Tony Gallichan is Mildly Perturbed by... His Own Convention Anecdotes (Part One)

So there I am, just turned up at Adam's after hearing nothing about the update as such, no panicky phone calls and what do I find? We're short.

So, to fill up some space I decided to tell you all a couple of things about some conventions I have been to. I won't tell you everything, of course - have to save some for the next time we've got nothing intelligent for the update, lol.

Why perturbing? Well, I think all bar one are somewhat embarrassing - to me!

Those who know me, of course, will just shake their heads, sigh and then forget about it, marking it down to Tintin being his usual self.

Whatever that is, nowadays.....


Hmm, where to start....

Hows about the first fan Olympiad in Bath? Sounds ok to me.

For those that don't know, the Fan Olympiads were a terribly elitist thing and wickedly fun. About 50 or so invited fans, all friends or friends of a friend, were invited to turn up, pretend to the hotel staff it was a writers convention, (and considering just how many writers we actually had there, we weren't exactly lying!) and play very, very silly games against each other. All for the Soft Eric trophy - a silly woolen hat. There were no guests, no showings of old episodes, just musical chairs, 15-1 and any other party game or quiz show that could be used. Guess who was on the winning side? Never did see the trophy though, I think we let Jackie Roe take it home.

However, being a man of very few means, and a mate of Cornell - I remember sitting in a Pimlico pub with him and Penny List, trying to come up with names for that first guest list -I had the offer of a floor to sleep on at his house. (Note for scholars - at this stage in the development of the Cornell, it was existing in Bath. It should be noted that the Cornell beast has since moved around the country an awful lot!).

How kind, I thought. I'll be sure to be on my best behavior. And so I was. Very polite, trying to be quieter then normal, etc. However, I hadn't exactly considered the impact of my sinuses on other people. (see "mildly perturbed by space mumps").

Paul had invited quite a few to kip over, so we were all on the floor, huddled like sardines due to lack of space. I was right next to Johnathan Head - lovely bloke, great fun to have around. I wonder how his cameraman training went?.

Anyway. Come the day, John and I wake up, clear headed, full of energy having had a full night's sleep. We were a little taken aback at the glares and abuse we got when we told people this as part of the usual "good morning" stuff.

It seems that no one else had achieved any sleep...or very little. You see, I'd dozed off and started to snore - loudly. This had, of course, made it almost impossible for anyone else to get any sleep. Well, I say anyone else, but there was one person, with his head next to mine, who did actually sleep the whole night through also. Why? Because, when I stopped snoring, John started. Just as loudly. And when he stopped, I started again. And it went on like that all night.

We were not exactly popular, especially with Paul as the previous night he had been kept awake with toothache.


Then theres the first Space Mountain convention. Run by a lovely bunch of fans in Clacton this one was at a Moathouse hotel. Good cons they were too. Very relaxed and friendly.

Anyway, I'd already met Nick Courtney a few times before - trust me, the name Tintin was fairly well known on those days - and not necessarily for the best, either. Dear God, some of the things I did.....


Now, for some reason i wasn't wearing my glasses. And I needed the loo. So off I trot and go into the gents. I did what I needed to and came out of a cubicle to wash my hands.

I was the only one in there yet something tickled my subconscious. Nothing I could quite put my finger on, but there was something wrong. Maybe it was that these toilets seemed a little too clean? Still it didn't come to me. I finished washing my hands and turned to the hand dryer. As my hand warmed up under it, I idly cast my gaze around the room, trying to fathom out what it was that was wrong.

It was only when I looked at the condom dispenser and saw it was dispensing tampons that it twigged.

Due to lack of clear vision, I had got the symbol on the door mixed up - I saw a figure and assumed it was had gone in.

Now, this was bad enough, but as I fled out of the loos, who do I bump into about to go into the gents next door? The afore mentioned Mr. Courtney, who immediately started to smirk!


" Er, um, glasses, you see, er didn't realize, er very clean in there, you know, er....BYE!"

And I fled.

He's looked at me funny ever since...


So you see, conventions are places where sometimes magical things happen. Or downright embarrassing things, in my case.

I'll pop some more embarrassing memories up for you lot in a little while.....probably the next tim we are short on stuff, lol.


Tony Gallichan KNOWS that everyone has at least one embarrassing tale form a convention - and wants to hear about it. So, please use the link below to tell him about it in the forum - or else!


Don't forget that you can discuss this, even tell us your own convention stories, in the Musings: The Comeback Forum!