"Oh, God no, not tequila!!" I moan from the floor of the Nashville Convention Center, where I've emptied the contents of my purse in an attempt to give my friend Kimberly a quickie makeover. A guy is handing me a shot, and he looks a little hurt as I explain, "I said anything but tequila!"
Well, the bar line is long, and these guys don't look like they're packing any Rohypnol, so I grit my teeth and try to swallow the cup filled with the poison I have loathed since high school. Most of it ends up dribbling down my dress and pooling into the silicone breast enhancements I've donned for the occasion.
"Ugh, now my fake boobs are all wet with tequila," I whine as I push my hot pink bangs out of my eyes.
We are at ground zero of a double dose of subversive subcultures at the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention and the Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival, which are cohabiting the Convention Center. If you're wondering who would win, sartorially speaking, in a battle between the anime crowd and the horror crowd, the answer is everyone.
Since I've never been to one of these things, I really wasn't sure what to wear, so I asked around the office a few days before the event. The Princess Leia slave costume was suggested by more than one male colleague, and — having never seen Star Wars — I acquiesced until I Googled and discovered it was essentially a string bikini made of key rings.
With that option off the table, my photog friend Michael suggested that anything short, tight and weird would probably work. So I assembled an ensemble of yellow and black striped tights, fishnets, a black mini dress, and the aforementioned pink hair and fake boobs. I look like a slutty bee.
Back on the convention center floor, we're on the anime side of the gathering, and things are winding down a bit by this hour, which was the opposite of what we expected. I've somehow acquired an illuminated light saber, and nearby, a pair of cardboard boxes appear to be fornicating.
"I'm bored," I announce to nobody in particular, but even the boxes are ignoring me. Michael suggests that we check out the horror side of the convention, where the longest line ever extends out the door of the main ballroom.
It turns out that everyone is waiting to meet The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus. Fascinating, but I'm distracted by an eerie undead family. So is Kimberly. She's conversing with some zombie children. I keep my distance because they look just a little bit too real for me.
Apart from the post-coital boxes and the post-mortem toddlers, the whole scene needs a boost. Maybe everyone has gone to bed early and is saving their debauchery for Saturday. Or perhaps everyone has an early curfew. Whatever. Bring on the stamens. This little bee's looking to get buzzed.
Since we're already downtown, we decide to hit Robert's. I've had just enough alcohol not to care that I am dressed like a prostitot on acid.
As we saddle up to the bar, I try to adjust the left silicone breast, which has unhinged itself from the right one. Fortunately, it's still a little sticky from the tequila incident, so it's kind of stuck to my actual breast, which means it probably won't fall out of the bottom of my dress. Probably.
It's hot in Robert's. Really hot. My wig is starting to suffocate me. I scratch around my hairline.
"Stop scratching your head!" Kimberly protests. "It looks like you have lice!" I withdraw my hand and distract myself with a PBR. As I survey the room, I realize that none of the other anime or horror conference attendees are in attendance. The slutty bee flies alone.
I'm feeling a little self-conscious. At this point, I need to do what all bar-hopping women do around 1:30 am: evaluate my overall appearance in the bathroom.
As I push towards the ladies room, I stumble into a table full of overgrown frat boys, all of whom stare at my (fake) boobs. So this is what it's like to have big boobs. I'm immediately annoyed. I regain my balance and push past the Delta Sigma Ass-hats toward the ladies room, which is filled with what appears to be a Snooki convention.
I decide that the wig needs to go. My hair feels damp as I rip it off. The Jersey girls gape in horror. Sweat rolls into my eye, disturbing my painstakingly applied eye makeup. The motion of ripping off the wig has fully displaced my left fake breast, which is following its gravitational pull down south. My fishnets are following the same trajectory.
Cosmetically, I am falling apart. I'm starting to resemble one of the zombies from the conference.
As I walk back out, I realize that everyone appears to have consumed all of the alcohol in the bar in my absence. Eyes are glazed over, not unlike the undead, and dancing has gradually transitioned into lurching. It's a scary scene.
Michael tucks my wig into his pants and announces that he has a merkin. Kimberly loses her phone. The frat boys are leering at anything with breasts, real or fake. And in a dire turn of events, I have somehow managed to drink myself sober.
If anything can signal closing time, this is it. It may not be the end of the world, but sometimes the end of the evening is bad enough.
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