Comic-Con Time With the Raroos[GameSetWatch has sent GameSetWatch columnist Mister Raroo and his family to San Diego Comic-Con to report on their adventures there. We'll be running daily updates from the Raroos as the convention progresses, and after the first and second parts, the third segment is about Friday.]

Friday, July 24: Quite a Contrast

The great thing about attending every day of Comic-Con is that it helps me fall into the type of “vacation mode” that I enjoyed as a kid during the Summer months away from school. We woke up when we were ready to wake up, took our time getting ready to go, and headed over to the Convention Center at our own pace.

Today we brought Kaz and decided to experiment by not taking along a stroller. Even though that meant a great part of the day was spent with a nearly-40 pound weight riding upon my shoulders, it beat trying to navigate a stroller through the daunting crowds. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be going stroller-less for the remainder of the convention.

Not-So-Wonderful WomanOn the walk from our car to the Convention Center, we stopped off for a bite to eat. Kaz and I polished off an especially decadent hot fudge sundae. I couldn’t believe how much ice cream my little son ate, not to mention the fact that he let us know he still wanted more by chanting “Ice Cream! Ice Cream!” when the bowl was empty. But we figured he had more than enough sugar and made our way to the Convention Center.

Even though I praised the creativity of many of the costumed attendees in yesterday’s update, I witnessed a couple outfits today that made me realize that some people are better off in street clothes. Whether it was a Klingon with “cameltoe” or Wonder Woman with a not-so-wonderful rear end, there were plenty of examples of sights I didn’t ask to see. I wasn’t the only one in disapproval, either, as I overheard someone behind me make a comment about Wonder Woman to the effect of, “Man, I hope that doesn’t fly around in an invisible plane.”

I also overheard a comment directed towards us when we were in line for the Capcom Fighting Games panel: “It’s sad when people bring kids to Comic-Con.” I think that while some attendees might drag their kids along to what they want to see, most long-time Comic-Con goers who enter parenthood are more excited about sharing the experience with their kids than anything else.

In fact, a great deal of the activities of our day revolved around what Kaz was interested in. We scoured booths for toy cars, we rode the escalator up and down, and we stopped to have pictures taken with Patrick Star and Pikachu. Having Kaz with us meant we missed out on many of the panels we would otherwise have been interested in attending, but we also had a better time spending the day with him than if we went by ourselves.

The Raroos and Patrick

One of my favorite moments of the day is when we ducked into one of the rooms showing anime and caught a random episode of Lucky Star The episode’s plot was particularly fitting because it revolved around the main characters attending a comic convention. However, we felt a little out of place as most of the audience members were laughing at every little joke and even singing along to the show’s theme song. Still, it was a lot of fun.

We decided to call it a day in the late afternoon so that we could make it home in time to get ready for Missus Raroo’s mom’s retirement karaoke bash. We witnessed three things that really took the wind out of our sails and killed a lot of the good energy we had built up from our time at Comic-Con.

Blissfully UnawareFirst, we saw a father loudly swearing at his wife and calling her a “f***ing bitch” multiple times in front of their two sons. The saddest part was seeing the boys, who were decked out in costumes for Comic-Con, quietly walking along behind their parents. It made me feel even more grateful for the lovely little family I have.

Second, the area of downtown San Diego where we parked our car had exploded into what was essentially a homeless village at some point during the day. Nobody messed with us as we walked by and in fact a few individuals even commented on how cute Kaz was. But it was a reminder of the stark contrast between the economic gluttony of what was happening at the Convention Center only a few blocks away and the social bankruptcy right before us.

Finally, on our drive home, we witnessed a terrible car crash on the freeway, just a couple lanes over from us. When I looked into my rearview mirror to see what we had narrowly missed, I caught a glimpse of Kaz snoozing in his carseat, blissfully unaware of the chaos that had just happened. On the rest of the drive home I felt quite shaken, but I also felt blessed for all the wonderful things I have in my life.

[Mister Raroo is a happy husband, proud father, full-time public library employee, and active gamer. He currently lives in El Cajon, CA with his family and many pets. In addition to writing for GameSetWatch, Mister Raroo irregularly writes content for his blog, Moments. You may reach Mister Raroo at mister.raroo@gmail.com.]