Monday, August 26, 2013

The Pen That George Used

So... this weekend was Bubonicon again.   I'm on my fourth year as Gofer Wrangler (elsewise known as the Volunteer Coordinator or cat herder... actually, my volunteers are awesome) so I was working rather than going to panels (and this seemed like a good idea, why?)   I got to one panel on publishing by a gentleman named Robert Vardeman which was wonderful and informative.

Most of the time, though, I was holding down a table.  When I wasn't holding down a table I was badge checking programming venues.  We had some great Guests of Honor... Brent Weeks and Tim Powers... but I never saw any of their panels or went to their readings.

Because we also had George.   You know George... as in R.R. Martin?   Yeah, him.   Well, I didn't go to any of his panels or reading either.  I was *working*.

The pen that George used.
Poor guy is local so we're all terribly unimpressed, though that might be rather restful for him, who knows.   But anyhow, we had to close the door on his reading because too many people wanted in and I'm the person who stood in front of the closed door and had to stand up to super-fans who'd traveled from out of town and tell them "No!"   There were a few who tried wheedling and a couple who managed it by begging please if someone came *out* could they go in?   But mostly I made statements with some variation of "Fire Marshall" in them and everyone backed off like I'd waved a magic wand.  I did have one other gofer with me for back up, which I was glad of!

I also guarded George's door and line for the mass book signing.   Everyone was incredibly polite.  They got to have two things signed and then get back in line as often as they got through it.   I only had one case of line jumping, and I pounced on them and said no no no... but their friend you see... and I said, no! no savesees! (because your brain is always the first to go on Con weekend) and I got a badly snotty "I'm attending a disabled person!" and a huge sneer like I was a mean hater.  It had been a group of five people and three were not getting anything but wow... who doesn't ask?  Someone is standing right there directing traffic and they don't politely ask that the disabled person step in front? Just jump on up there? (Also, if you've been to a sci-fi convention "disabled" isn't unusual at all... people spend the weekend in wheelchairs and this girl had a cane.) It didn't ruin my day or anything but the "friend" in line came afterward and apologized profusely for how rude her friends had been and how they made her complicit in the rudeness.  Well, I didn't blame her anyhow.   The goodness of everyone else (and I do mean EVERYONE else) just made it tons of fun.  People who'd driven from out of state just to get George's signature got everything they brought signed, got through the line as many times as it took in the hour and a half given... *even* an independent bookstore staff with every Game of Thrones inventory item they had.  And they were wonderful too.  Every time a straggler came with a personal book to get signed they boosted them ahead, even though the signed comic books, posters, calendars and books were their bread and butter.

The most fun, though, was a lady right at the end that got her item signed... I'm not sure what it was, maybe a game or artwork or something about 15 x 15.  I didn't notice what it was because I was looking at her face.  She walked down the hall holding her treasure out in front of her so she could look at it and just *smiled*, so obviously pleased and so obviously joyful at her good fortune that she just oooozed happiness all the way down the hallway in little drips.   It still makes me smile.

Anyhow... the pen.  So I was off doing something or other and my friend gave my silver sharpie to George Martin's assistant.  (He had several other metallic sharpies, too.)   And then she got it back again at the end, which embarrassed me a little bit because really, I'm not concerned about losing my silver sharpie!  But we've been having fun ever since making a big deal of my famous silver sharpie and laughing our butts off over it.  So I thought I'd take a picture - it lasts longer.  ;-)

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