Greetings and Salutations Con-fam! It’s been twenty-four hours since you’ve heard from me and I hope you’re all that much closer to finishing your costume line-up and zipping your suitcases. Personally, I still need to finish the belts on both my Padme Amidala costume AND my Zoya the Destroya. Heck I still need to buy a belt for my Chief Brody costume! Real talk: I only have one costume technically completed and it’s a secret so, shhhhh! You’ll have to go to the PKE Surge Pajama Jammy Jam party taking place Friday night at The Hyatt to see the big reveal, y’all.
All I want to do is talk about the concept of secret costumes, why they’re fun, and why the Ghostbusters Community lives to surprise each other at Dragon Con each year by either showing up after claiming they weren’t even going, or one-upping each other with secret super obscure inside-joke themed costumes (wait that’s going to be a whole other series I write as soon as I’m done with this). But before I do all that, allow me to continue doling out priceless little dollops of the con-wisdom I’ve gained over the last decade.
If you’ve been with me since the beginning then you already know Tips 1 and 2, if you’re just joining us I’ll retread them briefly.
Y’all ready for tip number three? Drumroll please…
Go to the friggin’ CONSUITE! That’s it. That’s all I’m going to say about this one. “But ABBEY!” you exclaim, “What’s a friggin’ consuite?!” Well, it’s sort of a sensitive subject. The Consuite is an elusive oasis shrouded in convention mystery and lore. If you were to ask the average con goer what the Consuite is, I’m not sure many of them could tell you. Even if you were to ask a con-goer who literally just walked out of the Consuite with a bag of cold pop corn and warm plastic cup of Mountain Dew where they had just been- I’m not sure they could tell you.
Do you guys like how vague I’m being? I’m the one who dragged you down here and forced you to read my Ten Pro Tips and now I’m being all shady about number three. Allow me to do my best to explain the enigma that is Consuite. If I were to tell you that there was a room secluded inside an undisclosed floor of one the host hotels that serves free food and fountain drinks 24 hours a day during the entire duration of Dragon Con, I would not technically be lying to you.
However, if I were to give you the exact location of this rumored communal space I would be breaking an unspoken con code, and sisters and brothers, I simply cannot do that.
The fact remains, The Consuite is a secret. I can not reveal the coordinates in this write up and also attend Dragon Con 2018 in good conscience. In lieu of giving the exact location allow me to share a few of my cherished thoughts on and memories from the Dragon Con Consuite. I’ll let you debate their validity.
Without confirming or denying the existence or location of the Dragon Con Consuite I think that legally, I feel at liberty to recount fond memories from inside the weird little two room nook that may or may not be located by a stairwell. That stairwell may be like two stories uphill which really makes you earn the free snacks and soda you’re hypothetically about to indulge in. Let’s say you made it up those stairs, in costume to boot, once you’re out of that stairwell and standing on lush hotel carpet (assuming it’s still Thursday or Friday because come Sunday that carpet is gonna be effed the eff up) you’ll allegedly see a sign that reads “ConSuite” or “Consuite” depending on whether or not they capitalize the “S” that year.
I seriously floated on financial fumes throughout my first five or six Dragon Cons. Attending conventions can be very expensive especially if you’re staying at a host hotel. Guys, I’ve lived it. You’re going to have to budget beforehand and also during con. That means cutting things like food costs, and that’s where the Consuite comes in handy.
“The fact remains, The Consuite is a secret.”
If it’s still only Saturday and you’re down to your last five dollars, like I was so many times, then listen to this friend; head to the Consuite. It is a refuge like the YMCA, you can get a hot meal, or at least a cold bag of popcorn. You can have a seat and stay a while if you’re locked out of your room. If you’re lucky enough to find this hidden sanctuary tucked away like Zion in the Matrix Reloaded then you’ll understand what I mean when I say it is a refuge for the broke and hungover. Without revealing the location (are you all very sick of me pointing this fact out yet?) I will say that if you find it, you will be greeted with buckets of ice, plentiful plastic cups, a fountain of sodas (Code Red is always available even on Sunday night when everything else is out), hot pots of coffee and fixins, and two craft tables that steadily serve up quarter portions of what mostly passes as food. I’m not disparaging the free food here guys-the one inch Krispy Kreme donuts slices, chips without dip, mini peanut butter sammis, styrofoam cups full of mystery chili, and fortune cookies that the tireless Dragon con Volunteer staff passes out (usually with a smile and a costume acknowledgement “Riddle me this, riddle me that, do you want a tiny packet of salsa with that?” Yes, I do want that salsa packet) have literally saved my life.
Just remember that once you’ve found the Consuite, don’t abuse it. Going back in the food line more than twice is generally frowned upon as is overstaying your welcome. It’s basically like Waffle House because it’s not really YOUR HOUSE, you have to leave at some point. Also if you’re one of the lucky ones who stumbles upon this secluded watering hole, be sure so smile and say “Thank you!” to whichever volunteer is spooning your free porridge out at five AM on Saturday morning. Also hey you better go get ready for the stinkin’ parade dude because it’s SATURDAY MORNING and it’s starting in five hours. It’s honestly up to you if you sleep, just don’t do it inside the Consuite.
To sum it all up in three bullet points:
- Don’t abuse the Consuite
- Do go late at night
- Don’t ask me where it is
I seriously need to go work on those belts now.
Also if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on Dragon Con then check out our interview with Joe Crowe and Gary Mitchel, directors of the Sci-Fi American Classics Track at Dragon Con!
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