My goal Friday was to make it to Steel City Con to see a screening of a movie by some local filmmakers’/dudes of Pittsburgh Dad YouTube fame, Bigfoot: The Movie. The problem wasn’t so much getting back from Ohio on time as it was weighing the pros and cons of battling Pittsburgh rush-hour traffic to get there on time. And alternate routes are pretty much useless–they take you around the traffic, sure, but they’re so long that they’re pointless. So we tried my new frequent compromise of bypassing parkway construction congestion by taking a route that would lead right to the tunnel.
The problem is Pittsburgh, no matter how many people complain about this, cannot drive in tunnels. Like, I’ve been driving to West Virginia once a week for the past four weeks for job interviews and such, and I have to pass through a tunnel to get there and have not once sat in any traffic in or around it. Sure, Wheeling is much smaller and less active area than Pittsburgh, but seriously…not a single stop in or out. Anyway, we couldn’t bypass any of the tunnels and although we got on the parkway just before one, we still had to deal with the other. And Pittsburgh traffic is just a pain in the ass enough that little delays add up and fuck up your plans.
Our original plan was to eat at my favorite place, Green Mango, then head to the convention, but as the minutes ticked by in traffic, it became pretty clear that if we did that, we’d have maybe a few minutes to look around the convention itself. And I was in the market for Mulder and Scully Funko Pop Vinyl figurines, so that would not do–not to mention I didn’t want to pay to get in and not even be able to walk around. Even though we were both starving, I proposed a compromise–get light overpriced convention food to hold us over since we hadn’t eaten dinner, then eat a proper meal after the convention, since Green Mango was open an hour later than the convention.
So Paul ordered food while I scouted out stuff to buy. We chatted with Pittsburgh Dad a bit, then Paul talked for a good while with an animator/director who worked on basically any cartoon you probably watched as a kid. And while it was interesting, I’m not exactly a fan and was losing precious scouting time–even though the revised plan had bought us a full hour to walk around, that goes fast when you stop and chat with guests. Plus we normally walk it twice, and that didn’t happen. But I did find Mulder and Scully! Unfortunately at separate booths. I could’ve gotten a discount otherwise, but nope, Mulder had to be the last of his kind in the first booth I found him in.
The movie was good and really funny. The plot is basically some Yinzers going Bigfoot hunting, although the humor isn’t so specific to the Pittsburgh area that it would fall flat elsewhere–I’m sure some jokes would, but there’s a lot of funny stuff that comes out of sort inept drunken rednecks hunting Bigfoot. My dad bought the DVD while he was at the convention Saturday merely out of local support, which I have to give him credit for, and I happened to be over when Brandon decided to watch it, and I found myself wanting to stick around and watch it a second time. Best of all, it was still funny, and honestly maybe a little better the second time around. I had some issues with the pacing the first time, but the second time–maybe because I already knew how everything played out–it was a more enjoyable watch. All in all, it’s a fun monster-movie comedy. Kind of like that time Paul watched a movie called Zombeavers, except this was way better.
Some cast and crew did a brief Q&A session after, which was fun, too, and we did end up with a few minutes left to walk the convention. I still wish I could’ve make my second trip around, though–we started doing that several conventions ago when we figured out we were missing certain dealer tables, or if we needed more time to think about a potential purchase. But it’s probably a good thing I wasn’t tempted a second time by a BioShock board game that was $65 I know I could get for at least $40 elsewhere. Ah, convention prices.
We did make it to Green Mango for dinner, and this time, I truly did scout the menu for other things to order, only to settle on my usual pad thai. Maybe next time, at December’s convention, where one of the guests will be Jay of Jay and Silent Bob fame.
You know, Green Mango’s service is so fast that we probably could’ve made it beforehand, but we still wouldn’t have had much time. Better to have had that full hour.