Wednesday morning dawned and with it the rising awareness that today I had to perform. I was last up in the day, so I had some time to prepare. I started by waiting until everyone had left the hotel room. I'm quite happy to stand up in front of all sorts of people to give my talks, but I draw the line at rehearsing in front of anyone. When the hotel room was empty, I sorted out all my props: the dictionaries, the magnifying glass, the (printed out) Kindle, the bugs, and of course the box itself. There were some props I still needed, so I wrote a list. I ran through the talk, noted that I was running pretty close to the time limit; I was going to have to be careful.
I packed everything up into my bag, tucked the folded up box under my arm, and set off to the 7-11. I purchased a Go Card (which is what Brisbane use for public transport tickets), and three bags of lollies. Then I set off to the bottle shop. The bloke at the bottle shop was a little dubious when I requested a can of beer ... any beer. Eventually, he found me a single stubby of XXXX. I'm in Brisbane, obviously ;)
The bag was getting pretty heavy by then, so I flagged down a cab and jumped in.
Once at QUT, I hiked over to the room I would be speaking in and harassed the volunteers there until they let me dump my stuff in a corner. Then I sat down and watched the talk running in there to check out the room.
The middle part of the day was spent flitting between talks, meeting friends, and generally geeking out. All part of the LCA fun!
And then it was back to my room, the time was upon me! With the help of friends, we sat up and packed the black box, and watched the room slowly fill. So many people! My guess would be at least sixty people came, although I've had people suggest it could have been more.
I popped the balloon, managed to catch the bouncy ball (phew!), and that was pretty cool. I pulled out the first thing from the box, the tiny diary. Threw it over my shoulder, got a couple of giggles. By the time I had started throwing everything over my shoulder, but chose judiciously *not* to throw the bottle of beer, the crowd was laughing along nicely. I was set!
Until I pulled out the plastic cutlass ...
I wave it around a little, and then strike a pose and give the sword a giant swish ... and watch the blade go sailing out over the audience, narrowly missing a startled-looking bloke in the front row. I began to panic, suddenly realised that no one actually got hurt, took a deep breath, and then threw the handle after it. After that, it didn't really matter what I did, the audience laughed.
I got hammered with questions, I got mobbed by people afterwards, and I haven't been able to walk anywhere without being hurled questions and congratulations ever since. And I've learned something, too: being a rockstar is tiring. Can I go home now? I need some sleep.