Sporadica: Training for the Show (SDCC 2019)

Written by on July 15, 2019

This Wednesday, I return to San Diego for my ninth straight running of the nerds (Comic-Con).

I feel pretty good about this year.  Last year was a bit off.  I only had one day inside the con, I lost out on the Funko booth, and I got hosed on the Conan tapings.  Also, I got news I needed shoulder surgery a couple days before I left and that put me into a funk.

But that’s all in the past.

I’m still shit out of luck on the Funko booth and the Conan tapings, however, I have 4 days on the floor which should be plenty of time to do some fun stuff, shop, and shop for fun stuff.  Last year I walked the entire floor, end to end, in one day.  It kicked my ass.  I was wrecked for the rest of the weekend.  I went to go out drinking on my last day and was too tired to order a second round.  Just sat there nursing a water.  It was embarrassing.

I won’t burn out this year.  Promise.  A couple of months ago, I started a strictly regimented exercise program to build up my endurance.  I’ve been hitting the gym, watching my diet, and prepping like a madman.  I’m working the body and training the mind.  I’m going to be an animal this year.

Most likely a fierce one.

Maybe a lion or tiger or bear.

Definitely not a sloth.

Here’s what my training has looked like.

Stamina

Comic-Con can take a lot out of you if you’re not prepared. If you want to maximize your day you need to be up and ready to hit the convention center early.  Doors open at 10, you want to be in line at 8.  As soon as those doors open – BOOM!- it’s off to the races.  Booth to booth, signing to signing.  No time for lunch, gotta get to my panel room and get a good seat.  Grab a cookie and a Coke and hit up a couple more booths on the way.  Doors close at 5 but your day doesn’t.  There’s plenty of after-hour events and parties to go to.  You’re looking at 18 hour days from the second you dump your bags in your room.

To get ready for this Bataan Death March of Geekery, I have put myself on a strict diet of Red Bull, Mountain Dew, and 5-Hour Energy Boosters, with lots of bread, pasta, and rice in between.  This is carb-loading to the MAX!!  I am a walking dynamo, brimming with energy!  I can feel it rolling off of me like a thunderstorm of electric bugs.  I positively vibrate right now.  Hey, do you see outside the visible spectrum because I’m pretty sure I can.  Everything is all wiggly and alive.  I’m seeing shit on a molecular level.  F**king let’s do this already!!

More Stamina   

You know what else you gotta be in shape for?  Standing in line.  Unlike running the floor, line-standing takes a different kind of stamina.  It takes patience, which is hard to do when you’re as amped up on caffeine boosters as I am.  But I’ve found a work around.  Every morning, after my double jolt of Jolt Cola, I force myself to stand in the kitchen window and watch the grass grow.  Sometimes I take a break and watch some paint dry, or stare at a pot of water, waiting for it to boil.  If that’s too tedious, I count ceiling tiles.  Right now, I’m working on some ninja-level shit at work.  I start asking if it’s 5 o’clock yet when I get back from lunch.

Cardio

F**k that.   Cardio is for athletes.  If you’re athletic, and at Comic-Con, you’re probably there to cosplay as a shirtless super-hero hoping that that one girl from high school, the one who turned you down for a date but slept with that cretin Ted because he had a Camaro , is there for you to impress.

That and have your picture taken with a bunch of under-aged Asian girls dressed as Anime.

Manners

They matter in a polite society.  Too bad that’s not where you are.

There are spots on the floor where nothing moves.  Nothing.  Everyone’s hypnotized by the over-sized toys bursting out of the Hasbro booth and just stands there, eyes glazed, mouth agape.  What do you do?  Push on through! Don’t even stop to say you’re sorry.   No one else does.

To get ready, I’ve been over-stuffing a backpack and careening through crowds. Just smashing into people right and left.  I’ve also stopped being polite.  No more ‘please’ or ‘thank you’.  ‘Sorry’ is for sissies.   ‘Pardon me’ is worse.  The less said to your fellow con-goers, the better.  Niceties just slow you down.  I used to play football, I can bull my way through a crowd like a hot knife through butter.  Sharpening my elbows has helped, too.  Cut me off and I will cut you.

Small Talk

You’re going to be stuck in some lines where you can’t risk Facebook for fear of killing your battery.  Next best thing is to talk to the poor schmuck standing next to you.  Unfortunately, this is Comic-Con, and the ability to make small talk is in short supply.  I get it, I’m an introvert myself, stranger danger is as real today as it was when the man in the white van drove through our neighborhoods as children.  A little dark, but you get the point.  Nerds are skittish.  I practice by talking to a brick wall.   Gets me used to the silence.

It’s really too bad that you guys won’t talk to me in line because I’m well versed in all the classic Comic-Conversations:

  • Who would win in a fight with Batman (answer: always Batman)
  • Would you like Bruce Banner when he’s angry (answer: you wouldn’t)
  • What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow (answer: African or European)

Also, I’m funny.

Hygiene

Skip it.  Everyone else does.  Comic-Con crowds can get a little ripe.  I normally shower every day, but f**k it.  Unless you sleep with a goat, you’re not going to get out-funked.  Just go au naturale, which in this case does not mean naked (ewww) , but unwashed.   If you miss a date with Old Spice, don’t sweat it (HA!).  No one’s going to notice.

On the other hand, there’s this thing out there called ‘con-crud’ that you might come down with after the show.  It’s kind of like a cold, kind of like the flu, but not really either.  You get stuffy, a sore throat, and generally feel like shit, but you’re not sick.  To combat this, I’ve been drinking hand-sanitizer for the last week.  It stings going down, but once you get used to it, it’s no different than drinking after-shave.  The plan fill my body with Purel and sweat it out during the show.  I’ll be like an opposite dart frog, secreting an anti-bacterial slime coat instead of poison.  I will smell nice and be safe from disease. It’s the next step in evolution, really.  I will outlive you all.

Alcohol

I don’t know about your con-friends, but mine like their liquor.  We hit the bars pretty much every night, twice on Saturday.  The best way to train for this is to never stop drinking from the year before.  F**k your liver.  What does it really do anyway?  Yellow eyes and a sallow complexion are all the rage these days.  Plus, livers on the black market aren’t THAT expensive.  They’re not as cheap as eyeballs, but it won’t cost you and arm or a leg.  At most, maybe a kidney, some cash, and a quick nap in a bath-tub full of ice.  Sounds relaxing, actually.

Now, c’mon, nerds.  F**king let’s do this already!


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