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Con Horror Stories #1

Ushicon 2005 was the first convention that I was allowed to go, spend the night, and basically have the entire con to do whatever I wanted with my friends and no parents. I was 18 and a senior in high school. I was PSYCHED.

It happened, through a series of unfortunate circumstances, that I was promoted suddenly to Battalion Commander of my JROTC unit. The date of the military ball was announced, and I was extremely upset to learn that it was the same weekend as Ushicon. But not only was it the same weekend, but it was at the same hotel.

I was generally a painfully honest young person, but I wasn't about to give up a weekend of convention awesomeness for a military ball. No way. My teacher, Major, wouldn't let any of the girls wear civilian dresses and I didn't have a date, so the matter was pretty much settled. I told Major that I had to go out of town that weekend, worked diligently on my costume, and just vowed to stay the hell away from the second floor on Saturday night. What could go wrong?

This brings us to my friend Matt. He was also one of the students in charge in JROTC. And he knew about Ushicon quite intimately, since his twin brother, his twin brother's best friend (my brother John), and his twin brother's girlfriend were all also going to the convention with me that weekend.

This might help:

Matt kept pretty quiet until, somehow, he found out about the cosplay contest. He and a bunch of the JROTC minions downstairs to the cosplay contest where, somehow, they talked their way past security and into the audience. So there I am, a part of a massive Naruto cosplay, walking across the stage in my lovingly hand-made Rock Lee costume:

when I look out and see their smiling faces looking up at me. I was totally freaked out that my cover was blown, but I tried to keep it cool. After I crossed the stage I hopped down and went straight towards them, then went out and even got a picture with them:

That's me bottom left. The one dressed as Rock Lee.

They went back upstairs to relay to Major what they had seen, and I was pretty much mortified. So I ran upstairs to our hotel room as fast as I could, tore off my wig and costume, and put on a dress I had brought for the con's dance later.

I ran downstairs and talked my way into the ballroom, where I managed to make it to the last half hour of the military ball. Major was torn between being really pissed that I wasn't in uniform and had missed the entire thing and really amused.

"I thought you were out of town." He said gruffly.


I' m 4th from the left. All the pics from that night turned out really dark. I lightened it as much as I could...