Well, rooms for the 38th Annual San Diego Comic Con officially went on sale at 9 AM Pacific Time this morning and it took less than a half hour for every hotel room in Southern California to be completely filled. I tried constantly phoning and rephoning the housing number for reservations even as I went to the website to try for rooms that way, but I never got anything other than a busy signal on the phone and every time it looked like I'd managed to book something through the website, it would kick me off when I hit confirm, and by the time I got back in again, whatever room I thought I had was long gone. It was, frankly, one of the most frustrating and infuriating mornings of my life. By the third or fourth time I was kicked out of the system, I found myself screaming and pounding on my desk in a blind rage.
At the end of the hour, when I realized the closest rooms I would be able to find at the con rates would be at my own house a good two hour drive from San Diego, I decided to change tactics and I started going to the hotels' own websites to look for reservations instead. I managed to find what I was later told was the last remaining room at one of the major hotels for a rate that was slightly more than DOUBLE what I would have paid through the con. After the reservation was confirmed, I called the hotel and spoke to a very helpful clerk who managed to knock a hundred bucks off the room rates for each of my first two nights. The remaining two nights remain the same. Since I've got five months between now and the con, I intend to call the hotel periodically to see if I can keep whittling away at the thousand dollar difference between the cheaper rate and what I'm paying now. I'll let you know if I wind up being able to afford anything to eat at the con, or if you'll all need to bring me sandwiches.
Every year the con gets bigger and the available room space gets smaller. To paraphrase a Dolly Parton quote I've used on this blog before, it's like trying to stuff every potato in the state of Idaho into a ten pound bag. Some serious rethinking needs to be done on the part of the Con Committee and it needs to be done soon. Otherwise, I envision the San Diego Convention Center eventually starting to look like Hong Kong harbor, with thousands of people living on the water nearby in makeshift boats.
Still, there was one positive aspect of this morning's madness. At least now we know why Joseph and Mary ended up sleeping in that stable on that fateful night. Apparently, there was a Comic Con going on in Bethlehem that weekend.
SHUT IN THEATER: Weekend Reading 178
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