Fan Expo Roundup, Day One

This morning I put on my best chimney-sweep attire, then Gina and I left our trendy hotel (complete with headboard scratches, no ice, and no hot water), crossed a Confederate graveyard, and had our photograph taken with William Fucking Shatner.

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It was a short enough affair and Bill wasn’t feeling his best. Apparently he was getting over a cold. He’s also dealing with being an octogenarian. Still, I’m glad I can say that I once stood next to the James Tiberius Kirk.

We walked over those poor misguided dead people again and went back into the city in search of lunch. We stopped at a wonderful little mom and pop diner called the Purple Onion and had the lunch special, fried catfish. The atmosphere was delightful.

At this point it was time for some well needed rest. Gina is, of course, growing a human inside her, so we retreated to the hotel for a couple of hours. Revived, we arose and suited up. It was time for Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw to meet the newest incarnation of the Doctor.

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When we entered the curtain he was animated, smiling, chatting and posing with everyone. In my experience this isn’t common with these photo ops. The people running the show seemed tense. He was holding up the line.

When we approached, he shook my gloved hand (I’m never getting rid of those now) and said “Brig!”

I pointed at Gina and said “she’s Liz Shaw.” He’s a lifelong Whovian so I knew he would appreciate this. He leaned in to read her nametag.

“I love your outfits!” he said. “Vintage stuff!”

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We wandered around for a couple more hours. We stared at celebrities and “celebrities” in the autograph area. I got saluted over a dozen times. A few really cool Whovians recognized Gina. Lots of folks took our photo. This is why I love cosplaying the Brigadier. Not everyone recognizes me but when they do, they’re pretty excited.

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We traversed the cemetery once more and headed into the city again, this time for burgers. I’m pretty sure someone was ODing on the sidewalk while a woman who was not in much better condition stroked his face.

We ate our sandwiches and heart attack fries in a small shop lit by police and ambulance lights from the street. Men dressed in traditional African garb protested something across the street. “When the darkness falls, Lord, we will wipe them out!” is all I could discern.

The city won’t let us forget that we’re mortal. We returned to the hotel for chilly showers and rest. Tomorrow will be long and sweaty, and full of adventures.

In the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, old Rob Schneider waits, dreaming.

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