Our adventure continued on Friday with a morning of some much-needed SLEEP. Originally, we had planned on waking at the crack of mid-morning to stand in line for autographs, as Maureen Johnson and the Brothers Green were signing. But John had to leave due to complications from a colonoscopy (much more on that later, compliments of Hank), so we decided to be laze-abouts until noon, when we went to our first panel of the day.
Anyway – the panel. We shuffled into the room, not knowing what to expect. Mark had entered before us, and was already sitting next to fans in the audience and taking pictures with them. It set the tone for one of the funniest and most relaxed panels of the entire con. His two friends went around the room and asked everyone to pick a number between 1 and 5, with the promise we’d find the surprise out at the end.
Mark then began his panel, and he was clearly excited to be there. He started off by telling us the story of his first internet stalker. He received an email one day, which was really complimentary at first but quickly turned the corner into THE CREEPIEST SHIT EVER.
After this story, the atmosphere of the room was like that of an extended family gathering. Apparently, there’s nothing like a virtual stalker story to break the ice. He talked about how he got into the Harry Potter series, and also fielded questions from the audience. Our favorite part was his response to what he would do if he met Jo Rowling. Aside from sobbing uncontrollably (us too, Mark, us too!), he said he wanted to be text message buddies with her. Just so he could text her things like, “I just finished this amazing pint of ice cream, what’s up with you girl?” Or something to that effect. We don’t remember the exact wording, but it definitely involved a pint of ice-cream.
Now for the secret number business – each number represented a chapter in the Harry Potter series. The most popular was 3, which turned out to be “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs,” chapter 18 of HPatPoA. Mark began to read the chapter is his “sultry” voice, and paused to talk about his reactions. And to express some Lupin and Hermione love. So once more – we were in a live-action version of the internet. (It’s like Tron, without the silly spandex suits!) Mark had so many things to comment on, we got through all of three paragraphs before we were kicked out of the room, much to everyone’s disappointment! We all agreed that we would have liked to listen to Mark read/react to the whole book.
Afterward we all stood in line and gave Mark our email information so he could gift us with Kindle/PDF versions of Mark Reads Harry Potter, because he’s just that damn nice. We were also thrilled to learn that he is currently reading The Amber Spyglass and plans to eventually watch “Supernatural!”
Our next adventure of the day was a huge Nerdfighter gathering. Though we missed John immensely, Hank kept us more than entertained with his sword-fighting skills, biology lessons, and his adorable naiveté.
Firstly, we learned all about John Green’s colon and how one gets a colonoscopy, which we will share with you now! Basically, you get a special drink mixture from the doctor that makes you dump the entire contents of your intestines over the course of several hours. Next, you go to the doctor’s and get knocked out. And then the doctor can do whatever he or she wants with you. As Hank puts it, “It doesn’t really matter what people do to you under general anesthesia.” Assuming the doctor is a good person, the next step is essentially sticking an airhose up your butt and inflating your colon. Then the doctor pokes around, and then you wake up. Good as new and ten pounds lighter! We imagine it’s much the same as an alien abduction.
We also learned some things you SHOULDN’T DO after a colonoscopy:
-Fly to Florida.
-Partake in panels on sparkly, sparkly, vampires.
-Read embarrassing stories you wrote 20 years ago to a room of people laughing at you.
-Run around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for hours and go on amazing rides.
-See an emotionally charged movie that makes you WEEP.
Basically – you should not go to LeakyCon after a colonoscopy. Unless you want to die in Orlando, Florida. Which John expressed very clearly he did not want to do.
So John was at home, and Hank was with us. He started singing songs, and taking requests from the audience. He didn’t remember a lot of his songs (in his own words – “why can’t you ask me to play the three songs I know?!”), but the audience was there to help him get back on track. We shouted the lyrics and some people looked up the chords on their phones.
Then strange things began to occur. People were doing *random* things. Like yelling “Twilight” and waving frantically at Hank. Seeing as Maureen Johnson was in the room, we were suspicious and went straight to Twitter. Sure enough – she was giving us commands in order to confuse Hank.
The most surprising thing was Hank had NO IDEA what was going on. He just looked around, bewildered at all the Nerdfighters doing inexplicable things. For example, she commanded people to, “Ask questions that make no sense”, retweeting suggestions such as, “Do you eat cardboard before or after the panda?” and What kind of penguins do you eat for children?”. You’d think he would instantly put Maureen and strange occurrences together, but it took him forever. When he finally did, he attempted to take the phone from Maureen, but fortunately she had “put it in her naughty parts.”
At one point, Maureen commanded we ask if he wrote The Fault in Our Stars. We of course did, and Hank thought we were being mean. And then he didn’t know what to do with us so (as one does to bad children) he had his wife read us a story. Except this story happened to be the first chapter in The Fault in Our Stars. *insert major geeking out here*
Initial reaction – this shit is going to be heartbreaking. Also – blind jokes. The Bibliomantics love us some blind jokes!
Other highlights from the gathering:
– We got to do the intro to a Vlog Brothers video!!
– “That’s how I felt about Pottermore. I was like, you didn’t say any words that meant things!”
– Hank asked how many people remembered Duck Tales. A surprising number of people did, considering the majority were way younger than us. He then led us in a rousing rendition of the theme song (woooo-oooo). We also confirmed that the lyrics are in fact “it’s a duck blur.”
– Maureen gave away ARCs of her newest book The Name of the Star by having Hank host the newest game show “What Random Shit Do You Have In Your Possession?” Items ranging from q-tips to Australian money plus the fastest sprint to Hank meant you were a winner!
– Humping naturally came-up, and this quote sums it all up: “I’m not sure if the quality of your hump affects the quality of your baby.”
After the Nerdfighter Gathering, we were like, hey, let’s get dinner real quick before the wrock concert! That was the plan, anyway. It turns out it’s really hard to find food when you’re in a sold-out hotel with four restaurants and only one kitchen. We got some good advice from Andrew Slack about getting food to go. (Which is probably the most random thing you could ask Andrew Slack, of all people, for advice about considering he spends most of his time SAVING THE WORLD.) However, we did end up sitting down to eat, and consequently missed the first half of the concert! Sad face! So we didn’t see Hank perform all the Harry Potter songs he was saving for the concert, which sucks because singing along to “Book 8” was probably amazing. But at least we got to see him for two and a half hours previously.
We came in right in time to grab a drink and catch the last bit of Tonks and the Aurors, which was awesome but sadly short. Stupid needing to eat getting in the way of LeakyCon! Next up was Draco and the Malfoys. Brian Ross is amazing, and we’re not just saying that because he gave us free alcohol later. He’s a fantastic performer, and even the Ravenclaws in our group love his hilariously mean songs. (Stephanie and Cassie-wa are super excited to see him AND Bradley perform at Wrockstock!) We also loved when he sang “Pansy”–the super gorgeous Scarlet Byrne went up on stage, and Brian almost kept a straight face as he serenaded her with lines like, “You’re the only okay-looking girl in Slytherin.”
Even Cassie-la who doesn’t really like wizard rock enjoyed Draco and the Malfoys, especially the version of “99 Death Eaters” set to “99 Red Balloons”. The humor and the catchy melodies combined with the focus on Slytherin really got her attention. Although she was a little upset when they sang “My Dad is Rich” because if there’s anything a girl with a dead father does not enjoy it’s a room full of hundreds of people screaming the lines, “My Dad is rich and your dad is dead!”. It was strange having people singing such lines so vehemently and with such passion. The whole song was hard not to take it personally even though she knew it was supposed to be funny. But it was enough to make even a hard-hearted Slytherin cry.
Next The Whomping Willows took the stage, which is always a ridiculous good time. And this set really kicked ass! We loves us the Neville dance! And we got another actor cameo when Matt sang “I Believe in Nargles” and Evanna Lynch danced on stage! (We complain about the movies, but we generally love the cast. Evanna is awesome.- Cassie-la actually like this song also! Wtf?) One thing that is so great about wizard rock is that, even if you don’t know a song, by the end of it you TOTALLY KNOW THAT SONG. It was so awesome to sing “When the Lights Go Out” with the rest of the audience while we waited for Harry and the Potters to set up. BEAUTIFUL.
And uh, holy crap HARRY AND THE POTTERS!! That’s another real throwback for us. (Well, for everybody really.) But none of us had ever seen them live, and while we had a sneaking suspicion they rocked, WHO THE HELL KNEW THEY ROCKED THAT HARD? It was insane. And you’d think they’d sign off with “The Weapon,” because LeakyCon is all about the love, but no, their last song was called, “Smells Like Harry Potter.” As you can imagine, to the tune of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Bur rather than the lyrics “Here we are now, entertain us,” you sing, “HARRY POTTER! HARRY POTTER!” Evanna Lynch was on bass! And there was SO MUCH DANCING.
After another fantastic day and late night of drinking and wrocking, it was time to ROHAN GOTOBED. (Yes, that is now a verb.)