On Friday I had a meal with flick and a few others, then dressed up in my gangster outfit (anyone who took pictures, please send them to me!) and went to the Speakeasy (disco) where I met a few new faces. I think the highlight of the evening was imagining I was a Rudeboy and dancing like a lunatic to One Step Beyond.
On Saturday I went to the Space Baron's lecture on how to be a despotic space tyrant (remember: minions' wings should always be wider than your secret palace's doorways), watched gaspode destroy a toy bicarb/vinegar rocket, made a balloon rocket that looked rather natty but completely failed to fly or even move along the ground, took part in Dale or No Dale (a Flash-Gordon themed rip-off of Deal or No Deal), guided a blindfolded satellite probe to completely the wrong destination planet (tlanti left! tlanti LEFT!! tlanti YOUR OTHER LEFT!!!), failed embarrassingly to create an art-deco design (I knew there was a reason I failed GCSE art), successfully retrieved a wood-beast egg from the Tree Stump of Death without being bitten or covered in too much slimy gunge, learned a few basic Scottish folk-dancing steps, then had loads of fun dancing at the Space Baron's wedding Ceilidh (see the earlier report).
On Sunday I made some origami jumping-frogs and raced them (mine were quite good at jumping straight up and landing on their backs, but not so good at forward progression), got to the final of Ph'tangy Ph'tang but lost to flick who won by the cunning tactic of giving the obvious answer to a clue about where you can insert a stake into a vampire to kill it (at least I got a runners-up Ph'tangy Ph'tang notebook and pen!), caught the end of the stage sword-fighting workshop (I jokingly asked the guy next to me if anyone had pulled a revolver out yet, and before I knew it he'd gone off and arranged for jamesb to use one in his act), watched a couple of rounds of giant Cthulhu Battleships (including Michael WAFAIKINOLJ dropping frandowdsofa a big clue as to why she hadn't won yet), watched the Battle of the Biscuits (crumbs and shaving foam everywhere!), then played a monster in the Telethulhu Challenge, which involved making an imaginary horror film about stupid but attractive kids camping in the woods who gratuitously go skinny-dipping, split up, and get killed off one at a time by Vampiric Teledus. Finally there was the closing ritual, where the con raffled off virtually everything they didn't want to take home with them (charge people to take your rubbish away - why didn't I think of that?).
On Monday I was up at 7:00 again as usual but my train wasn't until after 14:00, so I went into Glasgow centre, wandered around until I found the UGC cinema, and watched the third Pirates of the Caribbean film. I thought it was pretty good, despite my not having seen the second one yet.
A large proportion of the membership of ConFounding Tales! dressed up in the various themed costumes, but not all of them by any means. My gangster suit went down better than I expected, with several people complimenting me on how dapper it made me look. I was probably more worried than I needed to be about the standard of my costume because the committee had obviously put so much effort into the ones they wore to promote CT at other cons. I actually wore my black Fedora on the journey to and from the con so it wouldn't get crushed in my luggage, and it was an interesting experience having people obviously taking more notice of me because of the way I was dressed. I probably won't be wearing it regularly but I might bring it out again for special occasions.
The hotel was OK but not perfect. I heard quite a few complaints about the size of the bedrooms, but mine seemed fine. I was only one person with one costume in a twin room though - some couples must have had about ten costumes between them. I wasn't very impressed with the food. The first night's meal wasn't bad, but I had the same thing again on Sunday night and the chef had cooked it in so much pepper that I couldn't eat much of it (I have a problem with spicy food). There were frequently long delays in being served, the arrangement for ordering food from the con bar was less than ideal, and the rather disgusting burger I ate at Sunday lunchtime gave me a bit of a dodgy stomach. It was a nice idea to put the con off in a separate wing to the main hotel, but the corridor alongside the function rooms was a bit on the narrow side, the con bar wasn't very big, and the hotel stopped serving drinks in the con bar at about 5PM on the Sunday. I understand there was some trouble with the hotel forgetting to order any real ale and people having to rush around buying crates of bottled beer. The soft drinks weren't badly priced and iced water was free, but I thought it was a bit odd that when I ordered a Diet Coke, I sometimes got Diet Coke from a bottle and other times I got Diet Pepsi from a tap. The hotel had lots of non-members staying in it, but we didn't see many of them during the day because they were mostly just staying overnight before flying out from the nearby airport. This was particularly evident when I went down to breakfast at 7:30 and the restaurant was full but I couldn't see a single fan in there. I didn't hear of any fan/public incidents other than a few funny looks at fans walking around with weird costumes on.
The Ceilidh band were excellent, really getting into the swing of things, including performing an impromptu rendition of the Star Wars theme tune and making jokes about wanting to be paid extra for playing at four wedding receptions in one night. The whole wedding thing got a bit complicated. The Space Baron wasn't happy with his first wife, his second wife bumped him off, and the third wedding wasn't legal for some reason (I think there was a badger involved). The new Space Baron, and thus Redemption's Ruler of the Universe (Fools, the Space Baron Will Crush You All), is Michael, Satellite One's hotel liaison.
At the end of the closing ritual, the committee dropped a rather large hint as to what the theme of the next con in the Convivial series might be. They had appropriately themed costumes too, hidden underneath their cultists' robes until the end of Chamberlain's announcement. Where do I sign up?
In related news, the Great God Telethulu persuaded me to join Year of the Teledu, which is being held at the Stage Hotel in Leicester on the 20th-22nd July.