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Degenerate Press reporters headed to Chattanooga for one of those sci-fi cons that everyone always inspires people to ask “Why do you go to those things?” They imagine a hotel full of fat, dorky men standing around comparing Star Trek trivia and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Ah, how times have changed. We arrived to find a hotel full of fat, dorky men standing around comparing Babylon 5 trivia and playing computer games!
Chattacon is the convention for all the fans who go to all the other conventions and get fed up with having to rush from event to event, stand in long lines to meet some celebrity guest, hunt frantically for the game they’ve paid to play, and have security follow them around making damn sure they have no fun. Nope, no Drag On Con here. Free beer, free food, no events, no guests, and few games. Dawn Marie, a con fan from way back, aptly nicknamed it “Relaxacon.”
We bellied up to the bar for all we could drink free beer, swung by the snack bar and grabbed a handful of greasy nachos, and went in search of some not-quite-so-dorky fun. A few parties started early, sponsored by folks that wanted us to go to their conventions later in the year, bribing us with better food and liquor. But the real party was in the con suite where a DJ spun up a variety of danceable tunes and the rare female wandered through. The elevators were slow and, after waiting on them for 10 minutes, they’d only open to reveal the 38 people crammed within so you couldn’t get on anyway. With parties on the fifth, eighth, and eleventh floors we ended up with really sore legs – a true buns of steel, and cirrhosis of the liver, workout routine.
Saturday was more of the same, with a few more parties and lots more people. The DJ was back in action when some friends showed up with The Macine – a big metal framework in which a “victim” can be chained up and subjected to various “tortures.” The victims all volunteer and request their own style of torture and number of torturers. I was drafted into helping round up volunteers and voyeurs, an easy task on both ends, and the room filled with gawking fans enjoying every flick of the whip, or paddle, or bare hand. The guys gawked, the girls were giggled, the beer flowed and the junk food vanished at warp speed. Around 3 AM we called it quits while the party raged on.
The next morning the con suite was buried with scattered candy bar wrappers, beer cups, and crashed fans. The living dead wandered around with glazed eyes and glazed doughnuts wishing the party hadn’t ended and the hangover begun. Girls we’d befriended the night before had forgotten us in the sober light and everybody looked like hell.
A lot of fun!

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