Wednesday, April 20, 2005
One day before CIII
With things at home in order and everything I needed for the weekend packed and loaded in my truck, I headed out to finish a few errands and dropped off a house key with Mary. I filled up on gas, got a cup of coffee and I was ready to head for Indianapolis. Stopping only once to get some lunch, I arrived at the Indiana Convention Center at 3:40.
Unbelievable as it seemed, people were already waiting in line when I drove past the convention center. Three people were in the first line I saw, too many to count in the second. This screamed out to be investigated.
Checking in at the Crowne Plaza Hotel went smoothly. The key card for the weekend was a really cool Celebration III commemorative card with a double image of Darth Vader. I asked the nice lady helping me if I could keep the card when I checked out. She looked at me over the rim of her glasses and, with a slight grin on her face, said, “Yes, hon, you get to keep the card.” She told me that several people (dorks, no doubt) had come in asking for a free card. There were four different cards distributed to the hotels for the weekend and these dorks were trying to collect them all.
I took my stuff up to my room, grabbed my camcorder and went to investigate the line situation.
The second and longer line was for people buying or picking up their badges. The woman I spoke to at the door told me I could go in for a look around if I already had my badge. Of course my badge was in the hotel room.
The first and shorter line was for fan club members. The first dork in line was trying to look important by talking on his cell phone. The second dork said that Dork 1 was in line at noon yesterday [Tuesday]. Dork 2 joined him seven hours later but went to his room during the night. He got back in line this morning.
We spoke a little about the prospect of rain that night. Looking up at a cloudless sky he scoffed at the forecasters. I informed him that I drove through rain on my way down from Fort Wayne and that it was supposed to be headed towards Indianapolis. He put his hand on my shoulder for just an instant then told me he lived in Michigan, about fifty miles north of Fort Wayne. I backed a few big steps away from him. He took up his camera, said he liked Indianapolis and wanted to take pictures of the architecture as part of his plan to start a photo studio. I feigned interest by nodding all the while planning my escape. He focused his camera on the fascinating architecture of the Marriott Starbucks across the street. I used the opportunity to hightail it out of there.
During my investigation of the line situation I noticed that several people were walking out of the convention center with bags of stuff. My curiosity grew with each bag that I saw. I began to wonder if I had been cheated out of some ultra-cool CIII giveaway.
I dropped the camcorder off at my room before going to the Circle Centre Mall for dinner. It was there that I ran into a pair of normal looking geeks carrying the CIII bags. They told me the bags only contained a couple of catalogues and other insignificant items.
Insignificant of not, I had to have one of those bags! I rushed back to my room, grabbed my badge and took off for the convention center. Once there, I picked up a program guide for the weekend’s events, grabbed one of the CIII bags then took a look around the place. The only thing to look at was a display case of items to be sold at the Celebration Store. I made a mental note of the items I wanted to buy. I took one more look around the nearly empty convention center before leaving and pictured what it would look like in about 17 hours. With a wry grin I walked out and headed back to my room.
I waited around the hotel’s elevator lobby to use one of the free computers. After a few minutes of waiting I went outside for a breath of fresh air. The smell of rain was in the air. A few drops hit me so I went back inside.
I was finally able to use one of the computers after a twenty minute wait; neither of the two idiots could take a hint from my pacing back and forth. I made a quick check of the Hyperspace and Force.Net web sites tosee if there were any new developments for the weekend.
I finally settled in for the evening and spent the rest of the night watching Reggie Miller’s last regular season game with the Pacers. Sometime during the post game ceremonies I heard what sounded like rain. Sure enough, the rain could be heard plain as day once I turned off the TV.
An evil chuckle escaped me as I thought of those dorks already in line.
CIII Day 1