You’ve got to love downtown Kansas City, especially when Planet Comicon is in the house.
I spent 12 hours downtown two weekends ago, not getting my superhero mojo on, but instead accompanying my daughter to a dance convention. When I found out that an “observer pass” to watch the convention was $40 (hello to a great big “Oh heck no!” on that) I decided to go free range in the city and intermittently “check in” on my teenager. This translates to: I brought her Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers in four-hour intervals.
My first stop was to venture deep into the belly of Comicon — or as far as they would let me go without paying an entrance fee. I was intrigued by the vast and varied collection of adults in costumes. Mind you, these weren’t just off-the-rack costumes from one of those Halloween superstores that pop up every fall in iffy strip malls like weeds in your neighbor’s yard because they’re trying an “organic” approach to turf maintenance. No sir, these costumes were, in some cases, works of art.
I was blown away by the attention to detail, the craftsmanship and the significant cha-ching that must have gone into creating these masterpieces. I know, right now you’re thinking, “What does this woman know about cha-ching? She was too cheap to pay 40 bucks to see her daughter dance.” And you’ve got a point there. So, just to put a numerical price tag on this discussion one Star Wars guy (from Omaha) told me his costume was in the thousands of dollars territory. But wait there’s more. He and his girlfriend, a very scantily clad Poison Ivy, travel all over the United States going to different Comicons and he shared that their travel budget was 15 grand!
I had to pull out my advanced middle-aged mom card and inquire if both of these young adults had any student loans they could be paying off with that money. That earned me the finger from Poison Ivy, which, I thought, was very unbecoming to the superhero universe.
I quickly moved on to asking people leaving Comicon if they were giving away candy in the exhibit space. The answer was a surprising no. This confused me because if I was going to go to all the trouble to dress up in a costume (back story — I hate wearing costumes. Seriously, if I get an invite to a Halloween party where costumes are required I get weepy. At my age I put on my mom jeans and go as a Saturday Night Live skit in an effort to counterbalance all the women in tramp-a-doodle-doo costumes attempting to share their over-40 charms.) I would expect at the very least a full-size — no, I take that back — a king-size Snickers bar out of it. This is America, people. Does parading around in a costume not equal candy?
After I worked my head around the fact that Comicon is not a Hershey bar or Reese’s related event, I started asking all the extremely nice attendees (minus one certain Poison Ivy) if I could take superhero selfies with them. I then flooded my son’s phone with these selfies and refused to stop until he sent me photographic evidence that he had, indeed, mowed the grass.
After my exciting Comicon adventure, I headed out to ride the new streetcars. I went from Power & Light to Union Station with a gaggle of some mass transit newbies. First, they were concerned about the “long line” to get on the streetcar. Umm, have they never been Costco on a Saturday? I’ve waited in line longer to check out five gallons of olive oil and a sheet cake bigger than a beach towel at the mighty Costco than I did to catch the streetcar.
They were also flustered by what I call elevator protocol. The whole “people get off before you get on” concept. When the streetcar stopped, they made a mad rush for the doors and darted in and around folks disembarking, causing just a big old WTH? Then once they were on the streetcar they began a barrage of streetcar selfies. This I could get behind. My son had yet to send me a picture of our yard looking groomed. So, I began my second selfie campaign of the day. This one worked. #mowedyard.
All in all, downtown Kansas City works. It’s vibrant and has some awesome newfound swagger. I was there with thousands of people, many from out-of-town, and I was proud when I could share that this was my home.
Let me know if you want a streetcar or superhero selfie. ;)