July 16, 2007 by Tim

ConnectiCon was a lot of fun, as it always is, even if I wasn’t really there in an official capacity. Thank you to everyone who came to our panel Friday night. It was a good turnout, especially for such short notice. I think we had a lot of fun, I know I enjoyed it. And it was great to meet everyone who found me out and about on Saturday.

I don’t know how many of the rest of you have been to a convention before… they’re a fun little experience. However there is an issue which occurs when a bunch of geeks come out for a weekend, and that’s the occasional smelly con-goer. I’m sure any of you that have attended a con know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, there’s a chance you are the smelly con-goer.

I don’t really know what the explanation is. It could be that these individuals just don’t have a regular personal hygiene ritual. Maybe they just don’t bathe regularly, which I can’t understand. Or perhaps they are just so anxious to get to the convention and have fun that a quick shower loses out on their list of priorities.

Whatever the case may be, these individuals skip out on all cleansing rituals, and procede to run around a giant convention center, often in heavy or thick costumes. And they sweat. And they’ve forgone all lines of defense against body odor, so who suffers? Us.

Now I know it’s a sensitive issue. If you go up to someone and tell them they reek, they’re going to feel hurt, no matter how true it may be. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad, but something needs to be said. I figure if I just made a general blanket statement, and maybe one con-goer out there says to himself “hey… i think that might be me. I never realized it. Wow, I’ll make sure to put on deodorant now!”, then I feel like I’ve done my part to make the world a less smelly place.

Because I think it’s entirely possible that these people just don’t realize that their body odor is offensive. I mean our own smells don’t really offend us. If we smell, it’s constantly permeating from our body, which we are walking around with all day. Our noses adjust to tune out the smell. And if your own body odor offends you, it’s likely to kill someone else. So maybe these people are walking around thinking “well I never smell, so I just don’t need deodorant.”

I’ve done dozens of conventions during my career as a cartoonist. Smelly con-goers are not new, it’s not some new trend. What sparked this today is that nine times out of ten, the smelliest room in a convention is the gaming room. The gaming room! These are my brethren! I had to say something. Gamers have enough bad stereotypes to deal with, let’s not be the stinky ones too.

There was a rave at the convention the other night. Picture this, dozens of nerds and geeks in a small, dark ballroom, gyrating and convulsing to repetitive techno music for a couple of hours. My girlfriend is on convention staff, and she was walking around getting video footage for the convention archives, and I was tagging along. We decided to stop and get some film of the rave. Man, we took one step inside that room, and it was like getting hit in the face with an old gym sock full of rotten burritos. It was madness.

Madness? No. This. Is. Someone needs to put on some damned deodorant.

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