I've never been to a convention out of the US, and have always been curious as to what they were like. Were they the same as the ones in the US, and if so, were they more like an ICon, Wizard World, Shore Leave, Chiller, or DragonCon? And of course, the most important question of all, would anyone at the con know who the hell I was?
So when I heard about this Memorabilia show in Birmingham, England, I figured, "what the heck". On the way to the UK, I decided to stop off and spend 5 days in Paris, as I'd never been there before, and with the stopover, the roundtrip flight was super cheap.
I was going to write this whole thing on my escapades in Paris, and even planned on taking a photo of all the most famous French things. Not the monuments, and works of art, but instead I was going to get pics of a poodle (but could not find one freaking poodle in all of Paris), my maid (but she must have been half Ninja, I would leave the hotel for 15 minutes, and my room would be all made up), someone wearing a Band-Aid (French Dressing... no one gets that one), some bread and toast (but after all the other pics falling through, I kind of gave up).
But I did get a pic of a REAL French Fry.
Anyway. The trip to Paris was pretty interesting as it was my first "real" vacation in quite a while. I was not there for a convention, I wasn't visiting family, I wasn't visiting friends, and I wasn't traveling with anyone. So for the whole five days, I went by my real name. No one there knew me, so I was able to take a nice little vacation from Spat. The whole time I was there, only one person I met had ever even heard of me or been to my website (thanks for the ego boost, Helen!).
So, since it was a private vacation, I've decided to keep the pics and stories to myself. Sorry.
But after 5 days, even I started to miss that crazy drunk bastard. Which was perfect, as it was time to head to England so I could spend the next few days...
At a Convention!
Now I must say, UK cons are pretty unique. Basically, it's just a giant dealer's room, much like a Wizard World show. Kind of like a giant Geek Trade Show. But the Brits do it with more style. First off, there are 2 bars right there on the floor that start serving at about 10:30 am or so. And secondly, you can smoke pretty much ANYWHERE at the show! How freaky is that?
A really nice C-3PO. Of course, I think he was in the costume for a total of about 15 minutes.
Geordi! The UK Marine who was afraid to smoke in the convention because he was in costume and didn't want to get into trouble!
Starsky and Hutch car!!
Batman and Cat Woman take a smoke break. So many dirty jokes... Fags, cigarettes, blowing, sucking... Damn, I'm getting old.
Another thing the Brits had going for their cons was having the Prop store of London right there on the floor selling screen used props. You do not want to know how much I spent!
This freaky guy kept wandering around giving candy to little kids. In the states, the cops would have been called pretty quickly. (Edit - I've just been told this is a Willy Wonka costume, and not a child molesting perv. My bad.)
And look who actually showed up! It's Richard LeParmentier! That's right, Admiral Motti himself!
I think he just said something offensive.
And here's me pretending I have a "thing" I have to go to.
Richard and the redhead. I forget her name. But who really cares. No one is reading these captions anyway.
And here's a shot of her with that strange growth removed from her right side.
And with a whole new growth on the left side!
British con geeks!
And here is the actual Jedi House Fan Club, UK Chapter!
Here's me and some Soccer Hooligan at the bar at the train station.
That night I went out drinking with the UK Stormtroopers, and then dragged a few people out with me to check out the club scene in Birmingham.
Go Geordi, it's your birthday!
Who took that pic?!?! How naughty!
These girls found us at the bar, and were willing to do anything for shots.
But they didn't want me to take any pictures.
Geordi makes them work for the shots!
And sadly, I don't follow instructions very well, so I kept taking pictures.
And that's the last thing I really remember from that night. But I'm not complaining.
Back at the show I found a whole lot of really cool Red Dwarf props!
And more Necromongers!
For those who don't know, the Necromongers are from the last Riddick film.
The Brit Anakin and Obi Wan duke it out in a very well choreographed fight scene.
Me and Danny John-Jules, the Cat from Red Dwarf.
Me and Hattie Hayridge, Holly from Red Dwarf.
And me with Norman Lovett, the other Holly from Red Dwarf.
Big thanks to Jerome for introducing me around that weekend.
And then Jerome got naughty with the Troopers! Here he is kissing Jo, one of the (thankfully) female UK Troopers.
The UK Garrison is very strict, and the Troopers there can't take their helmets off, or smoke, or really get too out of character, even at a convention, and that even carries over if their in costumes that aren't even Star Wars based!!
Jerome checking Jo's levels. Of course, she didn't know about this at the time!
Kristen doing her Underworld thing!
Jerome Blake gets lucky!
Jo, out of armor and in a new SpatCave shirt!
Don't I look like a cute little cherub here?
Me and Harry, out on the town in London!
And finally, in a taxi on the way to the train station so I can get back to Birmingham in time for my flight back to NY. And yes, Leon got me there with 35 seconds to spare before the train pulled out!
Big, HUGE thanks to the UK Garrison, and especially to Simon and John for all their help. To Jerome and Richard. To Geordi for representing the USCM! To Harry for wandering around London with me. To Leon for lunch. To Steve for spotting me wandering around London. To Steve at Prop Store for not complaining about the drool I left on all the props. To the Necromongers for drinking with me all day at the con instead of actually handing out fliers! And to anyone else I may have forgotten, see you at the next one!