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March to Keep Fandom Delighted November 6, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom, Personal.
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My Rally, in a nutshell. (A musical nutshell, obviously.)

More details under the fold!

October 29
9:30 PM

Left the house about an hour earlier than we had calculated I would need to. Turned out to be a good thing, as the subways were packed with Halloween travelers and I got briefly lost in downtown Boston. Good thing they put up maps every fifty feet. Finally found the appropriate crowd of people, bearing signs (“All I Know Is My Gut Says Maybe”).

October 30
12:12 AM

On the bus! Keep having random charming conversations with whoever happens to be next to me. Didn’t get most of their names.

2:50 AM
Pit stop in Connecticut. Realized early on that I forgot to bring a normal pen (I pretty well ruined one of my art pens to take notes), but all the stores that might sell one are closed at this hour. Only thing open are the bathrooms and the McDonald’s. Consoled self with chicken McNuggets.

5:36 AM
Awoke from the only sleep I got on the ride up: a drifting doze of maybe two hours. Very sore feet. Do not want.

6:08 AM
Delaware Memorial Bridge! Turns out the buses use EZPass.

7:22 AM
Sun starts coming up enough for me to properly write, as opposed to sneaking in notes by the lights of the rest stops and/or bridges. Seatmate, who slept through everything, is only just waking up. Realized I should start taking video; the early inscrutable clips are from this stage of the drive.

7:51 AM
Heeeere’s DC!

Spent the morning with a fellow busgoer named Jody (Jodi?), accompanying her on a quest for coffee. We finally found a McDonald’s; the line was out the door. Got some food-type items and hot drinks (I left my coat on the bus, which worked out all right as the afternoon warmed up). If we had grabbed seats right when we arrived, we could have been in the very first section. As it was, we ended up a couple of Jumbotrons back, but still comfortably on the grass.

10:19 AM
Preshow! They’re playing “The Story And/Or Saga of the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear”, AKA all the clips hinting at, leading up to, promoting, and renaming the Rally and/or March. People pay attention in various amounts, but we clap like seals when prerecorded!Jon mentions us. We are a good audience.

The Story And/Or Saga is interlaced with: matching games; trivia questions; musical performances from shows past (all the way back to the White Stripes, who were on TDS in December ’05); and this bizarre little animation in which Jon, Stephen, a robot, and a bear are in a race. (The robot wins, but then the bear eats it.)

Picked up one of the Team Fear signs that Yahoo! was handing out; they were already out of Team Sanity. Also, snagged a Vote Sanity sticker, and a complimentary hand towel.

Signs:
“I Made A Sign” (person next to him: “My Sign Is Better Than His”)
“Jon Stewart For President Of The Colbert Nation”
“Jon Stewart, Presidential Debate Moderator 2012” (they have a website)
“Lazy People For”
“If Obama’s A Muslim, Can We Have Fridays Off?”

12:05 PM
Warm-up performances (AKA “the first thing you saw in the TV broadcast”) begin. Everyone around me insists on standing up; I can barely see the screen. (I will eventually resign myself to standing when the rest of the crowd is, and it works out fine.)

Somebody tosses a couple of beach balls labeled with the names of candidates into the audience. I didn’t actually read any of the candidates, but I did enjoy watching us hurl around the beach balls.

12:20 PM
Am just back from an Epic Quest to reach one of the much-lauded Porta-Potties. Once you get out of the neatly cordoned-off rectangle of grass, there are elbow-to-elbow people for what felt like thirty or forty feet. Took a deep breath, abandoned notion of personal space, and started into litany of “I’m sorry–excuse me–pardon me–sorry–” which somehow carried me through.

12:46 PM
The Mythbusters lead us in the wave, and we begin to appreciate for the first time just how BIG this crowd is. The poor people on the steps of the National Gallery keep launching into this surprisingly organized chant: “Louder! Louder! Louder!”

At last: JON. And then: STEPHEN. They do not waste any time launching into the gay, as one of Jon’s first lines to Stephen is “Just come! It’s easy!” Appreciative lols all around.

1:57 PM
YAY P.K. WINSOME. This is perhaps not one of his best segments, but I will forgive it because it officially confirms that his first name is Percy. (The actor, Tim Meadows, played a guest role on Strangers With Candy under the name Percy Kittens.)

Shortly thereafter, Stephen orders Jon to strip onstage, then proposes marriage. And Jon’s lyrics contain a shoutout to the genderqueer. And this is the point at which it all gets far too epic for me to keep stopping and taking minute-by-minute details.

When it was all over, I forged through the departing crowd to the National Gallery, losing my witch hat at some point along the way. Ran into Melannen (the only fellow fan I knew for a fact would be showing up) right outside the building. They wouldn’t let us bring in our signs; Melannen and I left ours propped against the wall and headed in to the cafe. In spite of the missing identifier, four other fandom people managed to find us through the course of the afternoon. When the gallery staff finally kicked everybody out, we left, retrieved the signs, and discovered my prodigal hat sitting just a few feet away.

Before we parted, swapped sketchbooks with Anais_rhys, long enough for each to draw in the other. Will have to scan that eventually. Also, drew a peeved-looking chibi John Hodgman on Melannen’s hobo sign.

6:56 PM
Hung out at Columbus Circle, our bus stop, with a group of fellow Boston bus people (including, eventually, Jody). Got myself a burrito; barely tasted it. Haven’t eaten since breakfast, but I’ve been too keyed-up to get hungry.

I manage to wow these people with the depth of my TCR knowledge. For instance: I know that “it-getters” is a running gag. Also, I know what the “baby carrots” joke means. (Clearly, I’m playing to a crowd that mostly watches TDS.)

My sign has been a curiosity-inspiring hit all day. I’m very proud.

7:14 PM
The whole bus-riding crew is reunited! The captain, who is almost certainly old enough to be my mother, gushes in a way that would make any fangirl proud. None of us disagree.

9:42 PM
Bus makes a pit stop; I don’t check where it is, just stretch my legs while my seatmate gets up. My MP3 player is out of battery. On the plus side, I’ve actually been sleeping in the meantime.

The people behind me are discussing sunscreen. I didn’t bring any, much less wear it. I burn when the sun is out in full force, but a bright and pleasant but moderate fall day has never been enough to cut it.

October 31
12:12 AM

Seatmate gets sick of the talking and heads for the only other empty seat. I adjust position to stretch legs and fall back asleep.

2:45 AM
Seriously, this is so weird. I never sleep on buses.

5:24 AM
Back in Boston! A couple of fellow riders whose car was parked in a garage near the bus stop gave me a ride to South Station. Hang out with yet another Rallygoer until the trains start running; the first one arrives at South Station at about half past six. Pick up a cup of apple cinnamon oatmeal from the only open eatery. Still too keyed-up to finish it.

From there, proceeded back home without a hitch. Confused the cats when I arrived. Got some sleep. Hope Jon, Stephen, and all the rest of the crew got to do the same.

My sign, by the way, made it through remarkably unscathed. Only slightly bent, and not even that until the last leg of the trip home. Not bad for something thrown together out of cardboard.

For the record, here it is:

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Comments»

1. mori - November 7, 2010

wait wait dude did you take the dcrallybus.com buses down from boston?? what bus were you on??

Erin Ptah - November 7, 2010

Yes! Yes, I did. Bus #2.

mori - November 7, 2010

DUDE I WAS ON YOUR BUS.

WHAT.

where were you sitting?? my roommate and i were sitting on the right side, next-to-last row. glfdjgklhdfjhdfj dude if i had known you were on i would’ve been spazzing like a freeeeak Q_Q

Erin Ptah - November 7, 2010

I was sitting on the right side, towards the middle. Before we initially headed out, I got up and tried to close that one overhead bin with the busted latch, and I gave the bus captain a bag of Milky Ways to pass out (surplus from my Halloween purchases). So if you noticed either of those…yeah, that was me :D

2. X - November 13, 2010

As open air conventions go it sounds like it went really well! Maybe they should have it again.


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