I headed to PAX East a day early so I could get settled in, get my media badge and know exactly where the hell I was going for opening day. A 6 hour train ride and my luxurious chariot that was the Amtrak was finally in Boston. The South Station was just a minute or so from my hotel, so within minutes I was checked in (The Intercontinental Boston is fantastic by the way) without issue. Finally settled, it was time to venture out for procuring those badges with the Grey Area Podcast’s very own lovely and talented Jenesee Grey. We got to the convention center without a hitch, picked up my badge, got a little sneak preview of the con floor, and went on our merry way. Next was the cab to pick up her badges from the dude holding them for her. Again, no problems there. Everything was going to plan and we were on schedule for some sushi at 8.
Unfortunately that’s when the universe decided that everything was going TOO according to plan. In the next cab (the one slated for said target sushi) my jacket felt a bit light when the cab started. A little too light. About as light as it would be without, oh I don’t know, a Droid RAZR MAXX in the pocket. Yep. It was gone.
You’ve all seen those posters and shirts with the famous British epithet “Keep Calm and Carry On?” This was roughly the exact opposite of that. It was more like a t-shirt I saw once and almost bought from Threadless. The crown upside down in distress, and instead of the famous line was the appropriate “Now Panic and Freak Out.” That’s where I was at. See these days a cell phone isn’t just something to make calls on. A decent smartphone can be your life in a pocket. That was my email, my social media, private accounts I alone access, my pictures and videos, and a host of other information that no one but me should be seeing. Granted, they’d need to figure out the pattern code an one of a number of ridiculous passwords on rotation but still. There’s a feeling of helplessness that strikes you when something like that happens. Oh and the best part – I couldn’t remember my cab number.
Yes. I know. an absolute rookie mistake I’ll never forgive myself for.
Thankfully, during my frantic near-episode searching the snow banks on the side on the sidewalks in case it fell, Jenesee called the cab company and spammed my phone number. With no response we figured that the best play would be to just call Verizon Wireless to track it, and that’s when someone answered. As it turned out phone was recovered by a group of fellow PAX East goers who got the cab next, and after some searching were able to find them at the bar they were chilling at. And what was it called?
The Green Dragon. That’s right, fellow geeks in the city to get their PAX on picked it up, and were holding it for me at a bar with the same name as those frequented by Shire-folk in the realm of Middle Earth. They couldn’t unlock my pattern or couldn’t make any calls from it but they still held on to it in case I got a call through. And they didn’t have to. And I think that speaks to the type of community PAX has created for gamers and their con-goers. I want to believe that fans that descended upon Boston could imagine if it happened to them, and follow the “don’t be a dick” attitude that we see in Penny Arcade’s strips and columns and a lot of what they do.
And the absolute best part of the whole thing – I had to argue with the dude that found it to at least buy him a beer for his help. Many thanks to you sir, to PAX, and to nerd culture for averting a potential disaster and horrible time at the convention.
Now then, to the fine folks we met at the Green Dragon, you have my info, make sure you get at me!