Warpcon Charity Report…at last!

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The United Cerebral Palsy benefit Saturday night was a blast. I didn’t spill soup on anyone, and I had a table of friends to relive the big night with.

As previously mentioned, 12 years ago, I met Judith at this benefit, where I was a “celebrity waiter” (if I’m such a “celebrity,” howzcome I never get invited to “Celebrity Poker Showdown”? Huh? Huh?) and her company had bout a table. Another waiter told me a woman at his table wanted to meet me, so I went no over. Now, I’d been unceremoniously dumped the month before by a woman I was in a three-year relationship with, so when all of a sudden I see this beautiful blonde in a stunning red dress, the strings of my heart went “Zing!”

One day I’ll relate the full story, which is full of enough coincidences and near-misses to occasionally give me the cold seats at night.

Saturday, my friends bit on, and won, a Madison Mallards package. I was proud when they actually overbid on the tickets, since at most American and English charity auctions, people tend to go looking for bargains, seemingly unmindful of the real reason they are there.

Not so the Irish.

I never got around to writing up my Warpcon roundup. In part because the tales of derring-do and debauchery would, frankly, leave many aghast (or at least firmly questioning my sanity and/or veracity). In part because being hung over the entire month following the con is testament to the power of Guinness, and should not be trifled with.

In brief, though, it was another mad, glorious affair, and I was most fortunate to have been asked back again.

My (now semi-famous) stage fright no longer packs its bags for Warpcon, as at this point in the game, the folk there are like friends – a tremendous feeling when one’s so far away from home.

For some reason, a couple of people (Hi, Brian! Hi, Ed!) came up to me and asked “do you remember my name?” I’m a cartoonist, for goodness sakes. I consider it a successful day when I remember my name.

The Warpcon charity auction Saturday night takes place in the student pub, which is where all charity auctions should take place, if they really want to raise insane amounts of cash for worthy causes. Beer Goggles? Forget it. We’re talking Beer WALLETS, here. In a mad frenzy of charitable one-upmanship and alcoholic altruism, Irish con-goers have been known to bid on cigarettes that have already been smoked, the last beer of the night, an unsigned copy of Dork Tower (which I guaranteed never to sign, thus raising its value) and other such trivialities.

So when something TRULY valuable goes on the block, it’s a grand, crazed, wondrous thing to behold.

The first year I was there, one chap bid $1,000 on a date with three student nurses. From what I hear, he slept through the actual date, due to the effects of the alcohol he had first consumed to GET him to bid $1,000. And then his girlfriend found out about what he won. Or, perhaps, should I more accurately say, “now EX-girlfriend.”

All this bad craziness came to a head, seemingly, last year, when four wonderful yet certifiable folks bid a collective 5,500 Euro (almost $7,000) for (a) an appearance in Dork Tower, and (b), (c) and (d) three separate appearances in the Chez Goth game.

All the money, by the way, went to local children’s charities. Who says binge drinking is bad NOW, huh?

This year’s Warpcon auction started off with the presentation of the original artwork to last year’s winners. Of course, I also consider myself something of a winner, since this whole arrangement let me come up with Jim, the Foul-Mouthed Irish Guinness Fairy, otherwise known as Matt’s muse, which really helped make Dork Tower 29 special, in my opinion.

Jim said he loved it.

Howard, Emma and Aurelie were likewise gracious about the likenesses of their generous selves that were subsequently scribbled onto the Chez Goth cards, and now appear in the final product itself.

The rest of this year’s auction was a bit of a haze, brought about most likely by enough Guinness and Jameson’s to stop a spem whale in its aquatic tracks. Know this, though: Steve Jackson had allowed ANOTHER truly stupendous item to go up for bidding: appearances in the upcoming “Super Munchkin” game. And that was saved for night’s end.

Following a brief but bloody battle, Howard (again), Stephen (Aurelie’s significant other) and Brian were the winners, agreeing to 1,250 Euro each for the right to have me draw them into the game.

That’s almost $5,000.

Once again, slowly: Five…THOUSAND…dollars!

By evening’s end, the Warpcon charity auction managed to raise over $15,000, breaking their previous record by almost a thousand, I believe.

So whether you go to charity auctions to hunt for bargains (which is perfectly OK – don’t get me wrong), or to give until it hurts (and hurts, and hurts, and HURTS), here’s to Irish Gaming Conventions, and the wonderful madness that they bring out in people. Here’s to Ireland, here’s to Cork, and here’s to Warpcon!

Ye GODS, I love Warpcon!


Addendum: A group of women at the back of the pub wanted to bid on dinner with me. I have no idea why, but somebody came up to me and said “a group of women at the back of the pub want to bid on dinner with you.”

You see, that’s how I knew…

Maybe next year, when it’s taken me less by surprise…


Addendum: I now know why “Naked Liam” is called “naked Liam.”

So, HAH!


Addendum: Some lessons learned at Warpcon:

Lesson 1) How to win a pub quiz – Have Gar Hanrahan on your team.

Lesson 2) How not to win a pub quiz – Have me on your team.

Lesson 3) Lesson 2 trumps Lesson 1 when combined.


Gar Hanrahan also supplied the pics.

Anyone else have any others floating around out there?


While on the topic of insanity…

Gary Jackson, a Limerick store owner of colorful repute, introduced me to 18-year old Jameson’s, this last Warpcon.

He has now officially spoiled me for other whiskeys.

Fortunately, for our 12-year (144 month) dating anniversary yesterday, the Lovely and Talented Judith picked me up a bottle of the stuff, which is hideoulsy expensive, but worth every penny.

In return, I got her the “Cuddles” Happy Tree Friends action figure (plus dismembered alternative), and “The Thin Man,” on DVD.

I’ve become a very big fan of the Thin Man series. I want to be Nick to Judith’s Nora. Now all we need is an Asta.


Big-ish news.

The Onion will be running a favorable review/brief of Dr. Blink #1 this week!


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