Friday, November 14, 1997

AWA 1997 Day #1

OK, so here I am at Anime Weekend Atlanta with son Andrew (aka "Drew") and cousin Chris (aka "Chris.")

Son Drew screwing around in the gameroom. Flies 1000 miles or whatever to play games he can play at home. Fine. Let the convention begin.

Chris and I go into the Century Ballroom where they're having their Invocation Ritual. Huge crowd, all packed in Black-Hole-of-Calcutta style.

Up on stage, some dude with a beard who looks like the lead in "Clerks" takes the lectern drinking one microbrewed beer after another, a big screen behind him. Funny guy; good stage presence. ("Only 40 shoplifting days 'til Christmas!" he shouts: Audience laughs. He shifts to whiskey and shouts: "Jack Daniels is your friend!" -- and the Audience laughs again.)

This Lord of Misrule shucks, jives and reels about for ten minutes or so -- and then we begin the ceremony proper -- a reiteration of the Three Prime Directives of the AWA Convention. We start with the ritual burning of a Magic card --"Magic: the Gathering" being the name of one of the more popular role-playing games (or RPGs, to use the nadsat).

The screen flashes NO MAGIC.

The audience hoots and howls -- "Burn! Burn! Burn!" -- flame consumes the card and the magic is gone.

Next they show a clip of some crappy old guy in a crappy old cape from a crappy old vampire flick. NO VAMPIRES! says the screen.

More hoots and howls. Then a slide of some dork in a Klingon outfit.


And that brings down the roof; the crowd all shouting, stomping, screaming and bloodlust.

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