolation.

I guess I suffer from Convention Line Burn Out.