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Denvention Day 3: Why Sci Fi Fans Don't Need Strippers

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As part of our continuous team coverage of Denvention, intrepid reporter Joe Tone took a trip down to Shotgun Willie’s on Thursday night in hopes of catching some attendees from the 66th World Science Fiction Convention in flagrante delicto and getting nasty with some of Denver’s finest amateur pole enthusiasts. The management of Willie’s had gone to all the trouble of hanging out the shingle for our visitors, after all, with a “Sci Fi Strip Off” organized just for them. It seemed natural to assume that the place would be packed to the rafters with horny science fiction writers and lonely geeks far from home.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. While there were plenty of tits and asses on display (along with a few plastic ray guns), one thing that was in short supply? Conventioneers.

In retrospect, this was not entirely surprising. After all, a certain social exclusivity is one of the hallmarks of the hardcore geek/fanboy lifestyle. At first blush, one might think that these were the kinds of people who’d be more apt to be looking out for a hot game of Dungeons & Dragons on a Thursday night than to be found hunched up around the stage waiting to shove sweaty dollar bills into a stripper’s G-string -- even if said stripper was wearing fairy wings or an alien mask.

But come to find, it wasn’t even the search for some heavy elf-on-orc action that kept the convention crowd away from Willie’s on Thursday night. I ran into Denvention reporter wrangler Chris Barkley hunkered down in the press room at the Colorado Convention Center on Friday afternoon (reading Tone’s story, by the way, and getting a nice chuckle out of it) and mentioned how we’d been somewhat disappointed that there hadn’t been a better turnout at Willie’s.

“Of course there wasn’t,” he told me, laughing, and then went on to explain how the convention itself already had plenty of scantily-clad and half-naked women wandering around (seriously? Where?), and that his people had paid a lot of money to come here so weren’t likely to go and spend more money somewhere else just to see a bunch of other half-naked women.

“No, really naked,” I explained to him. “Almost completely.”

Whatever. What it finally came down to was that his people were frankly too busy “trying to hook up all over the place” with their own kind and had no need for our city’s fine contingent of exotic dancers. Apparently, these sorts of conventions are two steps removed from a Friday night at the Bunny Ranch, only with more chain-mail underpants.

If only the pols coming into Denver for the DNC were so self sufficient…-- Jason Sheehan

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