(Part 3 of our trip to Rhode Island Comic-Con)
After a fantastic time on Friday night, we ventured back on Saturday, knowing full well that it would be much more crowded and we would not be able to do much more than the photo ops we still had scheduled. Before heading to the photo-op room, we took one more swing by the Supernatural and Walking Dead rooms, just to see if there was anyone there that hadn’t been there on Friday night. Sure enough – there was “Merle”! We got in line. Again, DC does not know who he is and again, he would be acting as my stand in. There were two women in front of us that asked me to take their photo with Merle (Michael Rooker) and of course I obliged. Knowing as we do how DC can not resist a camera, especially one in his mother’s hands; he jumped in the photo with the two women. The more I tried to explain to him that he was next and he needed to move out of the ladies’ picture the more he held his ground and the bigger the smile became. I finally had to go over and take him by the arm away from the picture. Unfortunately it was not my camera or I would have certainly taken a picture of DC photo bombing Michael Rooker, but alas… I only have the one that we took when it was DC’s turn.
We were lucky that we were able to get one of our Saturday ops done on Friday night (Alex Kingston). That was helpful but we still had the scheduling conflict with Jim Beaver and Karen Gillian to contend with.
Jim Beaver was scheduled for 12:45 – 1:15 and the other was scheduled for 12:45 – 1:30. We decided to get Jim Beaver done first. Explaining the conflict to a volunteer in order to find out how early we could get in line for Jim Beaver, I took out my printed, bar coded ticket that clearly stated: “You must present this ticket with the Bar Code and e-mail address visible” to double-check the time I had written on the ticket. She looked at it and told us we could probably get in line at about 12:30. We walked around a bit and went back to get in line at the time she had given us. I gave the same volunteer my ticket and she said “Oh no, we can’t take those paper tickets. You have to get in that line over there and trade them in for cards.”
We had used the paper ticket the night before for Alex Kingston with no problem and there was nothing posted or announced to inform people about trading in their paper tickets. We went and exchanged our paper tickets and got through the Jim Beaver photo-op (a longer story; already covered in Part 1) and moved right on to the Karen Gillian line.
The “line” outside the corralled line went all the way through the arena and through all of the vendor booths. We had to keep checking that we were actually still in the line and not just stuck behind people at the vendor tables. I’m sure the vendors were just thrilled that the line was blocking their tables and customers from getting at their tables.
There were no volunteers around checking to see that people were in the right line or to be sure that people waiting in line were aware of this paper ticket exchange. No one was overseeing any of this at all.
When one is in a line for such a long time, one begins to bond with the people in close proximity. There was a boy in front of us that looked to be about 15 years old. He was with a friend about the same age. We discussed The Walking Dead for quite some time. We discussed our “Glen’ theories (this was during the “Is Glen dead” or “Is Glen under the dumpster” weeks of limbo). I told him that I thought that because they were carrying it on so long that we would find out finally that yes, Glen is alive and because we would all be so happy about that, they would kill him (or Maggie) off very shortly afterwards (that’s my theory and I am sticking to it). Eventually he asked me about how much I paid for the photo-op ticket. I told him I really didn’t remember because I bought it so long ago on-line. He said, “I have 50.00 on me, that should be enough, right?”. This would be the first time my heart broke in this line. I looked at him and said “Please don’t tell me you don’t have a ticket yet.”
He didn’t. He thought he would be able to buy one when he got to the front. He didn’t know that they had to be purchased before getting in the line. He had been in line with us at that point a good 45 minutes. I told him not to get out of line until we could find out for sure. We got the attention of a volunteer to see if he could buy a ticket at the front of the line. He couldn’t. I felt so bad for them! But again, there was no guidance at all. There were no signs, there was no one checking for tickets, there was no one to tell anyone exactly what they were supposed to do.
Somewhere around the hour mark, we made it to the corral and the actual line. This is where the confusion really began. We just stopped moving. The photo-op was way over it’s 45 minute scheduled time. People were now really confused because no one was explaining why we stopped – were we now in line for the next person? Is Karen Gillian gone? While we were all standing there wondering why we stopped moving, we noticed that there was a good number of people sitting up in the bleachers and they were now being directed down to the line. Those 50 or more people were actually ahead of us but there were so many people at the entrance to the corral, it was considered a fire hazard so they had to move them out.
Seriously, what did they expect when they sold probably triple (maybe more) the photo ops that can be taken in a 45 minute session? There were too many people in line. There were people getting in line for whoever was supposed to have that room after Karen Gillian- no one is telling any one what to do. This had to cause scheduling conflicts not only for the attendees but for the celebrities that may have had to be at a panel, or at their tables, or for the people coming to the op rooms next.
We stood in this same spot for another 30 minutes. People were beginning to worry that she would leave before everyone in line made it inside. In front of us was a woman and her two daughters – the second group of people that we bonded with in this line. We talked for a long while and when DC started yelling “I’m out of here!” over and over again, the girls went out of their way to talk him down. We saw pictures of them in their Halloween costumes – all Dr. Who themed. DC enjoyed that. They were wonderful and I believe they were almost solely responsible for keeping him in line.
We finally started to move and made it into the corral. The corral moved quickly and it was the mother and the two little girls’ turn to go in. The mother showed the volunteer her electronic tickets on her phone which earlier in the day she was told would be fine. But in true RI Comic-Con form was told that THEY WERE NOT GOOD. THEY’D HAVE TO GO AND EXCHANGE THEIR TICKETS TOO!!!! An hour and a half in line and no one saw fit to announce this or check with the people in line about this change with the paper and apparently now the electronic tickets?
At this point, the little girl who was so excited to show me her Amy Pond – complete with suitcase and boots (she already had the red hair) – Halloween picture, burst into tears and they left the line. I just stood there in shock! We were next and of course, me being me, could not keep my mouth shut. I screamed at the volunteer collecting tickets. “That girl just stood in this line for an hour and a half and you just made her cry! You can’t just change the ticket procedure and not tell people!” Then…. I noticed him holding a bunch of tickets cards (like we had to exchange our paper tickets for) AND he also had a handful of paper tickets!!!
“And WHY are you holding paper tickets? We were told they were not good and had to exchange them! Why are you taking paper tickets? Why wouldn’t you take the electronic tickets if you are taking the paper tickets that you aren’t supposed to be taking?!”
Say it with me….. “I don’t know, I’m only a volunteer.”
There may or may not have been a few choice ‘words’ thrown in his general direction.
We went inside. DC was DONE with this, but even though she was an hour and a half, I believe, over her scheduled time, Karen really did make an effort to chat quickly with him. He really was just too distracted and over it by this time and once again they made him take his glasses off, so that was fun. I was distracted too about little Amy Pond crying and did not intervene as much as I would normally have to redirect him to get him back on track.
We took the picture and left the room but we had to wait for the photo to come out. While Doug waited for the picture, I went on a hunt to find this woman and if she wasn’t going to yell at people to get them back in that line in front of everyone, I was going to yell at people for her. I could not get over the sight of that poor kid bursting into tears.
I could not find them anywhere so DC and I went back to where we had left Doug waiting for the picture. It finally came out and DC seemed happy to see it even though he was not thrilled when he was having it taken. We decided that we had been there quite long enough for that day.
We did have one more op scheduled with Scott Wilson but we already had a photo of him that we took at his table the night before so I had Doug just give it away. I know this was a colossal waste of money but I just couldn’t put DC though that again. He was done and so was I.
We did run into the woman and her girls on the way out and I was happy to hear that they were able to get back in line – IN the FRONT of the line and have their picture taken. I was glad to see her daughter smiling again.
DC ran into a few more princesses on the way out which put him in a much better mood.
I really still just wanted to find people to yell at.
I do understand that waiting and lines are the norm. We have been to NY Comic-Con which is much larger and of course we waited – of course it was crowded and of course there were lines, but it was just so much more organized. There was no comparison.
Next (and last) – on a happier note, his favorite person of the Con.