Ministry of Truth! Just like in that TV show with the cats.




Ah, looks like it's about time to turn human misery into fat piles of cash.
-- S. Dallas, Esq.


LOSCON, or, Travels with Rick Moen -- Reported 1998-01-11 23:07 by CrackMonkey

The next day, we wheeled over to the Fry's next door to buy a television. "They have a 30-day return policy." I assured Rick. Unfortunately, we mustn't have looked like paying customers, because the only man who attended us spoke only Pakistani. I tried to do the best I could, but communication in the middle of 500 televisions all playing different channels is damn near impossible.

Finally, we picked up a universal remote, and hit the mute button. Golden silence enveloped us, if only for a moment. The TVs in our area were now the only silent ones, and we were waving $20 bills around like madmen screaming "We have MONEY to GIVE to YOU! We wish to GIVE YOU OUR MONEY! There's MORE where THIS came from! Is there anyone who will TAKE OUR MONEY? I'll give $270 to the first person to come and hand us a television!"

Strangely, we were suddenly able to flag down several reps in quick succession. I told each one "I've been trying to buy a TV for over an hour. We want that one." I must've sent off a hundred of the little ants to fetch me TVs. Fortunately, we soon had it, and we were back off to the hotel.

While hauling the bastard in, we ran across several people from the con. "I'll be damned if we use Conrad Hilton's television sets!" I screamed at a woman with a large daisy-hat. Her response was simply "Cool!"

In the elevator, eyebrows were raised over the thing, which was obviously quite new.

"We're CrackMonkeys." Rick explained.

After watching Neverwhere and several episodes of Babylon 5 and The Avengers (the black-and-white TV show, not the wretched color movie), we hauled the thing back to Fry's for return. We'd only had the damn thing a day, and we had all the parts, so there's little they could do. Still, they asked me, "Was there something wrong with it?"

"No," I replied, leaning in close to the sales rep. "I just didn't like the color."

All in all it took an hour to buy the TV, but only fifteen minutes to return it. I can only assume that Fry's wants to give us money more than it wants to get money from us.

I should point out that the goths left the convention under cover of daylight in the large brown vanagon that was parked out in front of the hotel. I turned to Rick Moen and told him something Jason McKee once said to me on the subject of goths:

"I don't care if you're a 7th generation Gangrel! Clean that grease trap or you're fired!"

The only panel of note was the Babylon 5 panel, where the writer of the series paraded the actors for his new series up and down in front of the crowd. This taught me one crucial thing about LA: TV actors are very stupid people. One gentleman was wearing a leisure suit and chewing gum the whole time. Someone asked if he'd researched his part (an archaeologist).

"Oh yeah!" he replied, "I read this book! You know how many cultures have, like, vanished? Like seven!"

After refusing to pick up the Open Source Hitchhiker ("I'm writing a book"), we decided to high-tail it in the getaway car up 101 to San Francisco. I'm not sure my frail constitution could have taken I-5 on a second go--not with all those oil fires out there.

We slurped down the Red Bulls and enjoyed its long-term buzz for a hundred miles or so, watching the coast go by. It was a far cry from I-5 and its ever-present aqueducts and empty plains.

We stopped in a Dutch town called Solveng for dinner, finding the place closed tight. We finally got the smorgasbord at a local inn, which was quite satisfying. The whole place is gingerbread and phony windmills, but apparently bits of it are quite authentic. A local coot gave directions while I eyed the stairwell for any traps. You never can tell with the Dutch.

By the by, don't ever ask Jim Dennis if he knows any cool word puzzles--he doesn't.


Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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