The first day of the convention went well, with nothing too exciting happening, thankfully. Like all cons, Saturday was the big day. Not only was it to be the busiest, that night was going to be our big party. While normally the layout of the Spooky hotel is great, with various buildings spread out over the acres, that day I was cursing the fact that my room was four buildings away from the convention space. As I ran my way to the convention hall, there was no avoiding getting soaked. Entering the room, I looked like I had to swim there. Thankfully so did a lot of other people. Though when Kane walked in, he was bone dry. How he did this, I have no clue, he didn’t even have a coat or an umbrella. Well, he was Jason after all, the killer could just show up behind you at any time….
It was a typical fun day at a convention, with two highlights for me. The first being that it was the first time I got to meet Tom Savini, even if it was for a split second. He wasn’t even a guest at the con. He was just visiting and stopped by. It was a brief flash of a meeting, but still exciting since I had never met him. The second highlight came in the form of meeting another legend, someone I grew up admiring and aspiring to as a writer, Clive Barker. My brother was a massive Clive fan, he was the one that MADE me read his works and for that I thank him. Clive was a guest at the con, but was in a separate room and had a huge line. Having to sell books I didn’t think I would have a chance to meet him, but then someone Kane was talking to asked if Kane wanted to meet Clive. I was a bit surprised that they had never met, but excited that I might get to meet him myself. When Kane turned to me and asked me to go with him, I almost jumped up and hugged him. Thankfully, I know better than to do that with Kane, so I gave him a slight nod, like saying “yeah, I guess”.
Being ushered in front of the line with Kane to meet Clive was a pretty cool feeling. Not only was I skipping a three hour wait, I was getting VIP treatment (well Kane was, I was just tagging along). The man quickly introduced Kane to Clive. Mr. Barker, while amazingly friendly, unfortunately didn’t look his best having been sick for some time. Then I was very proud that Kane introduced me to Clive as well. It meant a lot to me that Kane went out of his way to not only bring me with him, but to introduce me as well. It really was a special moment, not only was I meeting Clive, but I felt that Kane really cared for me. Ok, if I write anymore fluffy stuff like that I might get a major injury the next time I see Kane.
When the convention ended that day, we had a few hour break to enjoy the Florida sun… oh wait, I mean a few hours to sit in the hotel room and stare at the rain. About thirty minutes before the party, my wife and I made our way to the event tent on the property. And by “made our way” I mean darted from covering to covering, jumped over puddles and cursing the rain. We got there, wet, but not horribly so, just as the party was about to begin. Beating Kane to the party I had a bit of trouble getting past security, it was a VIP event after all. I guess security guards hear a lot of people say things like “I’m with Kane Hodder”. For a minute I thought I was going to have to try and sneak into the tent, but thankfully one of the employees I saw earlier in the day saw me and ushered the two of us in.
As the tent filled with partying fans dressed in all sorts of outfits, the music blared and drinks flowed freely. My wife and I set up in the corner to give out the books. Unfortunately, being a tent, there was large puddles filling up under our chairs. Thankfully they had the books on a cart so they were off the ground safe from paper’s natural enemy, water. Being set up, we were set to go, except for one thing… Kane was not there. Kane is very punctual, with the exception of “fashionably late” arrivals which he does on purpose, but usually only when it’s fitting. And even then, he is never late to the point where people are wondering where he is. Though that night, he was almost twenty minutes late, the line was starting to build up.
When I called his cell and he didn’t answer, I figured he was just about there. Anytime I called him and he was about to walk in, he’d not answer and just show up. I told the fans he’d probably be right there. When he called me two minutes later, I knew there was a problem. The second I heard his voice, which started with an expletive, I knew he wasn’t happy. Come to find out, being that he was in the back of the property and the party was at least three football fields away, he asked for a ride to the event. Can’t have the guest of honor looking like a wet dog after all. The hotel told him they would pick him up… though they never showed up. While my brain started to wonder how he got into the convention without getting wet this morning, I pushed the thought out and grabbed some of the workers at the convention to help fix the situation. Within seconds we had half a dozen people with walkie talkies radioing to each other to go pick up Kane. Problem adverted… so I thought.
Another fifteen minutes later, with the crowd getting a bit tipsy and annoyed, my cell rang again, still no ride. This time the expletives, rightfully, outweighed the other words in our short conversation which ended in something like, “bleep, bleeping, bleep, bleeping forget it!” When he hung up that time, I smiled to the line and the few drunk stragglers that were standing in front of the table and lied, “he is on his way!” Really I had no clue if he was even coming now.
Thankfully, five minutes later a wet Kane walked into the party, shot across the room and sat right next to me. “I walked” he barked at me as if his having to walk and the rain was my fault. I knew Kane enough at this point to not even respond to that and just let him settle down. While I could see he was fuming at waiting almost an hour for a ride, only to end up walking anyway, he didn’t let it show to the fans. One after another, almost three-hundred times, Kane signed a book, shook a hand, got up, took a picture and talked to his fans as if nothing was wrong. It always amazed me that he never let anything get in the way of how he treated his fans. By the end of the evening, finally dry, Kane was his old joking self, having a good time and laughing. I was just happy no one got murdered that night.