Tony Gallichan is Mildly Perturbed by... His Own Convention Anecdotes (Part Two)
Listeners may remember that I while back I posted a few little stories about embarrassing things that have happened to me at a convention.
Well, here are some more, humiliating, experiences. Enjoy.
The first Manopticon at the start of the 1990s. That was a great convention and came at the height of the A5 zine revival. Lots of happy people, most knowing each other, alcohol and a lot of fun to be had.
However... Muggins here got asked to man the Who Shop stall. Only for a very short time, but nonetheless, I manned it.
And sold stuff a little too cheaply. Only a cup and possibly a badge, but needless to say, they weren't happy.
Then came the Saturday evening and the Auction. This was supposed to be run by John Freeman, DWM editor and chocolate lover. However, the guests' dinner was running a little late so John Head and I were asked to start it off. We were happy to do so and to be honest, we were really rather good. The audience warmed up and we started to get some good laughs. But of course, muggins here had to spoil things, didn't he?
it has been noted that Paul Cornell and I have a similar quirk. We both wave our arms around an awful lot when we talk. This was proven to us by Jean Riddler and Penny List whilst we were sat upstairs in the Opera Rooms in Charring Cross one glorious summer's afternoon. Without warning, Jean and Penny leaned across and held our arms.
Immediately Paul and I fell silent. It seemed that arm waving seemed to encourage our jaw muscles to move.
So, there I am on stage in Manchester, in full flow, so to speak and what happens? With one unwieldy, bicycling, sweeping arm I knocked an expensive arc lamp off the stage and flying into the audience.
Bang! Bits of glass etc everywhere. In front of several hundred people.
So, what else could go wrong?
A little later that same evening, I was plucked from the audience to play the "Regeneration Game". Can you see what they did there? Dear me.
I'm up on stage, Ian Briggs is my partner for the games, Bill Cook and Colin Howard (top blokes!) were on the opposing team. The first game is basically to copy a "live" drawing of Sylvester McCoy done by Lee Sullivan.
"That's not fair!" I say, in mock outrage, "You have an artist on your team."
It might be the right moment to point out that in a certain fanzine, Ian Briggs was portrayed as a guy who likes a little drop now and again.
"That's ok, Tone" says Bill "You have a piss artist on yours."
I immediately turn to Ian and start apologising for Bill's rude comment in front of so many people.
Slowly, carefully, Bill looked me in the eye and with patience, and not a little glee, said.
"I was talking about you, you berk!"
I'm told the Police that very night raided the area the hotel was in, claiming it had become a red light district.
That was no red light.
It was my face, burning with embarrassment.
I've not been to a convention around Christmas time.
If I did, I expect I would still be able to quite easily manage to make a complete fool of myself again, probably involving holly, a Dalek, Cranberry sauce (yuk!)
and Katy Manning.
And with that mental image searing it's way into your minds, I shall leave you to enjoy your seasonal festivities.
Oh and incidental, a very happy Christmas to all..<SNIP - Ed. No! No! No! Stop it now!).
Tony Gallichan really must go to a convention again. Soon. You have been warned!
Don't forget that you can discuss this, even tell us your own convention stories, in the Musings: The Comeback Forum!