One week back from the 2017 Lexington Con in Lexington, KY and I am writing this at the dining table right above three girls who have just awakened from their first sleepover. Bills sit to my left, also awaiting their completion. This is how it is when you return from the magic and of CONS where you are the star, and compliments abound as you sit in your booth and wait for them.

Flying in last Thursday on the 2nd leg of a flight from LAX, I sat next to a gentleman from Kentucky and we hit it off such that he offered to buy me wee bottle of Jack Daniels (he had me at wee and free). Got off the plane, with a “wee” buzz and off to the hotel on the free car service to a free hotel with per diem waiting in an envelope.

In no matter of minutes, I was off to Tony’s Steakhouse and a seat at the bar with a nice pour of Blade And Arrow and a local pint of amber. Now I am on another “flight” as peckish gives way to ravenous and I engulf my salad, bread and a 14oz New York Strip. Back to the hotel to pass out, only to be awakened by overly excited CON goers in the room next door and the realization that I might have been smart to take a Zantac and remember that I am allergic to all things DOWN!!

A quick call to the front desk and a new key is delivered to a new floor and new room. A reboot, if you will. Then, too early morning and off to the gym and a quick breakfast before I hit the convention floor. Banner is hung, pictures are laid out, announcement that the convention floor is now open, a quick sip of Kirkland 5 Hour and I am ready for the “Me Parade”.

And I must say, the good folks of Kentucky do not disappoint, they are beyond kind and cannot hide the thrill of meeting their entertainment heroes. They tell me they are nervous and I tell them it is nice to be somebody’s “big deal” – our admiration is mutual. We exist in this bubble of exchanged excitement and making each other’s day.

Along the way I get together with Jed Rees, Charles Martinet, Steve Blum, Bruce Boxleitner and we have breakfast, Cajun-food dinner and great conversation about the world that exists outside the CON. It finally comes to an end on Sunday and we leave the floor to go to the airport to see what adjustments we will have to make to get home as bad weather comes in all over the country. I get lucky as my small delay allows me to hang with Steve Blum at an airport bar in the Charlotte Airport. Steve, outs me as the voice of Rocko and the bartender is over the moon –my CON adoration goes beyond the boundaries of the convention floor. Ego inflated, I prepare to enter my air ride home via group 8, and thanks to the last minute “bartender inflation” that middle seat in coach is going to be a ok!!!