Caffeine and Monsters at Monster Mania

(Part II)

Lora took on the coffee detail Saturday morning and did a stellar job keeping the mugs full, despite the presence of a whole host of ghouls, ghosts, zombies and aliens. By the time I got to my second cup, I decided I wasn’t going to talk to anyone else that day because every time I opened my mouth I ended up with knife, axe or ray gun pointed at me. Kinda harsh.

I sought refuge outside where I encountered Norman and we grabbed this shot before the crowds pounced. He ran in one direction while I ran in another and had an extremely close encounter with a Killer Klown. There was a brief spell of almost-panic when some ZSC loyalists misunderstood a dispatch to mean that Norman had been attacked by the Killer Klown. No names. Well, *clears throat* at least until Philly in June! I can confirm that Norman did not have a run-in with the gigantic Klown and made it out of Jersey in one piece.

By the time I got back to the table, Lora had developed a rather amusing fascination with Rob – who was manning the table behind us with the ever delightful Josh. In Lora’s defense Rob did smell really really good – which was in sharp contrast with the overall smell the crowds were giving off. Points to Lora for that one! The boys would join us later for early birthday drinks for Lora, who was celebrating her **th on Sunday.

I’m going to skip over the barely edible pizza that we tried to eat for lunch (after I skipped breakfast Lora kept reminding me to eat, but never did) because just as we prepared to chow down ZSC loyalist @Grae42 showed up and made my day! I think I *may* have over-squished him in the hug department because he’s had back problems ever since, but, well, you can’t say I’m not passionate about the troops!

There was a rather humorous incident after my first-ever taste of 5 Hour energy drink that almost earned Guy a kidney shot when he walked up behind me and tapped me on the hip. Grae and Lora mounted a temporary coup to decree amongst Command that your fearless leader is NEVER to be given 5 Hour energy drinks unless the ZSC is completely surrounded by walkers.

Grae and I decided to go on another hunting mission and spent some time chatting with Stevewho was extremely sweet and very supportive of the ZSC. He took on a spur of the moment mission for Command and signed some gear for us which we’ll put up as part of a The Walking Dead contest soon!

The Walking Dead panel? Hysterical. I won’t ruin it for those of you who may get to see similar events at future Cons, but Steve was “narly,” Laurie was articulate and very sweet, and Jon? Well, I think I have “no thrusting” burned into my brain forever.

Lora and I headed off to the restaurant to eat our first real food in, like, forever only to discover that the waiter – Jason – was the gentleman Lora yelled at the night before. He took it in stride, brought me the biggest side of mayo in history and drink that could peel paint off the walls, and I learned a very valuable lesson about pickles. Never, ever, eat a pickle when Lora is around or you will end up snorting part of it out of your nose. Just trust me on this one, ok? You do NOT want to test it out. It hurts.

The only way Lora was actually able to finish her meal was for me to leave the table and take the giggling elsewhere.

Lora’s insistence on getting to bed early got scrapped when she encountered Rob and Josh watching Jack Nicholson beating up a pigeon. Don’t ask. Suffice it to say Saturday night’s insanity rests solely on her shoulders. By the time we got to the room, it was 1:59 a.m. soon to be 3:00 a.m. because of the time change.

…the 7:00 a.m. alarm? Yeah. The clock got a crossbow bolt #justsayin


Sunday morning dawned harsh and bright, leaving quite a few us needing to wear our sunglasses even in the darkened convention rooms. Lest anyone think the lack of sleep adversely affects my ability to lead in times of crisis, Sunday was a remarkably productive day.

We ended up locked in battle with the guys who run a Zombie Survival Course. Don’t let the picture fool you. I gave it back even better than I got it. The guys are definite ZSC material which we established after several minutes of “combat practice.” We’re hoping to run some joint training exercises with them in the future.

As the monsters began their slow lurches back to the shadows I had the unexpected opportunity to spend a bit of time chatting with Jon (in rusty, horrible Russian that was definitely made worse by my exhausted state). At first it seemed as though he was about to fire off a throw or two but then Jon decided to jump on board and support the ZSC!! Given the temperamental nature of his The Walking Dead character Shane Walsh, I thought it wise to record the decision.

All in all? A wild wacky weekend at Monster Mania – none of which would have been possible without the tireless efforts of Lora! *salutes with crossbow*

The question is? Who out there is brave enough to join Command at the next one????