Monday, February 7, 2005

Karen's Joke File #4: The Con and the Corn Flakes

The following is a joke that I suspect needs to be told out loud, if at all, preferably at great length, with even more complications than I've put in here.  I first heard it at a science fiction convention many years ago, probably Anonycon or Marcon.  Those of you who have gotten lost in labyrinthine convention hotels should appreciate the premise, if not the joke itself.  In fact, I'll be interested to know whether anyone at all likes it in written form.  You've been warned.

The good news is that I'll be posting the last of my joke file entries tomorrow. 

Joke #4: The Con and the Corn Flakes.

A nineteen-year-old science fiction fan--we'll call her Evelyn--is at her very first "real" (fan-run) science fiction convention.  Having spent nearly all of her meager funds on books and video, buttons and bumper stickers, she's looking for a way to save money on food.

"That's easy," says her friend, whose name is Chris.  "Load up on junk food and soda at the con suite.  It's not the most nutritious stuff in the world, but you can't beat the price."

"Con suite?" asks the newbie.  "Price?"

"I forget you haven't been to one of these things before.  A con suite is sort of a hangout and hospitality suite set up by the con committee.  Pretty much all real conventions have them.  There will be a bathtub full of canned soda on ice, plus coffee and tea and free snacks in the room itself.  Usually the snacks are just chips and cheese curls, but sometimes there's cheese and crackers or veggie trays or whatever.  Some of the classier cons even have hot food if you time it right.  You can live on con suite food if you have to, although I don't recommend it."

"Sounds great," says Evelyn.  "So where's the con suite?"

"I don't know yet," says Chris.  "Let's ask somebody."

So they go to the con's registration table.  Two of the volunteers are busy typing up name tags and handing out bags with the program and the schedule, but they find someone who isn't busy at the moment and ask him where the con suite is.

"I haven't made it away from this table yet," says the volunteer. "I think it's down the hall over there, around the corner, down the hall, round the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the hall, and it's the third door on the left."

"We can't just take the elevator?" asks Evelyn.

"Nope.  No elevator," says the volunteer.  "This place only has two floors, plus the basement."

"You'd better repeat those directions, then," says Chris.

The volunteer sighs.  "Okay.  It's down the hall over there, around the corner, down the hall, round the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the hall, and it's the third door on the left."

"Let me see if I've got this straight," says Chris.  "It's down the hall over there, around the corner, down the hall, round the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the hall, down the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the hall, and it's the third door on the left."

"No, you've got it wrong," says the volunteer.  "It's down the hall over there, around the corner, down the hall, round the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, down the hall, round the corner, down the hall, and it's the third door on the left."

"Isn't that what I just said?" Chris asks.

"No, it isn't," says the volunteer.  "Your version of my directions would take you to the snack bar, and it's not open."

"Oh.  Sorry," Chris says.  "Have you got all that, Evelyn?"

"I think so," says Evelyn, although she's far from sure about this.  "Aren't you coming with me?"

"No, sorry.  John Scalzi's on a panel in 20 minutes, and I don't want to miss it.  You can do it.  It's just a two story hotel. The worst that happens is you have to explore for a bit."

"I'll give it a try," says Evelyn.  She sets off down the hall, around the corner, down the next hall, around the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, and down one more hall, but doesn't see anything she thinks might be a con suite.  Finally she finds someone with a con badge on.  "Excuse me.  Can you tell me where the con suite is?"

"You're almost there," said the other fan.  "It's down that hall, around the corner, down the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, around the corner, and then it's the second door on the right."

"Down that hall, around the corner, down the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, around the corner, and then it's the second door on the right?"

"You've got it," says the other fan.

So Evelyn goes down the hall, around the corner, down the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, and around the corner. When she gets to the second door on the right, she finds that it's labeled "The Zero Room" with blue Astrobright paper.  Presumably, Evelyn thinks, that means it's the con suite.  She hears voices inside, sounding a little angry.  But when she opens the door, a cute guy blocks her way.  He steps out into the hall and shuts the door.

"Sorry," he says, "but the con suite is closed until 10 AM for a staff meeting."

Having had nothing but a White Castle hamburger since the previoius afternoon, Evelyn doesn't think she can hold out until 10 AM. "Can you tell me where I can get something to eat?"

"Without driving, you mean?" says the con staffer. "Hmm.  There's really no place within walking distance outside the hotel, and the snack bar's closed for renovation--which we're pretty angry about, actually.  If you don't want to wait until ten, your best bet is the hotel restaurant on the second floor."

"How do I get to it?"

"Go down this hall, around the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, around the corner, and it's at the end of the hall."

"Go down this hall, around the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, around the corner, and it's at the end of the hall?"

"Yup. Excuse me," he says, as the voices behind him suddenly get louder and angrier, "but I've got to get back in there."

"Okay. Thanks," says Evelyn.  She goes down the hall, around the corner, up the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs, and around the corner, and finds the restaurant at the end of the hall.  There are only four people eating in there, and they're all wearing con badges.  She notices that two of them are eating corn flakes, one is eating an omelette, and one has a large blueberry muffin and a glass of juice.  Hmm, Evelyn thinks.  I guess I'll have the corn flakes.  It's probably the cheapest thing on the menu.

The moral of the story: in a pinch, three out of five sf fans will make do with corn flakes.

Karen

4 comments:

plittle said...

You heard that at a Skiffy Con? Just serves to verify my suspicions about those things. I first heard that joke in about grade 5.
-Paul
http://journals.aol.ca/plittle/AuroraWalkingVacation/

chasferris said...

Laughing out load...at myself. not because I get the joke, but because I don't. See comment below>>> You couldn't have heard this joke in fifth grade because it has no pee or poo in it.  Fifth grade is bathroom humor, and how bad they smell. Labarynthine jokes must be Sci Fi convention humor... as as they say in in UK, humour.

plittle said...

I don't know. Fifth grade, here in Ontario at least, is 10-11 years old. I had pretty much exhausted the permutations of pee-pee and poo-poo humour before I reached double digits. Picked it up again after thirty, though, because, you know, it's funny.
-Paul

ryanagi said...

tsk. this one just made me groan. lol