Of Conventions, Costumes and Cults.

14 May, 2010 § Leave a comment

Camped out behind a 3” x 9” Houghton table in the middle of NJ’s Exposition & Convention Center for a weekend-long convention, I’m surrounded by small screaming boys in velour track suits, girls in identical hand-sewn jumpers, vendors hawking everything from curriculum to musical instruments to DVDS, harried parents wheeling giant cartons overflowing with textbooks and the sundry school supply item, and even the occasional knight. Yes. A knight in not-so-shining armor.  Around point 10 o’clock on my left, a young fellow with wavy ringlets (no ribbon-tied queue here; I confess I’m somewhat disappointed in his lack of greasy authenticity) is holding a metal great helm in one hand and a giant broadsword in the other, seemingly unperturbed by the muggy NJ heat despite the heavy steel-chain hauberk and linen tunic draped over his skinny shoulders.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure if I’ve plopped down in the middle of a school fair or a mysterious cult… but at least the people-watching opportunities are endless, even if the conversations about liberal arts and higher education are not.


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