I’m attending my first in-person convention in nearly two years, and of course it’s my sentimental favorite Necronomicon in Tampa, Florida from September 24th to the 26th at the Embassy Suites USF.
I’ll be busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest for this one:
Friday, 4pm: Ghastly Ghosts (which I’m guessing is about ghosts real and fictional)
Friday, 8pm: You Shouldn’t Be a Writer If… (which is great advice if you just leave off the “if…” part)
Friday, 9pm: How to Be a Bad Writer (which I’m trying not to take personally that I’m seen as an expert on this subject)
Saturday, 12pm: Norse Mythology in Fiction (for which I’m relying on my subconscious Norwegian cultural knowledge)
Saturday, 4pm: Science and True Crime (which is right up my alley)
Sunday, 11am: Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me (which is their own version of the NPR news quiz game show)
Sunday, 1pm: Lighter Side of the Pandemic (which is a tall order, even for me)
You might be wondering, “What about the pandemic?” There is a mask policy at the convention, required in all public spaces and during the panel discussions. Also, the traditional face-licking greeting has been suspended for this year only.
Hello! Glad you could make it out tonight after deciphering the simplest invitation we could lower ourselves to imagine.
While our scientists teach you a “basic tonal vocabulary,” we’re sending a real message encoded on this frequency that will probably take you half a century to noodle out.
First, thanks for loaning us these humans for our longitudinal qualitative study of your species. Sorry and no hard feelings for any scare or inconvenience we caused.
Truth be told, many of them were tedious guests, turning away from our tour of a sublime and wondrous universe on the viewscreen to ask if we had any “snacks” or where they could “get laid.” The little girl was okay, and this recent little boy, and it goes without saying that the dog was the best of the lot, a very good boy.
All this leads to our second message, which is that your planet is fucked.
If we thought you could understand our raw findings, we’d share them with you, but suffice to say that we’ve observed staggering assholery of both the accidental (greed, self-interest, delusion, ignorance) and purposeful (murder, rape, war, intolerance, exploitation) kinds during our study. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for you to tell them apart because the purposeful assholery is causing the accidental.
You have weeds in your garden, but they look exactly like the crops.
Not that you’d notice, because you’re terrible stewards of that garden. But you know that and don’t care, which is why we’re coming back in half a century to pick up your bauxite from what we assume will be a smoldering cinder.
So try not to fuck up the bauxite, at least.
We’d hoped to pick up a small group of your most perceptive souls by summoning them with dreams and visions, but the rest of you blocked them from coming.
Which is so much the story of humanity that we should have predicted it.
We’re left with this one guy, though his eagerness to ditch his family gives us pause. He’ll serve as a good enough representative sample to preserve the memory of your species.
Well, it’s getting late and there’s only so long we can dazzle you with flashing lights and music before you get bored and start shooting us.
Best of luck, and remember to save us some bauxite.