When I was in high school, I was at Wendy Grace’s house watching “The Commitments” with a group of friends. At some point, for some reason that I couldn’t identify then and sure as hell couldn’t now, my friend, Rob, and I started laughing and could not stop.
(Note for clarification: we were not on drugs of any kind. I feel it’s important to state that for the record. We were so squeaky-clean that you could’ve served a banquet for the Queen on our souls. Not that you’d want to, ’cause, dude, that would make for a really crowded table.)
One of us would slow down to catch his breath, look at the other, then start all over again. We reinforced each other in a positive feedback loop that had us laughing so hard that it hurt. Tears streamed down our faces, our stomachs hurt from doubling over, but we could not stop, not even if we wanted.
Last night, at w00tstock, it was just like being in Wendy Grace’s living room, except instead of Rob, there were three hundred geeks, and, instead of “The Commitments,” there was the greatest line-up of nerd music, movies and comedy this world has ever seen. And I just made my Saving Throw vs. Hyperbole, so that’s totally for reals. My sides still ache from laughing.
I don’t want to give a blow-by-blow recap, because Paul & Storm have said on their Twitter feed that there will be future w00tstock events and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. But I will give you these three things:
1) You couldn’t have asked for a better line-up: Paul & Storm, Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage of Mythbusters, Vork from The Guild doing stand-up, Molly Lewis and her ukulele, my new-favorite-comedy-musical-duo-who’s-not-Paul & Storm Hard ‘n Phirm, Josh A Cagan, Felicia Day singing “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?” (with the whole ensemble, plus Zabu). Sprinkled throughout were videos that were made with nothing but awesome.
2) There was so much love in that room. The audience was throwing out so much goodwill that it was impossible not to have a good time. It was like the performers and the crowd were wrapping each other into a giant nerdy Snuggie (but in a totally non-creepy way) and cracking each other up, not to cause snags in the show, but because that’s what you do with the people you love: you make them laugh until they’re on the floor, crying and gasping for breath. (What, you don’t do that with the people you love? What’s your deal?)
3) Okay, I’ll give one bit away: Adam Savage gave a talk called “One Hundred Wishes,” which was him going over the hundred things he’d like to do (build a house! Make a movie with his wife! Own a lightsaber, and a real plasma sword one, not one of the seventeen he’d milled out of aluminum). It was funny, and it was touching, and it was so nerdily joyful that it has given me a new goal, which is this:
I want to be part of the line-up for a w00tstock.
I want to be on the stage, in front of a microphone, reading to a theater full of geeks, and then making horrible pirate puns with Paul & Storm, Wil Wheaton and Adam Savage at the end of the show (and I got in one from my seat: as Adam Savage walked off stage after blowing one pun, I called out, “En-cARRRR!” Savage came back and said, “God, we can’t go out on that one.” WIN).
I want, in fact, to be reading the scene from the Principal’s Office from “The Right People” to that crowd, with musical and Foley accompaniment, the way Paul & Storm accompanied Wil Wheaton’s excellent “The Trade.”
So. There it is. w00tstock. When it comes back, if it comes to your town, go. You will not regret it.
(Rob: I am totally bringing you along next time.)