Featuring the meandering thoughts of guest Phantomanic Needless Things reporter extraordinaire Liz.
"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting." ~ The 3rd Doctor
The hotel check-in line.
The registration line.
The Chick-Fil-A line.
The Atrium Ballroom Line.
The Regency Ballroom Line.
The line for the bathroom.
The line for the escalator.
The line to get out of the escalator line.
The line for the next escalator.
The Starbucks line. The Habit Trail lines. The Walk of Fame lines. The Blood Donation lines. The photography lines. Lines you expected to be in. Lines you didn’t know you were in. Lines that you breeze past on your way to your own line.
After four years at Dragon Con I was a master of lines. A line master. A grand pooba of lines and waiting in lines. I had line snacks. Reading material for getting to a line early. Directions to get to my line. Directions for those who stopped to ask me where the end of the line was. A camera to take crazy pictures of the line. I usually forget the comfortable shoes for standing in line part though.
And THEN. I remember it like it was yesterday. Dragon Con Registration Line – 2012.
I knew something was wrong as I approached the Sheraton. Where was the line wrapping around the outside of the building? Had registration been cancelled? Was I here on the wrong day?! Was I in an episode of the Twilight Zone where I’m the only person left on earth?!?! Hmmmm…
Once inside the Sheraton I noticed something strange. Colored lines on the floor. Maybe they’d been there in the past guiding people onwards to certain registration lines but I was used to following other people. Where were the people.
Once I stepped inside the ballroom I realized what was going on. ALTERNATE REALITY. Image a reality where you visit a convention and THERE ARE NO LINES. What was I going to do with the snacks jammed in my bag? How was I going to finish the new book I had grabbed? How was I going to catch up with the LAST YEAR of my friends’ lives WITHOUT my registration line time?
2012 was the year that Dragon Con implemented some new registration procedures which resulted in an alternate reality where I did not stand in line at all to get my badge (is it a real, authentic Dragon Con badge if you didn’t stand in line for it?). I mistakenly thought that it would be like this every year after. And while that would not be true I’ve never had to stand in a registration line for more than an hour or so since 2012.
Despite the thrill of NOT being in line for that single, fleeting moment of time back in 2012 I love my Dragon Con lines.
“Straight lines go too quickly to appreciate the pleasures of the journey. They rush straight to their target and then die in the very moment of their triumph without having thought, loved, suffered or enjoyed themselves. Broken lines do not know what they want. With their caprices they cut time up, abuse routes, slash the joyous flowers and split the peaceful fruits with their corners. It is another story with curved lines. The song of the curved line is called happiness.” - René Crevel
Tips for Being in Line:
Know when to sit, when to stand and when to MOVE.
Bring a book or word puzzles or brain teasers.
Make a friend. Make several friends (they come in handy if you have to leave one line for the other, ie your current line to the bathroom line and back).
Bring water (not soda).
Know where your line begins.
Don’t freak out when your line wraps around two or three corners of the building. Most of the ballrooms are HUGE.
Here’s a scale for judging where you’ll be in a large ballroom by which corner of the building you are nearest:
1st corner of the building = Front third of the room
2nd corner of the building = middle of the room
3rd corner of the building = back of the room
4th corner of the building = very back of the room
5th corner of the building/you’re lining up next to your own line = you’re in line for William Shatner, George Takai or the Mythbusters. Give up now.
After all, you never know when the lines are going to disappear.