King of the world

King of the world

This is so cool.
I was very moved by the post from Salon that I, uh, borrowed.
So I emailed the author, and told him:

To: [email protected]
Subject: Flag
Mr. King,
Thank you for giving words to the feelings I have inside.
I was so moved by your writing, I copied it, and posted it at my own site.
Hope that’s okay. I included links to the original, and a mailto: link to you.
You’ve moved a lot of people. If you want to read their comments, they are here: http://www.wilwheaton.net/greymatter/archives/00000054/*.php#comments
Sincerely and admiringly,
Wil Wheaton
*
WIL WHEATON DOT NET
50,000 monkeys at 50,000
typewriters can’t be wrong.

http://www.wilwheaton.net

*

See, I would have just included the link to Salon, but I think that people are more likely to read something that’s right in front of them, rather than click a link, and I really wanted all of you to see this.
Here’s the cool thing: King wrote back:

To: Wil
Subject: Re: Flag
Wil,
Thanks. As you note on your site, our lawyers (actually, our person in
charge of rights and syndication — we can’t really afford lawyers these
days) frown on this sort of thing, but I found your Web site so charming
and fun that I won’t tell them if you won’t.
Cheers.
king

Isn’t that cool?!
So here’s the deal. Don’t tell anyone, okay?

Rally round the flag?

Rally round the flag?

I read this at Salon tonight. Read it quick, before some lawyer comes here and makes me take it down.
Rally round the flag?
I love Old Glory. I just wonder if I can take it back from the creeps who’ve waved it all my life.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
By King Kaufman
Sept. 18, 2001 | I’m wrestling with the American flag.
It’s everywhere now: tiny ones riffling on car antennas, medium ones waving from porches, giant ones yawning from cranes. People are wearing them. Every Old Navy flag shirt ever bought has been pulled out of the drawer this week, and Stars and Stripes ‘do rags are all the rage.
There’s no flag flying on my porch. I don’t have a flag, and they’re hard to come by these days anyway — not that I’ve tried to get one. And if I had one, I can’t figure out if I’d fly it or not.
See, Old Glory and I, we go way back, and we’ve had our problems.
For most of my life, the American flag has been the cultural property of people I can’t stand: right-wingers, jingoists, know-nothing zealots. It’s something that hypocritical politicians wrap themselves in. It’s something that certain legislators would make it a crime to burn — a position that’s an assault on the very freedom that the flag represents. It’s something brandished at times like these by idiots who say things like, “Let’s go over there and burn those rag-heads!”
During the Gulf War, I hated the American flag. It was everywhere then, too, on porches and car antennas and over the left breast of every uniformed athlete, all in support of a war I and many others thought to be immoral.
But I also love the flag. Seeing it stirs something in me, even when I’m mad at it, or disagree with those who wave it. I am, after all, an American, and despite being opposed to every single military adventure this nation has undertaken in my lifetime, I’m a patriotic one at that.
For me, though, patriotism is more about the freedom to criticize the government than it is about waving a piece of red, white and blue laundry around and singing “God Bless America.” It’s about loving our shared national personality — aggressive, impulsive and open, unimpressed with such Old World nonsense as royalty. It’s about feeling at home in a country where the first question asked of new acquaintances is not “Where are you from?” but “What do you do?”; where a loutish baseball star can sit next to a president and say, “Hot as hell, ain’t it Prez?” and be loved all the more for it. It’s about loving this country’s crazy cultural stew — that “melting pot” that we give ourselves more credit for than we should, but that really does exist.
For me, statements like “America right or wrong” or “America: Love it or leave it,” a chestnut from my childhood, are the antithesis of what this country is all about. And those are the sentiments that the flag has come, over many years, to represent for me.
So you’ll be surprised to hear that I have an American flag shirt, and maybe surprised to hear that I sometimes wear it — without irony! — on occasions such as the Fourth of July. First of all, it’s a hell of a shirt since, after all, it’s a Grand Old Flag. But I also like what it says. It says I’m an American. Not for me the pretentious Europhile weenieness that sometimes plagues my fellow middle-class American white boys. I’m a proud son of the country that’s produced Bart Simpson and Ambrose Bierce, Robert Johnson and Abe Lincoln, Michael Jordan and Doc Holliday. Bruce Springsteen said something in his “Born in the U.S.A.” days that stayed with me: “That’s my flag too.” How did the Republicans and the gun nuts and the xenophobes co-opt it?
There are two kinds of patriots: The “God Bless America” kind and the “This Land Is Your Land” kind. I’m the latter.
On the surface, the songs sound similar: simple melodies with lyrics about America’s natural beauty, the mountains and deserts and “oceans white with foam” in one; the Redwood forests, Gulf Stream waters and “sparkling sands of her diamond deserts” in the other.
But that’s only because we don’t sing all the verses that Woody Guthrie wrote in his song, an answer to “God Bless America,” which he hated for its sentimentality and dumb, blind devotion. Here’s one of the verses school kids don’t sing: “As I was walking, I saw a sign there/And that sign said ‘No trespassing’/But on the other side, it didn’t say nothing/Now that side was made for you and me.” Another verse has “my people” at the relief office, “wondering if this land was made for you and me.”
That song’s political and social criticism, its questioning, are also part of what make this country great. These things, as much as our culture, our national personality, our country’s physical magnificence, are what the flag represents to me.
But when I see that flag flying from a neighbor’s porch, I think, “Oh boy, right-wing nut.” And I’m not hearing people singing “This Land Is Your Land” over the last week, though “God Bless America” is everywhere.
While I’m not quite a pacifist, I have a pretty simple, even simplistic view of war: You don’t fight unless you’ve been attacked. So now that this country has been attacked, I agree with the vast majority that some sort of military response is warranted. This is a new feeling for me, this feeling that we’re the good guys and we’re fighting the bad guys. It makes sense that I’d want to fly the good guys’ flag, but that flag comes wrapped around a lot of baggage.
There’s the bell. The wrestling match continues.
salon.com
– – – – – – – – – – – –
About the writer
King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon.

Son of SpongeBob Vega$Pants

Son of SpongeBob Vega$Pants

When we last left our heroes, they were in a hotel room, on little sleep, somewhere in Las Vega$…
“Mrphhzzzzgggggthphbbt,” was all I could muster.
There was silence on the phone.
“Wil?”
There’s this voice in our heads. That voice that tells you it’s not a good idea to kick that guy, or that you probably should think twice before you take all that shrimp from the Buffet…it’s the self-preservation voice…you know it. My self-preservation voice, and my stay-in-bed voice are currently having this conversation:
“Dude. Mumble again, and go back to sleep. It’ll be okay.”
“What?! You have a commitment to these people! Get up!”
“Gettin’ up is for pussies!”
“If you don’t get up, everyone will hate you.”
“They hate you already! Stay in bed! Hey! Youurreee wiiffeessss innnn bedddd….”
Somehow, I got up. I told them that I’d take a cab, so they didn’t have to worry about that, and I’d see them about 9:45.
Anne gets up, and orders some room service (Which is *always* over priced, so I’m not even going to complain about it) while I take a shower.
So:
Shower.
Coffee.
Eat.
Coffee.
Kiss.
Walk through casino.
Cab.
Convention.
I get to the hotel where they’re doing the show at about 9:55. I’m supposed to start at 10, so I can imagine that they’re freaking out a bit.
I’m right. I wander all over the hotel, giving all of the appropriate Vulcan and Klingon salutes, until I finally find someone from the con, who tells me where to go. Then she shows me where I’m supposed to be.
The autograph thing works like this: some people paid quite a bit of money to get these “golden ticket”-style things, where they’d get the best seats, access to all the extra shows, and they’d get an “in-person” autograph.

Tangent about autographs: I don’t get autographs. I don’t understand the appeal of having someone’s signature on a photo. It’s just not something I’m into. But here’s what I do get: having someone sign something for you means that you get that person’s attention for 30 seconds, and you can tell them how much you like them, or how much you didn’t like them, or whatever. The autograph is secondary. It’s that contact that’s important. At least that’s what I guess about these people, because they paid a lot of money to get their autographs “in-person”.
So the way this works is it’s like an assembly line kinda thing. You come into this long hallway, and there is Michael Dorn, sitting at a table. You give him your ticket and picture (or phaser, or whatever) and he signs it. You go to the next table, and there is Marina Sirits. Ticket. Autograph. Repeat.
Contrary to popular belief, sitting at a table, signing thousands of autographs is really hard. Because it’s not just scrawling my name. It’s stopping and listening to the always excited, sometimes shaking, sweating, scary dude wants to know exactly why I did X on episode Y, and would I please sign his picture in gold, because Marina signed it in silver, and now he wants the men in silver and the women in gold, oh, and I hated your character, and here are 25 reasons why, and I expect an answer for each one of them.
Now, personally, I think this approach, while the only one that really works, has the potential to really suck for the fans. Sure, if you’re in the first 100 or so we see, that’s fine. But towards the end, we start to get tired. Our arms and backs get sore. We begin to lose our voices, and we’re ready to go home. But I do my best. I stay focused, and I remind myself that these fans waited a LONG time, so they are the ones that I need to give the most attention to, when I am the most drained.
End tangent.

So I get to the hallway where we’re set up for autographs, and, as I am walking up the hallway, I see Dorn, Marina, Renee, Kate Mulgrew, and WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER. Shatner has always been a dick to me, but I want to say hi, so I approach them, and I say, “Hi! How you guys doin?”
Everyone returns my greeting, even Kate, who I don’t know, at all. Never even been introduced. Everyone, that is, except WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER! Old toupee-head won’t even look at me! I don’t know what this guy’s problem is, really. I think he’s very funny, I think he’s got a great sense of humor about himself, but he is always a dick to me. So all I can do is just smile, shrug it off, and get set up at my table. On my way there, I hear Kate say, “Could we get some coffee?” The person who is working for the con says, “Sure. There’s a coffe cart in the lobby.” WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER says, “Uh, no. What we need is not just coffee. We need a Starbuck’s run.” Cool, dude. Like this convention staffer isn’t over-worked enough. Good thing there’s a Starbuck’s every 100 feet.
Okay, so I’m at my table, and they send in the flood of fans. I’ve got my game-face on. My pen hand is strong, and I’m ready to be witty, charming, friendly, and make these guys feel like the autograph I’m currently signing is the only one I’ve signed all day.
Here comes the first fan. Okay, she’s not wearing a spacesuit…that’s a good sign. She has a witty Sci-Fi T-shirt on. Also a good sign. She’s about 20 feet away, and I can’t smell her. A VERY good sign.
Here she comes.
“Hi! How you doing today?!” I say.
“AWFUL! THIS IS THE WORST CONVENTION I HAVE EVER BEEN TO! I HATE DAVE SCOTT! I HATE LAS VEGAS! I HATE THIS CONVENTION!”
“Uhh..I think…that…this convention…just started…and…uhh..I’m sure that if you talk to Dave Scott, everyt–”
“DAVE SCOTT IS AN ARROGANT ASSHOLE!”
“Uh…yeah…well, you see, the thing is, I’m sort of not really involved in the planning of this convention, you know? I’m just, like, a guest…maybe you could–”
“THIS IS THE MOST FAN UNFRIENDLY CONVENTION I HAVE EVER BEEN TO!”
And she storms away.
What the fuck?
Well, at least it can only get better, right?
=Next=
MORE AUTOGRAPHS!
ZANY FANS!
THE REHEARSAL THAT WASN’T!
THE TALK!

Homework

Homework

Two quick things tonight. Not a lot of time to write, because I have a HUGE audition tomorrow (Monday) for a supercool miniseries. So I have a lot of homework to do.
Speaking of homework, here’s yours:
Read this, and get involved.
Read this, and laugh your ass off at one of the coolest things, ever.

Random

Random

My wife and I were driving home from Nolan’s soccer game this morning.
Let me pause here and say how much I love getting up at 6AM on a Saturday, so I can go sit in wet grass and watch overachiever parents scream at their terrified 10 year olds that they’re doing everything wrong. Oh, and I especially love when the assistant coach of the freaking team gets so pissed at the kids for making a mistake that he takes off his hat, throws it to the ground, and stomps on it. For reals. And if that wasn’t enough, when one of the kids missed a fairly easy goal (maybe he was distracred by his father screaming at him to “Kick it, Brandon! Kick it! KICK THE DAMN BALL!”), he actually dropped to the ground in a ball, and pounded his fists against the ground, like Kirk in Wrath of Khan.
Fortunately, Nolan is a phenomenal soccer player, and he doesn’t get yelled at by any of his parents, or the head coach, who happens to be his dad.
But my favorite is the guy who can’t even sit down, beacuse he’s pacing the whole time, screaming at his kid, “David! Get back! NO! Get up! NO! Cover your guy! NUMBER 4 DAVID! COVER NUMBER 4! NO! Don’t look at me!!! NOOOO!!!” Pace. Pace. Smoke. Smoke.
Running a close second is the guy who yelled at his kid, “Alberto! Alberto! You just cost your team a goal! What did we talk about?! WHAT DID WE TALK ABOUT?!”
I have two pieces of advice for those parents:
1) Get a life. They’re 10. It’s not that important.
2) For the benefit of the kids, and all the parents around you, please stay the fuck away from the field, okay? Drop your future Maradona off, go home, and come back when the game is over.
Read the AYSO guide of conduct, recently, guys? I didn’t think so.
What a tool.
Anyway, I’m on the way home with Anne, and this really wussy song comes on the radio, and she says, “Is this The Crash Test Dummies?” (One of the wussiest bands in history, for those of you scoring at home)
“No, it’s Metallica.” I told her.
So if any of you were wondering if Metallica has completey lost it, there you are. I can’t believe that the guys who croak out “Until It Sleeps” are the same guys who gave me whiplash in 95 listening to “Damage Incorporated” and “Master of Puppets”
“Napster bad!”
So are formerly cool metal bands who wuss out.
A change of pace?
Am I the only person who is at once really tired of, yet unable to pull myself away from, the wall to wall converage of the WTC bombing? Apparently not.
But KCBS Channel 2 here in LA has finally stopped running their coverage (I am convinced now that Dan Rather is not a person, but a very complex robot who can stay awake for hundreds of hours in a row. That or he’s a series of clever clones, like in that Droopy cartoon).
The only thing is, they’ve replaced the constant replays of horror and suffering and destruction with…a marathon of Judge Judy.
What?
Belly Buttons
I think that there are few things in this world that are sexier than a flat tummy, in one of those midriff shirts, with a subtle piercing and NO FUCKING WAIST BRACELET. Waist bracelets belong one place, and one place only, and that is on strippers. So if you’re not a stripper, please, please, puh-leeeze. Just say no. You’ll be glad you did.
Anyway, I turn on something like VH1 or something, and they’re playing that Levi’s commercial, where the belly buttons are singing, “I’m coming out”. You know the one. Does that give anyone else the creeps? Somehow, they made those belly buttons look the opposite of sexy. They made them scary. I mean, they made them clown scary.
Clown scary, Chet. Clown scary.

Please Read

Please Read

This is making its way all around, and, sadly, I don’t think the people who really need to read it are capable of that. But, please read it, if you haven’t already, and spend a moment to reflect. It comes to me from Loren.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about “bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age.” Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but “we’re at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?” Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we “have the belly to do what must be done.”
And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I’ve lived here for 35 years I’ve never lost track of what’s going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I’m standing.
I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.
But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They’re not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think “the people of Afghanistan” think “the Jews in the concentration camps.” It’s not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.
Some say, why don’t the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they’re starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering.
A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan–a country with no economy, no food.
There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying thesewidows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.
We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that’s been done. The Soviets took care of it already.
Make the Afghans suffer? They’re already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.
New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today’s Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They’d slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don’t move too fast, they don’t even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn’t really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban–by raping once again the people they’ve been raping all this time
So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of “having the belly to do what needs to be done” they’re thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let’s pull our heads out of the sand. What’s actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden’s hideout. It’s much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we’d have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I’m going. We’re flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.
And guess what: that’s Bin Laden’s program. That’s exactly what he wants. That’s why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It’s all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he’s got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that’s a billion people with nothing left to lose, that’s even better from Bin Laden’s point of view. He’s probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?”
-Tamim Amsary

Fuck You, Falwell, and Robertson Can Kiss My Ass

Fuck You, Falwell, and Robertson Can Kiss My Ass

Via Plastic.com via the Washington Post:

Television evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two of the most prominent voices of the religious right, said liberal civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters bear partial responsibility for Tuesday’s terrorist attacks because their actions have turned God’s anger against America.

SpongeBob Vega$ Pants

SpongeBob Vega$ Pants

Vega$ baby! Vega$!
It’s the battle cry often heard coming from our car as my wife and I tear up I 15, making the 4 hours drive in 3 and a half. I mean, driving to Vega$ is half the fun. The excitement, the boredom, the constant, “Are we there yet?” Answered by, “Yes, just around this corner,” or “We passed it. I have to turn around.”
The stop at Barstow for In-N-Out Burgers, and slowing down past the Bunboy to see how hot it is at “the world’s tallest thermometer“. Reading every single billboard, announcing that the Stardust has ROOMS AVAILABLE TONIGHT! And Circus Circus has FREE CIRCUS ACTS EVERY HOUR!
The drive is usually as much fun, if not more fun, than the time we spend in Vega$.
I bring this up, because the last two times we’ve gone there, we’ve flown (because we weren’t paying for it), and flying to Vega$ just sucks. I mean, where is The Mad Greek? Where is Lake Delores? And you know what? You can’t listen to Joshua Tree on the way, when you’re in a plane. The flight isn’t long enough, and you look lame when tears roll down your face while listening to “Running To Stand Still” on an plane. In a car it’s okay, but not on a plane. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things that we’ll never understand. Like overalls on adults, or George Bush in the White House.
So I’m gonna give you all the stories from Vega$, including the Con and stuff. The plan right now is to split them up over a few days, because I’m so damn long-winded, but we’ll see where we are in a little bit.
Here goes.
The Flight
We went out on Southwest Airlines from Burbank. I love flying Southwest for less than an hour. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and the flight attendants out here are always really friendly and funny. Friendly and funny goes a LONG way with me, FYI.
We were scheduled to go out at 3:50 PM, meaning that we’d need to get to the airport around 3, which means we leave our house at 2:15 or so.
So it’s 3:15 and we’re walking out the door…and somehow we get to the airport on time.
You know how southwest gives you those boarding cards? I got number 42!! YES! Check out what a dork I am. I was so excited, because, you know…
So the flight was nice and bumpy, which is my favorite. OH! LeVar Burton was on the plane with us, and when we landed in Vega$, Anne and I ran, and I mean, ran into the bathrooms, and LeVar comes walking over to me, and tells me, “W W, [he always calls me that, which I think is cool] when you showed me that picture of your wife in South Pasadena [when we were at the TCAs for TNG on TNN -nice use of acronyms, Wil], you did not do her justice.” Dramatic pause. “Wil Wheaton, your wife is a fox!”
So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
So we get a ride to our hotel, which is The Bellagio (again, because we’re not paying for it. I am *so* not into the pretentious BS. The whole time we were there, I felt like I was playing dress up). We check in, and now we have exactly 30 minutes to get changed, and all that before my sketch comedy group meets us for a quick dinner and rehearsal.
Let me talk for a minute about my sketch comedy group.
I am a member of the ACME comedy theatre in Hollywood. The ACME is one of the best comedy theatres, ever, and it’s one of the few achievements I’ve made that I am extremely proud of. I love the ACME. Matter of fact, I’ll be teaching at our school very soon. So if you’re in Los Angeles, and want to learn how to give up the funny, you should call us. You’ll be glad you did! Alright. Enough gushing.
From this exceptional company,I chose some of the best improvisers/writers/performers I could find. Because I chose the best, they were all working on their various projects and things, and it was EXTREMELY hard to set up a rehearsal schedule that everyone could commit to. So we’re doing a show with 10 sketches, most of which we’ve never done as a group before, and we’ve never really had a full rehearsal until the night before we’re supposed to perform. Holy shit. I am freaking out, because I am a perfectionist, and I feel like these Trekkies have all paid lots of money to see our show (which sold out! Yes!), and I want to give them a really good one. One that they’ll remember. It also doesn’t help that I’m feeling like I have to win these people over (which is how I feel every time I go to one of these conventions) and prove to them that I can do something other than re-align the warp core or whatever.
So it’s 5:30PM on Wednesday, and we’re meeting at 6PM in the lobby to eat before we get rehearse in our hotel room. It’s 6:15, and Kevin still isn’t there, and I am freaking out. I am pacing in the lobby, pulling at my hair, and all that stuff. And I’m cursing Kevin’s name, until he shows up at 6:20. Well, it turns out that I had forgotten to tell him what time we were meeting. My bad.
4:32 PM PDT:
There’s more to come very soon, but I just remembered that there is a blood drive and fundraiser as the Rose Bowl, and I want to get there before it’s over.
6:00 PM PDT:
I just got back home. I gave money to the Fireman’s fund, and the Red Cross. I felt good about doing that, but the jingoistic attitude that pervaded the whole area really bothered me. Especially in light of this and this. I think this may cost me some readers, and maybe get me some hate mail, but I have to say it: the attitude for vengence and revenge that seems palpable everywhere I go really scares me. I’d rather feel a demand for justice.
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming:
Kevin finally shows up, and we decide to go to the buffet. But when we get there, we notice that it’s $24.95. Holy shit. Question: does anyone ever really get their money’s worth at a buffet? I don’t ever feel like I do. And I always end up combining foods that I really shouldn’t combine. Like shrimp and chocolate cake, or miso soup and some alfredo pasta (back in the pre-lactose intolerant days). So I suggest that maybe $24.95 is too much for a bunch of us starving actors (hey, I haven’t found my pennies yet) to pay, and maybe we should go to the Cafe instead. So we shlep all the way across the damn casino to the Cafe.
Tangent: When you go to Vega$, have you ever noticed that everything is through the casino? I mean, I bet if you go to the hospital in Vega$, you have to go through a bank of slot machines to get to the ER. You have to go through a casino to get to the casino. Bastards.
So we go to the cafe, and because it’s the Bellagio, everything costs so damn much that it would have been cheaper for us all to eat at the Buffet. So there was much shit given to your old pal Wil, and we had to eat Sir Robin’s Minstrels. And there was much rejoicing.
Yaaay.
After dinner, we headed upstairs and finally ran our whole show. I had made a very big deal to everyone about how important it was to know all of their lines, so they could work on character tweaks, instead of memorizing lines. And everyone stepped up. They all knew their lines, they all knew their characters, and it was great. All except one person, who couldn’t remember his lines for shit.
Me.
Oh, how awful I felt. How embarassed I was. But it happens sometimes to me. It used to happen back on Trek. When I would have a really important scene, ususally one with Patrick, and I wanted to do really well, and impress everyone. I would just get a brain freeze, and even know I knew that I knew the lines, they wouldn’t come. Like “I know that joke, but I forgot it” times a million.
So I was still pretty freaked, but we got through it, and I did get the lines down, mostly, enough so I felt like we could all go out and have a drink and do a little gambling.
It was decided that we’d all head back to our respective hotels, and meet at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesar’s Palace in something like a half-hour.
So here’s the deal: This place, Cleopatra’s Barge…I felt like I’d walked into someone else’s mid-life crisis. Someone please explain to me why all the cover bands play “Brick House”? And someone else explain to me why they can never get the words right? Oh! And here’s a newsflash for you: Creed sucks. Playing bad covers of Creed songs sucks even more. So just stop the insanity!
We sat at this place for the prescribed half-hour, and as soon as everyone else was there, we bailed out, and fast. Cleopatra’s Barge was more like the Titanic. We did a teeny little bit of gambling, and Tracy won 40 bucks in quarters, which was cool.
We ended up across the street at The Barbary Coast, where the dealers were cool, I won some money on Craps (my favorite game, for those of you scoring at home), and Anne won some money at the Wheel of Fortune slot machines. We went into the Coffee Shop, and had REASONABLY PRICED steak and eggs, with a side of extra-well done hasbrowns, thankyouverymuch, and that was it. We went in about 3 AM, which isn’t bad, Vega$-time, because I had looked at the schedule for the con the next day, and I wasn’t on until 5PM. Cool. Time to sleep in.
Morning. 8AM. I’ve been asleep for 5 hours. Phone rings. It’s Jackie Scott, one of the convention promoters. She says, “We need you here at 10 for an autograph signing. Do you want to be picked up at 9:30, or do you want to take a cab?”
“Mrphhzzzzgggggthphbbt” was all I could muster.
[NEXT:]
DAY ONE AT THE CON:
AUTOGRAPHS!
MY ON STAGE TALK!
THE SKETCH SHOW!
And…
Let the rudeness begin!

50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong

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