Twas the Night Before DisCon III

Twas the Night Before DisCon III — By Shana Worthen

Twas the night before DisCon. Throughout the hotel
volunteers were MIMO’ing. Excitement did swell!
The fans all flew in, or drove there or took trains,
while thoughts of the program ran ’round in their brains.
On Discord, the virtual members arrived,
self-catering drinks that they each had contrived.
At the front desk they checked in, or else on the net.
Some sat on the chairs near th’electric outlet.

Then down the long hall there arose so much chat,
that I sprang from my chair to see what was that?
Through archways, past plant pots, I slipped through the throng
as the loud murmuration came strolling along.
The light from the chandeliers glinted and shone
on the screens of those still gazing down at their phone.
When what to my speculative gaze then appeared
but the whole committee, whether virtual or here,
with a confidant woman so debonaire,
I knew in a flash that she must be the chair!

More distracted than chickens, her team waxing sage,
while new complications their thoughts did engage.
“On Shepherd, Kovalcik, Daneroff, and Beaton
On Bogonrief, Nisbet, Lucas, Mendlesohn
With Green and with Bauer, with Smith and with Snow
and with hundreds of others, mere hours to go!”

As clocks slow right before the wild rumpus arrives,
when there’s too much to do and one bedtime defies,
so down to the lobby – they meant to have drinks –
but with too much to do before their forty winks.
And then in a twinkling I heard a phone ring,
while a child squeezed by, filkers started to sing.
As I turned back to see, was just turning around,
the near-future appeared ‘fore my eyes with no sound.

The con suite filled with sandwiches, soda pop cans.
The newspapers covered the presence of fans.
The Hugos awarded in clear ASL,
and lecturers entertained crowds just as well.
Artists inspired short stories to come.
Laughter ensued at th’SF Singalong.
Duke Ellington’s choir proved the techies’ best friends.
A dealer sold out of their specialist pens.
A long line for autographs leads to, some day,
a wedding ‘twixt two friends who first met that way.
The WSFS meeting concluded with laughs.
The best-beloved workshop involved lots of crafts.
Site Selection inspired new fanzines to pub.
The newsletter covered some excellent grub.
The Nommos rewarded fantastic beliefs.
Some feelings ran high at the daily debrief.
A ribbon collection’s lost under a couch.
A treasurer put the wrong slip in their pouch.
Masked parties proved popular, offline and on.
A future con chair attended her first con.

The chair of the current one raises a cup.
She toasts all the fans who have built this con up,
with a strong CoC and events simulcast,
“Have a wonderful con! Here’s to DisCon – at last!”

7 thoughts on “Twas the Night Before DisCon III

  1. BTW, if you haven’t been reading Mari Ness on Twitter, start of a thread she posted yesterday:

    Turns out that Omni Shoreham hotel – the main #Discon #Worldcon hotel – while technically wheelchair accessible, is not wheelchair friendly.
    I found this out yesterday on Twitter by accident, about an hour before the hotel cancellation fee kicked in, and reached out to Access and a couple of people at the hotel to confirm.

    It goes on with further details.

  2. The author of the poem was trying to show some appreciation for the people who collectively are doing a lot of work to make the convention happen. I wish you didn’t feel the need to derail it. There are plenty of general discussion posts here where you could have dropped that comment.

  3. Hear, hear, and thank you Mike! It’s a miracle that this convention even exists, so let’s take a moment to applaud that accomplishment and save the criticism for another place and time. I have never met a bunch of harder working individuals than the people who have been struggling for years to pull this convention off, and who have faced more challenging situations than probably any other Worldcon has had to deal with. Thank you to all of them.

  4. It’s a lovely poem. I hope everyone has a wonderful time, and that all volunteers can feel mostly-proud of the convention they’ve put on in difficult circumstances.

  5. Sadly, I’ve come to feel that Discon III is a Pyrrhic victory at best, particularly since the original chairpersons are friends of mine, and the new spike of COVID probably makes a live convention a bad idea. I’ll be honoring my work commitments but, otherwise, I’m so over it.

    Hopefully I’ll feel better about it all come next week.

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