Get Your Whatever On!

Halloween is a special holiday that comes only once a year.  Except in Baltimore, where we seem to have at least half a dozen of them each year.  We have multiple festivals at the Convention Center geared toward the decidedly unconventional.  Any event that draws more traffic congestion is burdensome to everyone who doesn’t make money from them (including panhandlers).  Yet it’s also visually interesting to see the get-ups that people don for certain festivals. 
 
This weekend’s BronyCon festival, as I joked about in one of yesterday’s posts, brought the spectacle of seeing grown man proudly walking around with My Little Pony paraphernalia.  Seriously.  There’s many gay people at my church, and I can somewhat understand their desire to ostentatiously parade their pride in outrageous garb.  But getting all “freaked” out over a toy?  Seriously?!
 
Next weekend, there will be an Otakon gathering, which will draw people to the city who will dress up as their favorite characters from anime and manga cartoons.  We will see people walking down the street looking like this:
 
 
Sarah Nipwoda, of Abingdon, Md., dressed as Twilight Sparkle from "My Little Pony."                                          

Twilight Sparkle

 

Jennifer Whip of Islip, N.Y. dressed as a Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal" for Otakon 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center.         

Skeksis

Arcanine from "Pokemon," aka Kaitlin Allen, of Chester, Va., at Otakon 2012.         

Arcanine

I grew up in a small redneck town, one that was homogenous in the way that such places typically are.  Yet I proudly demonstrated the freakiness that was befitting one of us few skateboarders.  I mismatched my socks and wore retro clothing; I was like a retarded fashionista.  Yet seeing these people makes me feel squarely normal.
 
At some point late in my high school years, it became generally acknowledged that I was cool.  Seeing these people enthusiastically embrace pseudo-identities from the comic book realm makes me feel super-duper cool, like The Fonz would have to pay homage to my coolness. 
 
I also developed a toughness over the years.  Not in a badass way, of course, but I became tough enough to generally hold my own.  It’s reassuring to be walking down the street, seeing any number of these Otakon people in my vicinity, and realizing that I could probably take almost any of these geeks in a fight.
 
An uplifting aspect of these events is seeing the nerdy girls dressed up in revealing outfits.  Just like girls’ and ladies’ Halloween costumes have acquired a sluttiness about them in recent years, apparently these cartoon characters are also inclined toward provocative dress.
 
Perhaps next weekend, as a tough and cool guy, I’ll get drunk enough to walk up to a group of these people and say, “I’m taking your girl here.  What are you guys going to do about it, stab me with one of those plastic swords?  Let’s roll, Babycakes.” 
 
And if I happen to find out in the morning that she’s stressing about taking trigonometry in her junior year, I’ll have an ironclad defense should I face legal consequences:
 
“Your honor, I know that Allison is biologically 16 years-old, but I fell in love with Motoko Kusanagi,  

 and she is timeless, without age.”

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