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ConFuzzled 4: You Are Feeling Sleepy

Everyone was tired by Sunday, and many were hungover too, while others were already nursing a morning beer. But according to JM Horse, all this just made us better subjects for his Furry Hypnotism show.

Now, I have never been comfortable around hypnotism. I am such a control freak that the idea of letting my guard down and allowing someone else into my head horrifies me, and it was only the fact that I had already met JM and knew him to be entirely made of nice that got my bum on a seat.

Relaxation and visualisation in a crowded room was as difficult for me as I'd expected, but I was able to let myself be taken, along with the rest of the audience yet alone, to a beautiful place of my own creation. When we had reluctantly returned, JM asked if anyone would care to join him on the stage and be cured of a phobia.

I had informed JM beforehand that I would come to his show because I liked him and because he had attended my writing panel, but not to be expecting me on stage. So we were both surprised when I found myself volunteering to come up and have my lifelong fear of spiders dealt with. This was achieved by Head Stuff rather than hypnotism, and was quite a weird experience for me as well as an amusing one for the audience.

The finale was the perennial crowd-pleaser of making people act like chickens.

I won't give away how any of this was achieved, but anyone interested is welcome to ask me in private. And the spider thing? Well, the other day at work I successfully shared a toilet cubicle with a fat spider which had scared off several of my colleagues. I didn't feel the urge to go over and pet it or anything, but it definitely wasn't such a big deal as before.

Overlap meant I missed a panel from the Guests of Honour on ways to write a plot. Instead, I went straight in to khakidoggy's voice acting workshop. This ended up lasting two and a half hours and left me cogitating reading some of my own stories aloud for the delectation of the internets. I also learned that the grunting noises made by tennis players, soldiers and weightlifters are called 'efforts'. I hear all sorts of efforts at karate.

By this time, reports were filtering in from the #CFz2013 hashtag on Twitter that something exceptional was going on in the art auction. This turned out to be Ultrafox's beautiful (and SFW) piece, The King is Dead, selling for an unprecedented £3,500, a well-deserved success.

I caught up with my happy if shocked roommate and suggested we go for a nice calming swim. Afterwards we decided to see if anyone was venturing out into Hinckley to eat, and tagged along with the arakinuk party for the Sunday evening buffet at a local curry house.

We arrived back in time for the closing ceremony, at which con staff, hotel staff, guests and attendees were thanked for making the convention such a success and a new venue for next year, the Hilton near Birmingham Airport, was announced.

I really was going to bed early this evening, with the motorway ride home to deal with the next morning, but then I received a room party invitation I couldn't refuse. Thus I spent my last night, and early morning, at ConFuzzled playing Cards Against Humanity with many of the fandom's finest. And, let me tell you, they are a filthy bunch.
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Ultrafox's picture is fabulous!
Definitely worth a thousand words. I'm glad he did some art for me before he became super successful and famous!

Edited at 2013-06-07 09:13 am (UTC)
I'd definitely be interested in how the "spiders" thing was accomplished. And the "chickens" thing, for that matter, if you're willing to share. :)
I will drop you a line!
Me too, please! I have a theory about one of them...

Well done for having the bravery to push your own boundaries and volunteer for something so alien to you and I'm delighted that you felt that you got measurable results out of it. Kudos and thanks at one remove to JM for his skills in this regard.

I feel similarly about hypnosis to you (it gives me a bigger wiggins than Sir Bradley) but was delighted to read of the existence of such a thing as measurable scales of hypnotic susceptibility and the notion that, at least in general, people cannot be hypnotised if they don't want to be.

Lastly, it goes to show how few venues suitable for big cons there really are in the UK. I think of the place you were this year as "the venue for some of the rounds of the 4 Nations Chess League chess tournament" and the place you'll be going to next year as "the venue of UK Games Expo". Bit distressing to read in your previous day's report that your £4½ beer token got you one pear cider; from reports of this year's UK Games Expo, the Hilton you mention is even worse, but the cunning and cheap trick is that it's within short walking distance of the National Exhibition Centre which features a Subway which is, at least, no more overpriced than usual...

Thanks for writing the event up and I'm delighted you had such a great time! To set the scale, please could you give some basic demographics, if you know them, in terms of attendance figures and anything else that springs to mind?
I've just spent 20 minutes looking through the con web site, and am very impressed. (I have an answer to my demographic question: if 700+ copies of the conbook are being published, that gives me a rough clue as to how many attendees there were!)

Looks great! Will attending next year be a high priority for you?
I actually had to put in an extra 20p on top of the beer token to cover the price of a bottle!

Very tempted by next year, though it's a big commitment of both time and cash. Alternatively, I might check out a different con, e.g. ScotiaCon or NordicFuzzCon.

The scale of susceptibility article was very interesting. JM said a couple of times that nobody could be hypnotised against their will, which was reassuring. (During the relaxation bit I did move a finger once or twice, just to make sure I still could.)

> it gives me a bigger wiggins than Sir Bradley

Love this. Thank you.

When I was at school, "effort" was a word used to indicate clumsiness or similar incompetence: "That guy's an effort!"
Oh, that's rather lovely!
As another data point, that was also in use in at least part of North-East England in the 1980s or early 1990s.
For me, it was the West coast of Scotland in the early 80s.
What an amazing result for the artwork! It's a fantastic picture, and I'm sure whoever's bought it will find it well worth the outlay.
Yes! It was a Dutch fur, I believe, and he certainly looked pleased.