For the third year in a row, I journeyed to Atlanta to spend Labor Day weekend with a few of the Skepchicks, some awesome scientists and performers, and about 60,000 costumed sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts. This year, I finally discovered my true calling: I am an elf.
I wandered into the vendor area with my SGU co-host Steve Novella, and within 15 minutes I was fitted for my own extra large floppy elf ears, which the nice ladies in the booth colored to match my nearly-translucent skin color. I immediately realized that rather than donning a costume, I had at long last taken it off. I was an elf. (Thanks to Greg for sending in the pic!)
OK, at least until one ear flopped off a few hours later and the spirit gum got caught in my hair. But for awhile there, it was kind of awesome and I felt like I was totally fitting in with the cool kids at D*C. While walking around, a guy said to me, “I like your ears.” I honestly wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic or not, so I said, “I like yours, too.” He wasn’t wearing prosthetics. It was awkward.
There were plenty of other highlights as well:
- You: Surly Amy and I spent most of the weekend hanging out at the Skepchick/Surly/SGU fan tables, meeting a bunch of you guys. You guys are awesome! Thanks to those of you who stopped by to say hi, buy a t-shirt, take a pic, get a bite to eat with us, and/or compliment me on my ears.
- MST3K: Our fan table neighbors were Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu from Mystery Science Theater 3000! Last year I had the pleasure of hanging out with MST3K alum Bill Corbett, and I’m happy to report that Frank and Trace are just as smart, funny, approachable, and skeptical. I found out that Frank actually performs a regular show called Cartoon Dump at the Center for Inquiry’s Steve Allen Theater in LA, and Trace wrote a children’s book called Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children, illustrated by Friend of Skepchick Len Peralta (who, happily, was also in attendance at D*C)!
- Quiz-o-Tron: As I did a year ago at D*C and just a few months ago at The Amaz!ng Meeting, I hosted a fun, slightly filthy quiz show with a panel of interesting people. This year we reached a new high, or a new low depending upon your outlook. The aforementioned MST3K alums Bill, Frank, and Trace were there, plus Phil Plait, George Hrab, Ken Plume, Sasha Pixlee (as bartender), and Doc Hammer, creator of The Venture Brothers. For those familiar with the show, you may be amused to know that Doc spent several minutes delivering a graphic description of what the sex act “Rusty Venture” entails.
- Live SGUs: It’s always fun to do live versions of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, but this weekend was particularly cool since we were also able to do a second, more intimate show for a handful of fans who saw how we record the show when we’re not on stage. Both audiences were wonderful and I think all of us had a blast.
- Vaccine Clinic: Our own Maria Walters, Jamie Bernstein, and other volunteers did an amazing job getting the vaccine clinic going and then driving traffic to it. They gave away more than 200 free vaccines, and loads more free flu shots. Way to save the world!