[Me, TK-7888, storming Manhattan.]
So, one of the dumbest things I’ve done recently was to volunteer to do an 18-hour shift, outdoors in July at Times Square…and encased in plastic, of course. The event very much lived up to its namesake, “Midnight Madness”, and I probably wouldn’t do another TRU event based on this experience.
[Myself and Skutch, who broke out his new Clone armor...so jealous.]
But where the event faltered, my fellow troopers stepped in and helped me out. Skutch brought me lunch, Ray came straight over from work to do crowd control, and Kris went back out with me and stayed by my side when the crowd started getting crazy. A friend used to diss me for always seeking out a community, but this is why I do it: the Empire City Garrison is a community of geeks that take care of each other.
[Myself/TK-7888 with a random munchkin: Little girls like Star Wars too! Get 'em while they're young!!!]
And on the bright side, I got to bring smiles to hundreds of peoples’ faces, munchkins and adults alike. When I wear armor, women crawl all over me and call me handsome, and Crashley reports having her rear pinched and grabbed on a regular basis…if only they knew what was beneath the armor…
[Crashley, TB-3083, now known as the Time Bomb Trooper, wearing the "small countdown clock vest" that Toys R Us prepared for us.]
Speaking of Crashley, who did the 18-hour troop to me with me with a 20-pound laptop-like apparatus on a canvas-covered steel frame strapped to her chest, here she is. I started calling her Iron Man, as the laptop was reminiscent of Tony Stark’s arc reactor, but later she earned the nickname of the “Time Bomb Trooper”, and that seems to have stuck.
[Rows of geeks in plastic - yay us!]
The great thing about big events, though, is getting all the people together. Hardcore geeks from New York, New Jersey, Pennsyvania, (and maybe Conneticut?) all schlepped in to put on our nerdtastic Star Wars celebration. Mostly the inner-city folks do the inner-city gigs, the Long Island folks do the Long Island gigs, and the Upstate folks do the gigs upstate. It’s nice to see people again and start to put a few more names and faces together.
[Myself, TK-7888, in a pedicab in Times Square. Next time I've gotta get a picture in one of those horse-drawn carriages near Central Park.]
And then, when it’s all over, Rebels and Imperials all hit the bar across the street from the toy store together for some very much deserved food and alcohol. I think I got home around…3am? I left home at 5am. 22 hours. On two hours of sleep. Suffice to say that I spent most of Saturday sleeping.
[Me, in the break room after the event, getting a massage.... See that smile on my face? Money can't buy that. I didn't even know anyone was taking a picture. That's pure pleasure right there. I'm still savoring it.]