Anyway, this should be relatively quick and painless. Well, quick anyway. Eh....at least it'll be done and over with.
Hmmm. I don't think I slept all that well that last night in columbus. It's always a pain in the ass sleeping the last night at a hotel knowing that you're going to have to get up early in order to pack the next day. I had chucked most of my things back into my suitcase the night before so there wouldn't be overly much to deal with. All in all, I should just be happy that I seem to have gotten out of town without forgetting anything in the room. No matter how many times you check around, it's never a certain thing that you won't end up leaving a charger of some sort. Sometimes I wonder why the fuck they can't just design up some sort of omni charger. One wall plug in but the end splits into 5-6 different heads that fit all your various electronic appliances ranging from cell phones to video game systems. It would make things a hell of a lot easier. With all the chargers I end up having to bring on a trip, it all ends up as one gargantuan knot I have to untangle at some point. Feh.
So....All I had to do that morning was go and check in at the boardgame room and run my last few demos. I trucked down there around 10am and found, much to my pleasant surprise, that the entire area was more or less deserted. Not a surprise really. Sunday morning isn't exactly a happening sort of time for demos in general. God knows if I actually had an event I was attending instead of running, I would have skipped it too. Anyway, I sat around and I can't even remember if anything went off.
Somewhere around noonish, I joined up with everyone else and we headed over to the North Market for lunch. Here's a picture of June munching sausage (Heh, heh...) with some of the most unnaturally green relish I have ever seen. Disturbingly green you might say. I certainly would never have believed that was a color found in nature as far as pickled vegetables are concerned.
After lunch, I went back to the hotel with Bill M and Joyce to see to checkout. Things went pretty smoothly as we got all our crap out of the room and into a holding area and took care of the bill. The girl at the receptionist desk was quite attractive which I guess must've necessitated her being dumb as a stump. She was supposed to split the cost of the room between two credit cards and managed to fubar it pretty good. After dealing with that I stopped back into the boardgame room to resume my duties there. After a bit, Chris and Matt said that they had things pretty well covered and since they had to be there until the end, would watch over my remaining slots. Being set free, I wandered over to the exhibit hall where the excitment of the day revolved around the Mayfair booth and their prize drawing.
I don't think I've mentioned it before now, but one of the activities that a lot of the Origins attendees, including my friends, were involved in was collecting resource ribbons from Mayfair Games. The basic idea is this...if you demo their games or complete other little tasks, they give you a ribbon with a resource on it. The resources are right out of Settlers of Catan and consist of Stone, Wheat, Sheep, Clay, and Wood. The idea is to either play in each genre or to do whatever you prefer and then trade other people in order to complete your collection (Wood for Sheep?). If you get all of them, you pick up a 50% off discount of one of their games and a raffle ticket for the Sunday morning drawing, the grand prize of which was a 3-d Settlers of Catan set, retail around $300.
So those of us with more time to wind around the dealer's room spent that time picking up sets. In the end, I think I was the only one who didn't. Here you can see a picture of Bill M with his all complete and stuck to this badge. I have no clue what the Bills picked up with their 50% off coupons but I think Matt and Joyce got a copy of Pillars of the Earth at the very least.
By the time I worked my way over to the Mayfair booth, it was a madhouse. This is what happened after Wizards pulled out and took all their swag with them. Mayfair became the booth to go to in order to get free crap. Seeing as I never cared for many of their games and it seemed to be too much effort besides, it wasn't something I had payed much attention to.
What commenced at that point was a lot of tedious waiting. It seemed like half the crowd in the exhibit hall was crammed around the booth. I seem to have gotten Matt in mid-yawn in the picture. I think part of the hold up was that they were playing the final game of the Settlers of Catan tournament right in the booth area. At one point they announced the winner and it seemed that the game had just completed. Not a small thing either when you consider the winner got a free trip to Essen to compete in the world championship. Now there's a prize good enough to consider entertaining as a group and sandbagging for. Screw settlers, but it would be nice to go to Essen on someone else's dime.
The interminable waiting continued on and on even once the drawing started. To build suspense, aka: piss off everyone waiting, they had to start with the crappy prizes no one really wanted. I have no clue how long it went on for but it felt like fucking years. Everyone was there just to see who would pick up the giant 3-d set. I didn't have a ticket, but it would have been nice to win for the resale value if nothing else. God knows what I'd do with a 3-d set of settlers. The wooden chest it came in did seem spiffy though.
Chelle won! Well, okay, Chelle didn't really win but she could have if she were a little less honorable about the whole thing. She had a mess of tickets from all the friends who came with her and one of them was called as the grand prize winner. Now, personally, I think that the onerous crap of standing in the crowd for all that time waiting for the drawing could more than jsutify her 'accidently' switching the raffle tickets and winning. Morality, pah. What is it good for?
With the raffle over, thus began the stampede for the exit. Everyone wanted to get the flock out of dodge and I didn't get a chance to do one last twirl of the exhibit hall. I was nearly trampled under when I stopped at the Tokkens booth to buy a display box of them, everyone was in such a rush to leave. During the scramble toward the door, I did see something that drew me up short.
Now is that one coolass sign or what? I wish I had more time to figure out what it was all about other than it was apparently a real vintage sign and they were using it to promote some game. I have no clue what the game was like but the theme alone had me sold. Death to Hippies!
I even got a chance to hold the sign in front of one of their banners for the game. The guys running the booth also snapped a picture and said that they were looking for people to demo/rep for them. I took a business card but I never got around to responding. It sounds like it would be right up my alley and I'll happily whore for a company that makes a game named Kill the Hippies.
So that was basically the Origins trip. Most of the return trip is encapsulated in those few voice posts I made on the way back and nothing all that interesting occured that I feel a need to go into it in depth. We got back to my place in the dead of night and everyone scrambled off like a bat out of hell. The Bills left so quickly there should have been animated swirls of wind and leaves behind them. Matt and Joyce took a little more time and ended up leaving his laptop behind in the middle of the road. I had to scramble out there to find it and it was lucky that no one had run it over.
And that's that. The good, the bad, the ugly. I have no clue if another origins trip will take place next year though I was talking with Evil Steve at dexcon and he seems to want in next year if there is one. I dunno how everyone else really feels other than the Bills gave it a 6 or 7 out of 10 as I recall. For me, things would have been better without the added burden of the playroom thing, but there was nothing to be done about it. Obligations and duty.