Airbag Industries

Jewel.

Standing in the middle of the huge hall I slowly turned to scan the surroundings, mapping out where I was in relation to the rest of the event and plotting my next course. There was enough visual ephemera to choke a Bob Costas narrated Olympic opening ceremonies but it was all so damn cool. No schedule, no where to be any real time soon, I stood there and soaked it all in.

Across from me two girls walked by, looked at me and stopped. We stood across this intersection and looked at each other for a few seconds. They were pointing and getting out their cameras while I started to panic and wonder why they were pointing at me and getting out their cameras. Not wanting to be the but of some weird convention thing I waved to them and asked what they were pointing at.

One of them looked at me as if I had just moved to town after a life time of living in a sheltered, land locked nation (which I had), “Turn around.”

I did. Directly behind me was nothing special but an old guy with horrible hair, dressed in a sports coat and jeans combo complete with black cowboy boots.

More people started to walk by, glance, stop, and jaw drop. This puzzled me. I knew I was ignorant to a lot of the behind the scenes trivia but this person didn’t seem to be any special other than he’s likely to be on a most wanted list in more than a few counties.

I turned back to the girls, who were now taking as many photos as allowed by gaps in the walking crowd, and moved over to them—turning to gain their vantage point, hoping that it would help make sense of the badly dressed urban cowboy thug who’s popularity continued to grow.

“Who is that,” I asked.

I got this look that’s normally reserved for commercials like Feed the Children or whatever the hell cause Sally Struthers is shlepping—her thoughts could be read like word balloons: “Oh, you poor starving refrigerator repairman and/or private detective, you must have been raised in a cave.”

With a smirk and raised eyebrow when one of them replied, “That’s Gene Simmons.”

I looked back, clearly unimpressed thinking that if I had been a KISS fan I would be very disappointed right now considering Gene’s JcPenny Fall Catalog chique.

My interest in the thirty second scene waned. I turned and plodded along with the crowd, taking in the sights and sounds. Later in the day I would come across a replica of Boba Fett that was only sold in Japan. I stood, pointed, and reached for my wallet as, in this circumstance, a photo or five would simply not do.

With one bad-ass bounty hunter in hand I decided to call it a day and prepare for the multi-hour journey home. As much as I loved the weirdness and wonderment of ComicCon, northbound traffic from San Diego can be hell on a Sunday afternoon.