Nerd Prom 2011: Hostage Situation

The San Diego Comic-Con is an exhausting endeavor – four and a half days of non-stop events, panels, celebrity sightings, freak photography, and waiting endlessly on line for the things that a normal American takes for granted as simple sustenance, such as food, liquor, water, booze, hangover remedies, hooch, liquor, liquor, aspirin and liquor.

When you bookend this experience with cross-country travel, it’s always smartest to ease your way into the gauntlet by making the trip as easy as possible; set your flight late enough to be able to sleep in, have a nice breakfast and lunch, and check into a clean, quiet room for a beer and a quiet sleep.

I am not smart.

JANUARY

“I want to try out this place Avenue 5 for lunch while we’re in San Diego,” my girl said, “The people on Yelp say that they have burgers with brie, and truffle fries.”

“Lemme see that,” I said. “Jesus, this place is hell and gone from Cartegena. I don’t recognize the address, but it’s at least a bunch of miles from the convention center. There’s no way we’ll be able to get there once the convention starts.”

“We would if we took an earlier flight,” she said.

“Are you shitting me? There are only two nonstop flights a day between Boston and San Diego, and the early one’s at, like, 9:30.”

“That’s not so bad,” she said.

“You’re right… provided that we’ve simultaneously stopped drinking and gone back in time to 1999. A 9:30 flight means that we need to be at the airport for 7:30 to give the TSA plenty of time to check the space between my sack and left leg for explosives.”

“Why don’t you just go through the porno scanner?”

“Because I like the idea of forcing a government employee to put his hands there after I’ve been walking through Boston for a couple of hours. It feels like civil dissent,” I said.

“That’s not civil, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal under the Geneva Convention.”

“Maybe,” I said, “But it’s easier on the throat than screaming, ‘Attica! Attica!’ Besides, it’s just a fucking cheeseburger.”

“Yup. It’s just a cheeseburger. But you could say that about anything. For example, ‘It’s just a blowjob.'”

I sighed. “Fine. We’ll book the early flight. But it’s on you to make sure we’re up early enough to get the T to the airport.”

“Fine,” she said, “I’ll set the alarm for 4:30 so we have time to clean up and – ”

“Make it 5:30,” I said.

“Don’t you want time to shower?” she asked.

“Attica! Attica!”YESTERDAY – 10:15 A.M.

“Sorry about the delay here on the tarmac, folks, but uhhhhh… it turns out that the plane is too heavy to take off from any of the runways that are currently open, uhhhh… We’ll be unable to take off until the long runway is open at 11 o’clock, uhhhhh… we’ll try to keep you posted.”

I pushed the big orange button. After the flight attendant assuring my girlfriend that beverage service would not be started regardless of the tip involved, I said, ‘Let me ask you a question: is JetBlue ever on time? Has it EVER been on time? Answer me honestly: if this was a situation where we were making love instead of just you fucking me, and you promised we’d simultaneously orgasm, you’d just keep reaming me for an extra hour after I finished, wouldn’t you?”

“Sir? Could you please return to your seat? Other passengers are complaining that you smell, well, musty.”

“Oh yeah? Well, then you better take off quick, because I rammed down a breakfast burrito about an hour ago.”

“You had a burrito? Before you got on an AIRPLANE?”

“Attica! Attica!”

YESTERDAY, 2:30 P.M. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME

“Where the fuck are we? This is the Convention Center!” My girl yelled at the cabbie we’d hailed at the airport.

“You said Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street,” he replied.

“Are you insane? We said Fifth between Olive and Nutmeg! What part of that sounds like Seventh?”

“Sorry,” the cabbie said, hanging a right. After another ten minutes, he dropped the meter, collected twenty bucks from me and let us off. “This looks kinda familiar.”

“Familiar how?” my girl asked. “We haven’t been here before.”

“Oh yeah we have. Well, we’ve been close to here before, anyway. I figure we’ve been a block away from here eight, maybe nine times.”

“A block from wh – Jesus Christ, what’s that NOISE?”

An Airbus roared over the cityscape, about 500 feet directly above our heads.

“The fucking airport.”

YESTERDAY, 5 P.M. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME

“God, it’s good to be in a nice, clean hotel room after – wait – look at the window! Is that someone’s fucking ASSPRINT?”

NOW

“I cannot BELIEVE that people are lining up NOW to get into the Twilight panel TOMORROW,” I said, “Comic-Con is hard enough without running a gauntet of tween girls.”

“Sure, it’s an unnecessary pain in the ass, but what can you do?” my girl said. “Anyway, the bathroom is free if you want to get in there.”

‘Nah. Let’s just go get our laminates.”

“You don’t want to shower?”

“Attica! Attica!”

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