Bay City Bash
|Name:||Bay City Bash|
|Dates:||22-24 March 2002|
|Location:||Milton Keynes, England|
|Type:||fan run convention/fan con|
|Focus:||Starsky & Hutch|
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Con ReportsFrom SHaron:
It was our Bay City Bash, Starsky & Hutch convention, in Milton Keynes near London in the UK.
We were small in number, but big in hearts, with a great mix of old and new friends. The hotel was pretty nice, we'd not been there before but they treated us well. The rooms were spacious, airy and clean, and the staff, although extremely keen to persuade us to use their own dining facilities, on the whole left us alone, which was exactly what we wanted! We decorated the room with posters, pictures, tables of things for sale and things which could be borrowed over the weekend, and on the main table were scattered chocolates, cold drinks and festive sperm-shaped confetti. (Don't ask!!!)
Folks began to trickle in on the Friday afternoon, mostly Brits but including Moni from Austria, a bright, cheery and very welcome addition to the gang. We got our con-badges (Bay City Police Department IDs of course!) then greeted, and chatted, and laughed and watched song vids for a while. One dear friend wasn't well enough to travel to the con, so she sent a story (it's both funny and beautiful, Sandra <g>) so we read that aloud, and shared two more stories written especially for the con, before sallying forth into the wilds of the oddly designed town in search of an evening meal. We ended up at an American diner with the perfect menu. I had a "Two Fisted New Yorker" sandwich (guess who that reminded me of???) and a Mellow Yellow cocktail!
On return we got going with a vengeance. Zines were borrowed from the library and bought from the EG-PAF table with great enthusiasm (Hi, Lyndsay!) I'd made some mugs and bowls with S&H pics all over them which soon sold, along with the usual jewellery, stickers, clocks, posters, mags and zebra-striped stuff etc. We started a list of all the foreign characters we could recall in S&H, indeed some of us were up late into the night trying to remember which episode featured the little Asian woman who chased the shoplifter away with her broom (waves to Solo <g>). Over the weekend the list lengthened to 13 (not counting the non-speaking illegal immigrants) a surprisingly small number, we thought! And we only found two Brits! (Stafford was a great recall, Jacqui <g>)
As the UK re-screenings in the last couple of years have missed out a few episodes, we settled to watch those which the new fans had not yet seen - including S&H Are Guilty and Murder on Stage 17. It's such a different experience watching with other slash fans - as the night lengthened and the wine bottles/beer cans emptied, comments from the group became more and more interesting (or should I say ribald?) and the newbies began to relax and understand what con-going is all about!
Some of us were brave enough to be up early and enjoy a swim in the hotel's warm indoor pool before breakfast on Saturday, and very refreshing that was too! The whole morning slipped by in a blur of reading, watching, chatting and welcoming our day-guests into the fun. There were serious moments to this con too, we researched dilligently (having to watch the scene several times) whether Starsky's assets in the walkaroundtheporch had been supplemented by the judicious placement of a rolled up sock. The balance of opinion was that they had not!
We took lunch outside in the sunshine of a beautiful day, sharing the salad bits we'd managed to buy on our way back from the meal the previous evening - in the 10 minute rush before Waitrose closed.
We were delighted that Nikki felt well enough to join us for a couple of hours. She wouldn't let her husband in the room with the rest of us but had a great memory for those S&H foreign characters! Jan came along too, she hadn't met any of us before so it was pretty brave of her to turn up.
She soon settled in and had to be reminded (fairly gently, I hope!) not to enthuse too much about other shows - the BCB is, after all, a *Starsky & Hutch* convention!!!
Then we got out the new game - SHludo, a S&H version of that old favourite Cludo or Clue as I believe it's known in other countries. Each player becomes undercover S&H (Rafferty/O'Brien, Hack/Zack, CW Jackson/Jonny Snowball, Mr.Marlene/Mr.Tyrone etc.) and has to move around places from the series (Venice Place, 2000Ridgeway, the Pits, Pine Lake etc.) locating clues as to which villain (Prudholm, Gunther, Diana, Forest etc.) has tried to kill S&H with what weapon. When a player makes a suggestion for the place, murderer and weapon, they also have to suggest a motivation for the attempt and we had some beautiful scenes described, especially from the brilliant Elizabeth, who came up with my most memorable image of the weekend - Starsky as O'Brien in his white suit, falling into the dock after someone (I forget whom) planted a bomb there; Hutch pulling him out of the briny as the now see-through suit begins to shrink and tear, and in true h/c fashion, licking the salty water from Starsky's nipples so that they won't become chaffed. Phew!!! It was a good job Polly brought along a paper fan!
We had with us a few S&H toys, Viv (hiya!) brought the big S&H Torino with Mego S&H dolls to go inside, and I'd come with a bronze penis-shaped cigarette lighter. Well, slash fans are not to be denied a game when the opportunity arises so we had a pose-the-dolls-and-props competition. The results can be viewed here at your own risk.
The Saturday evening meal was enlivened with some pendulum dowsing, Polly and Solo in particular getting strong responses to their dangling and swinging attempts!!! Then back to the video - well, what is a con without hours and hours of shared viewing, suggestive comments, and rewinding favourite scenes until the tapes get hot!
Sunday arrived way too soon. Solo and Moni had to leave early to get back to Scotland, those flights being sparse at the weekends. The remaining small group had a go at finding all the animals shown in the episodes - loads more animals than foreigners incidentally! I think we got 30 in the end. We watched some of the US interviews PMG and DS have given recently - the Fiddler Documentary, Entertainment Tonight's Whatever Happened To... (thanks Cindy and Paladin <g>) and even more song vids while those who had been reading zines through the weekend sat at the table furiously trying to finish the stories they were in the middles of! We packed up the con room together, ate another picnic lunch and then it was time to go. We vowed to get together sooner than next year if we can possibly manage it.
This was such fun.
Many, many thanks to those who made this such a terrific weekend, those who organised things, brought things, those who came along, and especially those who couldn't be there in person, but were most definitely with us in spirit. It was a weekend out of normal time, full of laughter, sharing, warmth, friendship, a tremendous bonding and blending of all the very best fandom can hold.
We all behaved impeccably, with great politeness and restraint - if anyone tells you anything different ... well, maybe they were at a different Bay City Bash? ;-)Here's looking forward to next year! 
It was such a relaxing time spent lazing around, reading zines & watching episodes - my idea of heaven!! The hotel was really nice - with a great big con room to stretch out in. And even the weather decided to be kind to us - providing beautiful spring sunshine so we could eat our picnic on the grass in comfort - in true "Avenger" style (fortunately no bees).
Of course you all know the magic thing about Cons - the minute you walk through the door "hey presto - abracadabra" you all turn into 13 year olds again. Which means nobody has a problem (as a 30 something would) with placing little 10inch S&H dolls into very rude positions over the hood of a little plastic Torino - let alone holding a "best pose" competition, complete with photographic evidence!!! Must admit that 2inch penis lighter did come in useful!!
Really enjoyed the game of SHludo - a real gem "our SHaron" - think she should think seriously about going into mass production on that one. I know it must have taken hours to hand craft the little playing pieces - especially loved the little hyperdermic needle. But what gave it that real S/H touch was having to give reasons for accusing a specific bad guy of the cardinal sin of trying to kill our superheroes. That's where, as you would expect, the true nature of us slashers gets a chance to shine through - especially when Elizabeth (bless her) presented the image of Starsky in a wet, white suit & dripping wet hair. YUM,YUM - still go to sleep at night with a smile on my face.
Evening meal was fun - spent at Fatty Arbuckles American Diner. And I knew that there was no way I could turn down trying the "Two Fisted New Yorker" - well it goes without saying doesn't it!!! Unfortunately it turned out to be a bun full of roasted vegetables - damn!!!
All too soon these things come to an end - the proverbial "con saying." Had to get myself back to the real world back in Slough. Oh hum. Life goes on.Gotta say a big thank you to SHaron & Solo for all their efforts - it really was a terrific con!!! And here comes the other proverbial "con saying" - when ya gonna do the next one? 
I'm offering a supplementary Con Report. (And I don't think my witness statement substantially differs from SHaron's!) First of all, heartfelt thanks to Solo and SHaron for organising the affair. They did a sterling job!
It was my first "true" con, as previously my experience was limited to a day get-together last year. I suppose the highest praise for the organisers is that I'm now keen to go to more.... Indeed, I'm hoping to spread my wings as far as Sharecon this autumn!
The worst moment?? Having picked up Solo from the airport and driven to Milton Keynes, I despaired of ever finding the hotel. Milton Keynes roundabouts all look the same - and absolutely no landmarks are visible, just green banks. I feared that I'd still be circling them on Sunday. Not only would I have missed the con, but I'd be responsible for one of the organisers missing it too!
The best thing about the con? I knew only one of the participants well beforehand, but I've rarely spent a more relaxed weekend. As SHaron commented on the phone tonight, it felt like comfortable family.
Funny moments? Too numerous to dwell on. But I was highly amused to be asked by my poor husband (who doesn't know the full extent of my slashiness) at the dinner table after my return, "But what did you talk about?" I've rarely heard or seen him look more baffled. And I scrabbled very quickly for an innocuous reply! I'm not sure I convinced him...
So what was I least keen to tell him about? Possibly the penis-shaped lighter, mentioned (and bought) by SHaron. What she didn't say: it was hilarious to watch each one of us lovingly (and often unconsciously) handle it - and most of us commented that it seemed just that bit too short, though quite broad enough. Nor did she mention the crucial disappointment that the flame burst forth from the wrong end.
Another thing SHaron forgot to mention: she actually made the SHluedo game herself. I can't imagine how many hours of industry and inspiration were tied up in it. The red and white board was an astonishing work of art - as were the cards, as were the murder weapons. My favourite was the fire - I was sorely tempted to pocket it and thus qualify as a dastardly villain! And she forgot to mention that not only did Hutch lick Starsky's nipples, after divesting him of the transparent and torn white suit. He also licked the nape of his neck most assiduously, thus showing he'd been paying careful attention to the desires of one of the con participants!
Normally I'm in bed before 11.00, so the fact that my room-mate and I turned off the light at 2.00 am on Sunday morning, after earnest discussion of characterisation in fanfic, among other things, shows just how much I was enjoying myself.All in all, a wonderful way to spend the first warm weekend of the spring! I want more like it!