Good idea: Going out and looking for a date.
Bad idea: Going out and looking for a date at a comic book convention.
Worst Idea Ever: Going out and looking for a date at a comic book convention, and announcing it on the Internet beforehand.
So, I checked CBR this morning, and saw that my good buddy Typo Lad had PMed me with the above link. Nothing like a good facepalm to wake you up, is there?
Now, I don't begrudge Ms. Hey Lady her attempt to get herself some geek lovin'. And her basic hypothesis, that one or two good, quality men will be in attendance, is probably true. (I can't speak for myself, but dudes like Ed Cunard will be there, and hey, Ed's single now, ladies!)
(God Damn, I really need to update the blogroll.)
The problem is, the poor woman has no idea what she's getting into. Because, contrary to her belief, there are men who go to comic book conventions to pick up women.
I know, I know, it's The Onion, but this is one of their articles where no exaggeration from reality is required. (In fact, when you consider gentlemen like Lord Rexington Fear, they actually downplayed it a bit.)
There is a breed of male nerd, I'm sure some of you know of what I speak, that has a kind of sixth sense. This sense reacts to the presence of a woman, and feeds the message of "pretty girl" into the nerd's brain. (Or "halfway attractive girl." Or "the lights are kind of low in here, but I'm pretty sure that's a girl.") The nerd's reaction at this point is best described by lifting a page from Max Brooks' "The Zombie Survival Guide":
"Once contact is made, the previously silent, oblivious automaton transforms into something more closely related to a guided missile. The jaw drops, lips retract, and, from the depths of its diaphragm, comes the moan. Once contact is made, [they] cannot be distracted by any means. They will continue to pursue their prey, stopping only if they lose contact... or are destroyed.
Any woman (and, to be frank, post-pubescent teenage girl) attending the con will, at some point, have to deal with one of these awkward, shambling, men-children, their half-hearted approaches, the stale scent of sweat and fear, the attempts to use their knowledge of manga and Warhammer as pick-up lines. It sort of comes with the territory. Veteran female con attendees have learned to exude an aura of "stay away," similar to a cat arching its back. Others bring a male escort, usually a boyfriend or husband, along to quickly deflate any would-be convention Don Juans. (This tactic is not 100% effective.) Others bring a female friend, reasoning that the nerds will be more wary if they move in packs. (This tactic is more effective than the last one.)
This poor woman, though, just hung a raw steak around her neck and stepped into the tiger cage. Because you'd better believe these nerds read the Internet. Some of them have probably already blown up and printed that picture for identification purposes. She's going to get stalked. It's not going to be pretty. I really hope she plans ahead in some manner, preferably involving Mace. And not necessarily the spray.
And for God's sakes, all women coming to this con, beware Lord Rexington Fear.