I’m going to try to write about a few of the thousands of little interactions I had while attending the SkepchickCON science/skepticism track at Minnesota’s annual CONvergence — the continent’s largest entirely fan-run sci-fi/fantasy/fandom convention. This year’s convention had just shy of six thousand attendees, and practically every panel in the Skepchick track, in convention rooms that seated ~125-150, was packed and in many cases standing-room-only.
During a convention of this size, you overhear lots of conversations about lots of different things, most mundane, but some truly interesting. During a group lunch, I learned the tale of a man who, eighteen years ago, missed a chance to meet Sophie Aldred — Ace, one of the Doctor Who companions of the 7th Doctor. He had gotten an aluminum baseball bat of the same style as Ace’s signature, and though he had it at a convention where Aldred was doing signings, was too shy to ask.
At the end of the convention, during the very last panel, Sophie Aldred — the guest of honour at this year’s convention — was doing her last of several signings. As the line began to wane, I approached the table to chat with her handler about this story.
The man who’d earlier missed his opportunity to have Ace sign his bat, eighteen years later rectified the missed opportunity. Just twenty minutes before I spoke with Aldred’s handler, he’d brought the bat and had it signed.
Knowing what it’s like to fail to follow through on opportunities and regret them for a very long time, this story made me incredibly happy.