On any other morning, with tree cutters trimming palms right outside my office window, I would dash about the apartment complex parking lot with camera in hand shooting photos and videos. It’s an event! One well-worth documenting. Trimmers arrived at (cough, cough) 7 a.m. to do the whack job. But my focus was shaving and bathing, preparing for San Diego Comic-Con 2018 Open Registration and perhaps my last chance to snag a pass for next year’s gathering.
Comic-Con emails eligible participants a registration code, which must be activated on the website between 8 and 9 a.m. The process of randomly choosing people starts promptly at nine o’clock. My luck ran out during early reg, as it did vying both opportunities for this year’s Con. I attended Sunday, on a last-minute chance, and felt humbly fortunate for that. As you can guess from the title, I couldn’t purchase a pass.
The organization entertained waiting room waiters with cute quips (and friendly warnings):
- “Welcome to the waiting room! You’re early! Since Mornings are for coffee, contemplation, and badge hunting”.
- “There’s a 40-minute wait until registration begins, so maybe start a nice painting with Deadpool Ross? Use some Clockwork Orange, Doc Brown, and Soylent Green. You can also use a nice shade of Betty White to paint happy, little clouds”
- “We’re putting together a team. You, me, Loki, the big guy and I’ll call us the umm, The Badgers. Yes, because I want a badge, you want a badge, he wants a badge. We really don’t need a name”.
- “The Mikaelson family motto is ‘Always and Forever’. As we always say, don’t refresh and don’t post a picture of your waiting room session online. The internet is forever”.
- “Shortly after 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), we’ll begin selecting members at random from the waiting room. You may or may not be selected. Remember Edna’s wisest words, ‘I never refresh dahling, it distracts from the now”.
- “Aquaman: ‘Haven’t you ever heard trying for a badge is best tried alone?’ Batman: ‘No, that’s the opposite of what the saying is’. Working in a badge buying group? Make sure no one else is using your registration code or you will be removed from the waiting room”.
- “We are getting close, so don’t evacuate the waiting room! Engage your computer! And get this man a shield!”
- Have you gotten acquainted with the new batch of freshman at King’s Dominion School of the Deadly Arts? Maybe Zenzele will take Saya’s advice to heart (or at least more-so than Marcus did!) and stay away from the refresh button”.
- “It is almost time! Remember, don’t refresh. Don’t open a new tab of the waiting room. We’ll be there for you, when you try to get your badge, Cassian said we had too”.
Here’s how the sales period unfolded, as updates appeared in the waiting room:
9:19: “Preview Night inventory is running low. You may not be able to purchase a Preview Night badge if you are selected for a registration session”. (Whaaaw!)
9:25: “Preview Night badges sold out. Badges for other single days of Comic-Con 2018 are still available!” (%@$#!)
9:33: “Are you working in a badge buying group? We highly suggest only working with people you personally know and trust. If someone in your group attempts to sell or scalp their badge, all badges in the order will be cancelled, including yours. Don’t risk it!” (I fly solo, thank-you.)
9:35: “Saturday inventory is running low. You may not be able to purchase a Saturday badge if you are selected for a registration session”. (So is my optimism running low.)
9:39: “Saturday badges sold out. Badges for other single days of Comic-Con 2018 are still available!” (Frak! That’s 10 minutes earlier than during Returning Registration.)
9:41: “Friday inventory is running low. You may not be able to purchase a Friday badge if you are selected for a registration session”. (I so enjoy being taunted.)
9:43: “Friday badges sold out. Thursday and Sunday badges are still available”. (I blinked, and look what happened.)
9:45: “The waiting room may behave erratically if you are using the ‘private’ setting on your browser”. (You think?)
9:49: “Our badges are equipped with RFID technology, so if you’re worried about badge shipping, fear not! Any badges that are stolen/picked up by a raven/destroyed in the mail can be turned off and we will issue you a new one onsite”. (Reasonably Fraking Insignificent Detail, for anyone not blessed enough to be chosen by the gods of Comic-Con.)
9:56: “Attention international attendees! We are unable to ship badges to an international address, but you can have your badge shipped to a friend or family member in the United States! Simply log in to your Member ID account, select the “Contact Info” tab, and enter a US shipping address”. (It’s a Trump-approved immigration policy.)
9:58: “Thursday inventory is running low. You may not be able to purchase a Thursday badge if you are selected for a registration session”. (The Handmaids have a phrase for this: “Blessed be the fruit!”)
10:01: “Thursday badges sold out. Sunday badges for Comic-Con 2018 are still available!” (Apocalypse! Would you take $100,000 in bitcoin for the last day?)
10:05: “All badges for Comic-Con 2018 are sold out. We thank you for your continued patronage and support!” (How condescending. You wouldn’t let me give you “patronage and support”.)
Ha! Tree trimmers pulled out of the parking lot just as the Comic-Con website delivered the bad news. What timing! I should have shot those pics and video insteading of wasting my early Saturday.
I don’t expect to attend SDCC next year, unless a pass should magically make its way to me; I’m done trying to get one. If the weather’s not too hot, I’ll instead spend time around Gaslamp, where plenty of fun photographic subjects could be found during the one afternoon that I hauled over there during Con 2017.