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Posted March 10, 2007 by Creator in Makers
 
 

Defcon @ the 2007 Fiery Foods Show


Well, here we are again. Another memorable trip at the Fiery Foods show. Nick had asked if I’d be willing to do another write-up (you can read the 2006 recap here) on the show, and with the, shall we say interesting things that happened, I was more than happy to oblige.

Defcon Does Fiery Foods

It’s 4:45am on Thursday, and I’m getting my tired butt out of bed for the impending 6:15am flight. We arrive at the airport, uneventfully, and I board the 767. We arrive in Houston, again uneventfully, but this is to change, and set the tone for the next 5 days. We hop on board one of the lovely sardine-can Continental Jet Express planes for the last leg of our pilgrimage to Albuquerque. These aircraft suck, as they were built for emaciated midgets. I would’ve chosen a prop job over this toothpick fuselage. However, all was not lost, as it was a very turbulent ride, just the way I like it. Watching the frightened little bipeds clutching their seats in abject fear, as myself and The Createss have our hands raised, yelling out “WOOHOO!” as if it were an overpriced roller coaster ride. Great stuff! We are about 45 minutes outside Albuquerque, when the attendant, whose features reminded me of a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz gets on the horn and asks if anyone is a medical doctor. No one answers. Shortly thereafter the pilot sounds over the PA system that we have to make an emergency landing due to a medical problem. Hmmm, never been involved in one of these, LET’S DO IT! Well, needless to say, I have never landed in any aircraft as quickly as we did. It put landing in Logan airport in Boston look like a piece of cake. After hitting terminal velocity, and having my stomach in my throat as we descended, the pilot states we have to taxi to our parking spot. Yeah, ok, it was like the Daytona 500, awesome stuff. We then approach a virtual gauntlet of emergency vehicles, complete with a paramedic waving the directional batons. I should have videotaped it, but I’ll get to why that wouldn’t have mattered a little later. Well, the elderly woman was able to walk off the plane, and I thanked her for shortening our flight time, what a woman!

Ok, we’re in Albuquerque. We gather our luggage, hopped aboard the shuttle, and made our way to the Sandia Resort & Casino. We unpacked upstairs, and brought down various items we would need for the booth in a gym bag. We entered our booth and gazed upon our annual Mt. Everest that lay in wait for us. We began setting things up, and I went to get the video and still cameras out of the gym bag to snap a few shots. The bag was gone! We looked everywhere, and got a hold of the Casino Security. They fanned out, and looked for the person(s) that had stolen about $1500 worth of electronic equipment. No luck. Now, here’s the criminal mind at work; They valet parked their car. With the multitude of cameras in the casino, they got all 4 people involved on camera, as well as the license plates and the car. I also found out that Casino Security is not much more than a bunch of mall cops. They had to call in the real Sandia Police, who responded promptly and took our statement and incident report. They told me they knew where the guy lived from his license plates. Great, I thought. Well, 5 days later I heard nothing. Let’s just say the woeful ineptitude of security personnel was blindingly obvious. They were more worried about people bringing beer to their booths during setup than checking for vendor badges and letting criminals wander around stealing stuff. Atlantic City makes the Sandia Casino Security look like a bunch of brainless morons endlessly searching for their own foreheads. But more of that later, let’s get back to the show.

Defcon Does Fiery Foods

We got back to setting up, and realized that our backdrop and other important items for the booth were also in the gym bag, time to improvise. Let’s just say at this point, The Creator was NOT a happy camper (the understatement of the year). I began hooking up the wiring to the booth, attempting to stem the seething anger I was feeling. We got most of the booth set up that evening, but I had to get out of there, and put off the rest of the setup until the next day, as I was going to start breaking stuff. We met up with Devil Duck (Lynn) and his wife, Kim. What awesome people, and we were happy we got to meet them, as they became our link to the outside world of the Sandia Resort and Unsecured Casino. We proceeded to the bar, for a well-deserved beer, and started meeting up with other individuals that had made the pilgrimage here. MSK reared his head, unsigned at this point, and we talked for a bit. We took over the end of the bar, and awaited our refreshments. Little did I know, the bar staff were taught their trade from the Escargot School of Speed. We eventually got beers, and began to hang out. Lynn, Paul (from Bodine’s) and myself were discussing various business stuff, and Aaron and DK showed up with Dan (from Badgerland). It didn’t take long for Dan to be the first Guinea Pig for the ZERO batch #4, and I was more than happy to oblige his need. Oh, the Tears of Pain were lovely. Brian Luna jumped the gate to join us, and also joined Dan in the ZERO Happy Dance.

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Lynn wanted to meet more of the “Fathers of Industry” so we headed to one of the bar tables with Nick, MSK, Danny Cash, Lee, Pepperman, Mike & Dan, etc. and began the festivities. The ZERO was being passed around, and all were happy, as was I, to be able to bring such Tears of Pain to everyone. My Acolytes (Larry & Miriam) got to the Sandia Resort and Unsecured Casino about midnight. These two would be the Dynamic Duo that weekend. We drank until closing, and went to our respective places of rest. Oh, did I mention, I forgot to eat dinner?

Defcon Does Fiery Foods

Friday morning came, and we went to the Groundhog Day Breakfast Buffet and ingested our nourishment. TO THE BOOTH! The 4 of us (Myself, The Createss, Acolyte Larry & Acolyte Miriam) got to work finishing up the booth before the trade people were let in. Dan stopped by real quick and told me the box with the Habby Horse labels was missing. I laughed at his dark sense of humor, and got back to work on the booth. Shortly after, Mike walked up. I looked at him, and noticed all was not well in Land of the Badger, but the illness was to spread to Defcon. Mike, red-faced and quite upset explained that Dan wasn’t joking about the Habby Horse labels. “OH JOY!”, I exclaimed. Let me explain a little. The Habby Horse came down to crunch time. Bodines was nice enough to ship the Habby on their pallet, and put the 30+ cases in our booth. They hadn’t been labeled yet, and Badgerland was going to supply the labels when we arrived, no big deal”¦Until now. Well, let’s just say, The Creator was even less of a happy camper at this point, and dark, evil thoughts began seeping into my psyche. Mike explained that they went to Plan B, and that UPS should be dropping the labels off any minute as a Critical Delivery. Well, to make a long story short, about 9:30 came, and so did Mike with our labels. The booth next to us was vacant, so the Defcon Collective assimilated it and turned it in to a labeling station. Mike, Aaron, Larry, Miriam, The Createss and myself (did I forget anyone?) pounded out the 30+ cases in about 30 minutes, THANK YOU ALL FOR THE HELP! And a special thanks to Badgerland for pulling through. I still think they did it as a prank to make my life a little more interesting, LOL!

Defcon Does Fiery Foods

Well, the Trade people were walking about, as were many collectors and bloggers. I was surprised how many wholesalers and distributors approached us and placed orders. It was many more than last year. Cajohn and a few others had stated that the first year they see you set up, they will make a mental note of you, the next year they will see you are for real and will approach you, pretty cool. Many orders for the pre-release Batch #4’s were made (which is now SOLD OUT), and of course many wanted to try the stuff. And if you know me, I was more than happy to administer them pain, it’s in my nature. As we walked around, I met a number of manufacturers I hadn’t before, as last year it was just me and The Createss, with no other help, and we never got a chance to leave the booth. With Acolyte Larry & Acolyte Miriam helping, we actually got to leave our isolation booth and wander about. Devil Duck arrived with our cooler full of dry ice, which was gladly received. As we would, as of now, and until the final Battle of Gettysburg on Sunday, have the coldest beer in the show. Twas an excitable time to be alive.

Also during this time, I was able to bring into play my “Laser Glove”, a neat little item with 4 red laser apertures affixed to the fingertips. The aisles only had a few people in them, and I spotted a gentleman way towards the front of the hall by the stage. I hit his chest with the laser, and he began frantically running around trying to get away from the red dot, needless to say, it was fun for all, sans the victim. I was able to secure a few N2-59’s from Blair’s booth, and had heard they sold out rather soon after I left, good for him. I proceeded to the veranda outside for a quick smoke before the Gates of Hell were opened, allowing the Hellspawn to descend upon us in a wave assault. Yeah, the public. Myself and a bunch of other manufacturers met for our final cigarette, to discuss battle tactics, and then returned to our posts awaiting the initial assault. The assault came, and our products left, this time being paid for, unlike the gym bag. Many had heard of the release of the Habby Horse, and came solely for that, and left quite pleased with many jars. It was only 3 hours of public placation that day, a small battle, but the war of attrition had only begun. We called it a relatively early evening, as we, of the Defcon Order, realized the reality of it, and tomorrow we would need our strength, as it would be the Battle of Shuffling Protoplasm at sunrise, for 8 hours this time. The Soldiers of Righteousness then gathered in the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino lobby for The Grand Picture, a picture for The Ages. After that, the Paladins of Capsaicin were dismissed and went to their various locations to consume massive quantities of alcohol. Bodine’s took us out to dinner that evening, at The Council Room, the steakhouse inside the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino. The company was much better than the food, as I think I saw strap marks on my steak, but so be it, it mattered not, as we were amongst friends of The High Order within the Defcon Continuum. After dinner we departed and met up for beers at the Unsecured Casino Bar, where many glasses were tipped and contents consumed. We made a trip to the roof bar that evening, where the Generals of Manufacturing would discuss tactics for the battle the next day. Many vessels of inebriation were consumed that evening, and many jokes were told (So, a baby seal walks into a club), yet thru all the levity, the true thoughts were of honor and courage for the forthcoming day of battle. It was good to have eaten that night, for I would need all my strength for the second phase of The Three Day War on the inevitable next day.

Defcon Does Fiery Foods

The Horse had sprouted wingsSaturday came, and the Groundhog Day breakfast, consisting of cloned food from a day ago, was consumed. We manned our posts for the 2 hours of relative peace during trade time, but were well aware of what was yet to come. The calm before the storm was at hand, and we savored the fleeting moments as would a moth before it enters the flame. The Horns of Ragnarok sounded, and The Gates of the Bifrost Bridge opened, behind them were the masses, formerly spoken of only in legend. They approached, we stood firm, our Habby Horse flew off the shelf in a near mass panic, as if The Horse had sprouted wings. For many of the horde had seen us on Channel 4 the previous night and again in the morning for our interview, and the closeup of the Habby Horse label. They took these broadcasts as divine omen and made their pilgrimage to our booth to acquire the essence of The Horse. We placated the masses, with samples of our wares, and yet, though we had thought our efforts would surpass the need of the horde, they kept coming. The Four Horsemen of the Defcon Collective stayed our posts, our strength never waning, and stood tall against the odds. Then it happened, the unthinkable, our wireless crashed, and we were unable to complete any credit card transactions. This was yet another glorious screw-up from the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino. Sales we did lose, the count were dozens, yet once again the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino would not apologize, which seems to this day the status quo. Vendors, their numbers many, had fallen to this plague of anti-capitalism injected with a smattering of stupidity, and their sales faltered for the moment as well. As this cyber-disease was recognized for what it was, I quickly made my way to the dry ice containment unit and cracked open a Fosters, for only this nectar would free me from seriously going postal. The day ended, our booth had withstood the human storm. We exited the battlefield, heads held high, and proceeded to our room to get out of our sauce-coated uniforms, preparing for the free feast that awaited us at El Pinto Restaurant. Devil Duck and his wife once again came to the rescue, and gave the Defcon Crew a ride to the restaurant. Upon arrival, most seats were taken, but it mattered not, the beer was free. I discussed the days goings-on with the likes of ChiliHeadEd, DK, and others, and we departed back to the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino. We walked in and noticed the line of proverbial lemmings waiting to get into the already overflowing Unsecured Casino Bar, and we made our pilgrimage to the roof bar yet again. I tried to be a good soul and save my strength for the final battle, but the Winds of Fosters called to me, and my will was shattered, but for only a few hours, but it was enough to unsettle the equilibrium not only of my brain, but of my liver. I departed and made my way to my room, with fuzzy thoughts of the ensuing War of Wars a mere few hours away. Oh yeah, in all the commotion at El Pinto, I forgot to eat again.

Sunday morning, I awoke to painful cranial decay. Nope, wasn’t feelin’ too hot, but alas, the battlements must remain secured, the parapets must be manned, and the War must go on. Groundhog Day breakfast? Yup, needed nutrition. Many cigarettes on the veranda along with other tired and weary vendors, who by this point had become a tad bit punchy. Oh yes, today was the day to turn the tables. Today was the day to have fun with the public. Let the cynicism begin!

The 2 trade hours were fleeting, as was my sanity. I found solace in the fact that I wasn’t alone. Many vendors showed signs of battle fatigue, yet they stood their ground, unmoving. Once again the Horns of Ragnarok sounded, and The Gates of Doom unleashed the Hellspawn upon us for the Final Battle. Once again, I found The Horse had grown wings again, and I rode my Pegasus of Capitalism in joyous bliss. By this time, the lack of humidity had taken its toll upon the Defcon Crew. The Createss and Acolyte Miriam ceased to be able to speak (ahhhh, the silent wife, lol). The public was met with various levels of twisted sardonic wit, which, as usual, they did not comprehend. I found myself standing at the end of the booth, putting laser points on the floor in front of children, who would inevitably become mesmerized by it, and crash into other shambling bipeds. I found this amusing, yes I did. The biomass directed themselves to our booth, as if by gravitational pull. Once again, we handed out samples, and they grasped at them as if their own life essence was encased within the sample cup. Every once in a while the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino would grant us the chance to make credit card transactions, but it was spotty at best. However, this being said, the Defcon products were assimilated by the masses in unparalleled amounts. The Creator was happy. Hours went by, and battle fatigue was slowly taking its toll again. Then, as if sent by some Divine power, and angel appeared. It appeared in the guise of a gentleman from Bermuda Jams. In his hands he held a godly nectar of ginger beer and Bacardi 151. We replenished our withering strength with this elixir, and thanked him for the blessing. With regained strength we marched on, and survived the final assault. The War was won! Our cashbox relayed the message we had been hoping for, and there was much rejoicing with dry ice-chilled Fosters. All was good.

We stepped back, drew a deep breath, and began to breakdown The Defcon Fortress. During this time, I headed to our room within the confines of the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino, and met with a gentleman on the way to the elevators. He stated he was the Casino Manager. I retold him the account of our robbery and that it would show good will if they were willing to throw us a bone, perhaps a comp room or discount for our unfortunate theft. He called in his general, the Hotel Manager, a less than brilliant sort. I discussed this with him in an even, smooth tone, as I was truly upset by our robbery, but wanted to remain calm. The elderly dolt explained that due to “Tribal Law” they couldn’t comp rooms. It’s easy for some to make up a good mistruth, but not for this decrepit fool. I had spoken to many that had problems with their rooms, and received discounts or they were given their rooms free, but not for us. I explained that during setup, only about half of the people in the event hall had badges, and that his security truly sucked. My effort of remaining calm was useless, so I drew energy from my New Jersey attitude and shot back at him with near Heavenly force, as it seemed I would not win this fight. I explained how the Sandia Resort & Unsecured Casino had become a prison for us, as we had spent all of our money within the confines of his establishment the entire weekend, and to not even acknowledge our loss at the hands of his useless security goons was reprehensible. He nodded in the manner of a goat shown an apple. In disgust, I withdrew from the battle, knowing that it is impossible to discuss intelligence with the unarmed. The Createss had gone to the room during my discussions with the balding sloth, and gathered many Fosters that were imbibed during our booth breakdown.

Defcon Does Fiery Foods

Myself, The Createss, Devil Duck, Kim, Acolyte Larry and Acolyte Miriam proceeded to the Groundhog Day breakfast room for a quick bite for dinner. The rotisserie chicken looked good, but was not served, must be a “Tribal Law” thing. We ate, discussed the show, and proceeded to the roof for the Final Celebration. We gathered en masse and consumed large quantities of fermented grain. True friendships had not only been forged, but many were again reinforced. This is an industry of friendship, a true camaraderie. All agree ’tis nice to fill the wallet with Papyrus of Spending, but ’tis just as nice to call many comrades “friend”. We departed, as the clock struck the closing bell. We amassed in the elevator and many said their farewells. Not forever, as we will meet again on the Field of Battle in the near future.

Defcon Does Fiery Foods

Defcon Does Fiery Foods


Creator