The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Chivalry is Not Dead...but Cons can still be disturbing.

Last weekend, MontiLee and I headed down to the Renaissance Center to check out the Midwest Media Expo. It's run by the same people who put on Youmacon (anime convention). I've never been to that convention, as I don't really know that much about anime, but from what I hear it's a big con and a lot of fun. So why not check out its little brother?

Two examples of what I mean by chivalry happened at this con. The first, which occurred almost immediately upon arrival, was a young man who came up to me and said, "excuse me, you're very attractive" and then went on his merry way. He didn't try to get a pic with me, put his arm around me, get in my face, or display any type of creeper behavior that can be very common at conventions. Granted, he was probably 18 and perhaps hasn't learned how to be obnoxious or skeevy yet but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and just think he is a generally well behaved kid (yes, I think anyone under the age of 25 is a kid).

The second example was about halfway through the day. I chose to pair a very short skirt with my horror writer t-shirt as my way of dressing up. ML and I were standing next to a low glass wall next to the escalators while we looked at the program map. Another young man came up to us and said that perhaps I might not want to stand where I was because the wall was made of glass and there were some guys being creepy and looking up girls' skirts/outfits as they stood there. I informed him that I was wearing shorts under my skirt (because this isn't the first time I've been out in public in this outfit) but I thanked him and said I appreciated his concern.

(in the pic below, even though it's a bit hard to see, is the exact outfit - with different socks - that I wore to MME)

For all the years GLAHW has been vending at Motor City Comic Con, Flint Horror Con, and others, I've never really experienced the unwanted advances or comments from Con Creepers (perhaps one at FHC a couple of years ago but I can't even remember what the guy said so it was a quick exchange). But I know a lot of women do and I just count my lucky stars I haven't been a victim. It was still heartwarming, though, to experience some gentlemanly behavior from complete strangers in a gathering of people that can easily get out of hand because some men (it is usually men so don't start whining) don't know how to behave outside their parents' basements.

As for the convention itself, maybe because the Renaissance Center is a rather large sprawling complex, MME seemed a bit on the small side. The halls and lobbies were not teeming with people but for many that were there the costumes were pretty sweet: Deadpool, Oogie Boogie, a few Sailor Moon characters (calm down, fellas, these girls were probably 12), lots of anime I didn't recognize, and at least one girl dressed as Carl from the Walking Dead, complete with giant can of pudding. I wanted to yell, "Get in the house, Carl!" because I'm just POSITIVE no one shouted that out to her all weekend.

The most unfortunate costume, though, was Dr. Rockso from Metalocalypse. I could never bring myself to pull out my camera and take a pic because I just got my phone and I didn't want it to self-destruct. Metalocalpyse is a video game and this character, according to a short Wikipedia description, is..."a self-described 'rock and roll clown.' He is known for his frequent use of cocaine, excessive lifestyle, and his trademark introduction and catchphrase: "I'm Dr. Rockso, the rock and roll clown! I do cocaine!" His costume consisted of clown make up, cop hat, shocking pink wig, and a bright yellow unitard cut down in front to just below his navel and in back to about 3 inches below the top of his butt crack. I still haven't  decided if it was better or worse to have just finished eating before I saw him.