Whoosh! Issue 57 - June 2001


By Anita Firebaugh
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
1036 words

True Confessions (01-03)
Field Report of a Non-Con Goer (04-12)


True Confessions

New Pac Ren concept show

Xena was in a middle of a true confession in YOU ARE THERE, but all we got was a test pattern.

[01] The recent ululations concerning the Xena convention in Pasadena has left me a little envious and a bit concerned. Am I the only Xenite who has not attended a single convention in the six seasons of this series? It certainly seems that way. I do not go to cons because, I admit somewhat shamefully, I am afraid of crowds. Wal-Mart puts me in a panic. Heaven knows what a convention hall full of boisterous Xenites would do to me. I am afraid to find out.

[02] So, I attend the conventions vicariously. Voraciously read the con reports on mailing lists. Read volumes of private e-mails about the fun the Xenites are having. It is like reading fan fiction, except there seems to be more truth behind the story. The writings used to come fast and furiously during the cons, especially in the evening hours when Xenites were unrolling their bedrolls and pulling themselves closer to the campfire.

[03] This past convention, though, the reports were few and skimpy at best. No one wrote much of anything until after the fact. I figured that meant everyone was having such a good time, no one could be bothered to send out notices to us poor souls who had to remain at home. From the after-con reports, I figured correctly.

Field Report of a Non-Con Goer

Peter Rabbit before caps

While in the field, beware of the bunnies

[04] What is it like to sit home, con after con, reading the Internet, skimming mailing lists, reading alt.tv.xena, looking for little tidbits? During the weekend of a convention, it is boring. Mail volume slips tremendously. Posts to newsgroups drop to an abysmal rate. Each little rumor of so-and-so being sited is a little Amphipolis of anticipation. A worshipping of wonderment. And an Eros filled with envy.

[05] I imagine Xena conventions to be wild places filled with lots of crazy, half-insane people. Mostly women. Women running around with long dark wigs pretending to be Xena. Other women with short blond hair and halter tops preening about as Gabrielle. I figure there are nightlong parties, with lots of free-flowing kegs of Gabri-ale and Xena wine coolers. Pillow fights, pillow talk, pillow dares. Smoking in the hallways, which sets off the fire alarms. Dancing in the streets, topless. Maybe even bottomless!

[06] Do these women run around with homemade chakrams? Perhaps they send them soaring over auditoriums and meeting rooms with reckless abandon. Could it be these Xenites swagger through the hotel with knives of aluminum foil plastered on their sides? Do they attack all swarthy characters who might dare to look their way?

[07] At the convention proper, which I suppose is a hotel with a large conference hall and many side rooms, the stars of the show, in varying degrees, are brought out, displayed to much applause, yelling and whistling, then hustled back behind closed doors. So I envision.

[08] Of course, some convention reports indicate that a few of the stars fraternize with the fans. Maybe the major stars are hustled in and out. The other stars are free to fling, to let their hair down, and tell wild stories about their days on the set. Maybe they sip whiskey sours and make up lies to little groups of adoring fans who watch them, glossy-eyed, while they talk. Maybe, like in SEND IN THE CLONES (128/616), the fans just focus on the mouth, watching the words fall out into the street. The words become like olives in a martini, perhaps, something to be savored and bitten into, regardless of whether or not you even like olives.

[09] I imagine the conventions to be crowded. Hot, sweaty, glistening bodies move seamlessly against one another, line up against the walls, fill hard metal seats. I see tables and tables of Creation Entertainment paraphernalia, ranging from posters to jewelry, waiting for the hungry Xenites. Creation wants those dinars, and the Xenites want those souvenirs. Behind the tables, I suspect the Creation employees are whispering and pointing, making sure everyone sees the woman with the most un-Xena attitude over in the corner.

[10] Maybe these women stand in long lines, waiting for autographs. During their wait, they talk, meet, and greet, figuring out who is who from what mailing list. Their feet grow weary and their hair becomes plastered to their head. Maybe they all need showers? Maybe the entire place reeks of body odor and Xena catcalls. Maybe the hotel hallways smell of beer and vomit and Jungle Mama Perfume.

[11] Or maybe not. Maybe what I imagine does not happen at all. Having never been to a convention, I have no way of knowing. Now that Xena is ending, the parties are nearly over. Other cons may come and go, but with the show no longer in production, the conventions will never be the same.

[12] Eli help the poor Xenites who never attended the conventions. Send us all clones and martinis, so we can drown our sorrows, and laugh!

In the name of... me!

Eli, help them.


Anita Firebaugh. Published Fan Fiction: A Critique of Emerson's Latest Xena Novels. WHOOSH #46 (July 2000)

Anita Firebaugh. Reactions to Death in "The Greater Good" and "Is There a Doctor in the House?". WHOOSH #3 (November 1996)

Anita Firebaugh also writes for the WHOOSH episode guide under the nom de plume Bluesong.


Anita Firebaugh, just your Amazon next door Anita Firebaugh

Anita Firebaugh is a writer for local newspapers and a lover of all things Xena. She has completed one novel, which rests quietly in a drawer. Maybe when Xena ends, she'll try another one.
Favorite line: Xena: "You are what you do. You can recreate yourself every second of your life." FORGIVEN (60/314)
First episode seen: THE WARRIOR PRINCESS (H09/109)
Least favorite episode: IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL (72/404)

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