Without an internet connection in my room, I did not get a report posted last night -- besides, we were really tired. Photos will have to come later, because they are in Lisa's camera, and she's trying to get some sleep this afternoon. The show last night went really well. We pulled a bit of a surprise on the first game, but it was a good one. I explained that I'd agreed that in exchange for them coming to help set up, I seated the first two contestants in advance. I introduced them, and asked the triangle contestant, Ron Dougherty, if there was anyone in the audience he wanted to introduce, and he called out his girlfriend, Yvonne Reide, who was sitting in the front row.
I asked him to pick A or B, and when he picked A, I read the question: "Yvonne Reide said, 'I've been waiting forever for Ron Dougherty to say _____!'"
Ron stood up, walked over to Yvonne, went down on one knee, produced an ring, and proposed marriage to her on the spot. She was understandably flabbergasted, but the did accept. The two embraced, the bell sounded, and I said, "I do believe we have a match!"
Yes, of course it was a set-up -- but Yvonne didn't know it was coming, which was the point. Ron had contacted me some time ago with this idea, and I worked out a way to make it happen convincingly within the format we're using. I'd printed the same question for A or B so there was no worry about him forgetting which one to choose. (I gave the newly-engaged couple the A/B cards as souvenirs, and they took pictures with me in front of the game signs during our half-time break.)
After the proposal excitement, we called up the first two "real" contestants and got the show rolling. We had a full house -- SRO at times -- and an enthusiastic audience. After the first three games, we took a 15 minute break (experience has taught us of the need for a break at this point), then came back with Late Nite -- although actually, people were relatively restrained in their answers. In any event, the second session was just as much fun as the first, and I think pretty much everyone went away happy. Jeff Hulten did fine work as our announcer, Lisa kept the tech working (although I know there was some frantic paddling going on at times as equipment behaved in unpredictable ways), and Kuma Bear supervised the Tech Table.
Speaking of Tech, we have a new piece of gear for this show. The Yes/No bell/buzz effects are produced by programming my laptop to map those sound effects to the keyboard. Lisa has always disliked this because of the chance of damaging the computer by over-enthusiastic key-punching. So she built a box with two buttons on it that generates "left mouse" and "right mouse," plugged it into the laptop by USB cable, and mapped those mouse buttons to the SFX. This allowed for banging away on the box without chance of harming the computer. In fact, we could actually close the laptop's case while it was running. She's happy with that new item.
Turns out that except for the speakers and mic stand, Lisa had brought everything else she needed to do the show, including cables. In fact, one challenge we had was, after the show ended, from keeping the Norwescon Tech Team from taking Lisa's cables. It's perfectly understandable, but eventually we managed to convince them that yes, really, those are our cables, not theirs.
We also finally managed to give away the copy of Jay Lake's Escapement
, which has been knocking around our prize mix for a long time but was a hoodoo -- nobody could win the bonus round when the prize came up. We put that book into every
bonus round prize this year, and the hoodoo claimed the first five contestants before finally
the sixth and final contestant matched and won the book along with a Cargo Cult gift certificate. If he hadn't won, I was going to start calling contestant from the audience and running Super Match over and over until someone
won that book.
Tear-down was far less frantic, and we rather sedately moved our gear back to the room, then put some of it in the van. We had a great time, and I'm very pleased with how it all turned out. And the marriage proposal was front-page news on the convention newsletter today. (Thanks, solarbird