Thursday, April 9, 2015

Frank's Party

I'd found out about Frank Mentzer's pre-Gary Con parties last year, and I'd promised myself to pay a visit this time around.  I managed to do precisely this, thinking I would post this short article before the one on Gary Con VII.  It then occurred to me that I had failed to ask for Frank's permission to publicly post pictures about his home and private life.  I did obtain his blessing a few days later, but that led me to talk about Gary Con first (see the previous article).  No problem, I thought.  I'll just post Frank's right afterward.  But you know what they say about best-laid plans.  

Inside the treasure chest I hauled back from the convention lurked an evil bug.  The nasty hairy thing was nestled there, in a shadowy corner, awaiting an instant of inattention, a second of weakness that created a tiny chink in my +5 plate armor of non-stick-annointed mythril.  It shouldn't have mattered.  With a constitution somewhere between that of a dwarf and an ox, I'd always swept aside all such concerns in the past.  Alas, I failed my save.  Or was it that I just rolled a 1?  Out of commission for several days, the old hero thus lay on his back, hacking most painfully and cursing most colorfully in tongues before sinking into feverish and ever-so-fitful naps.  So there.  Frank's pre-Gary Con party ended up as a postscriptum.  All told, this in no way diminishes its value as I attempt to give an account of the gathering in an appropriately rightful style.

Frank had made great efforts to communicate what he needed to share with attendees, down to the very last detail and then some. The phone number to the fire department, the local NSA branch office, and the outer-space undercover alien hideout were all duly identified.  The width and depth of the tire-tracks on Frank's lawn and the density/moisture of the underlying soil came into the equation, and it was wisely ascertained that climate change forbade anyone parking there.  Good thing, that.  I can attest to the trouble of stopping one's chariot of fire on a muddy, blood-soaked battlefield, and finding it later, resting a few inches lower and frozen in place.  Yes, this is Wisconsin spring weather.  (What?  Am I still suffering some pangs of fever, you wonder?  Nay, says I, as I reach for the amulet of aspirin and gulp down my N'th cup of tea.  It is a murky thing, a true witch's brew so dark I can never gaze upon the mug's bottom.  Something vile and glistening lurks beneath the surface, coating the otherwise white porcelain.  It matters not.  I quaff the medicine and the swirling liquid, and head into the kitchen for more. . .)