Johnny Jabber

The overwhelming desire to throw a cookie in someone’s face was a new one for me, but I was quickly able to talk myself down as I needed a roof over my head for the night, and I knew full well I was acting exactly like some kind of entitled asshole.

I had arrived in Portland in the morning for a tee shirt hustling gig at the zombie convention Walker Stalker Con and decided to use my charming personality to check into the hotel early to dump off my stuff so I could get started at a decent hour.

I had been up since 4am, and my treat to myself was that I would finish setup early so I could log in about 10 hours of sleep, that way I would be laser focused the next day.

I put on my nicest smile, leaving behind no remnants of my natural resting bitch face when I approached the hotel’s front desk.

Typically when I do these events, they book the hotels well in advanced, so it is under my boss’s name and then they add mine as well.  Because his name is on everything, they frequently give me rewards member perks at hotels.  Last time I was at this one I got free breakfast buffet buffet vouchers and they put me in a suite that was about as big as my apartment.

So expecting the same treatment, she told me that they had my room ready.  I gave her my ID, explaining that it is usually booked under another person’s name as well.  She looked at me and said, “No, they called and switched it to yours.  Are you a rewards member?”

I blinked, unwilling to believe that this was happening.  I was not a rewards member because they book everything for me.  But usually they let me be one anyways.  Apparently not this time.

“It’s ok,” she said.  I thanked my lucky stars that I’d still be getting free breakfast.

“I’ll give you a WIFI password anyways, and here’s a warm cookie.  Enjoy your stay.”

I’ve never experienced such rage when someone handed me a cookie.  I could live without the fancy room.  After all, I would never have something that nice if I was booking it on my own.  I lived in a long term stay hostel the entire time I lived in Australia, so I can deal with a lot.

But no breakfast vouchers?  What was this?  I was exhausted, and the thought of not being able to binge eat breakfast before setting out for the day (and not having a chance to eat while I was working) pushed me over the edge.

Don’t worry.  I didn’t throw the cookie.  I figured at least I had a room and they had let me check in early, and I probably needed to be taken down a notch.

Entitlement is easily my least favorite quality, and here I was, acting like I deserved a big room and free breakfast.  I needed to calm down.  I was everything I hated, so I went to my peasant sized room that I deserved and threw my stuff down before heading out.

Turns out they were behind setting things up at the convention center, and I was told to kill a few hours before coming back.

So I, who wouldn’t be caught dead publicly in activewear but set up in tennis shoes, yoga pants, and a tee that says, “You won’t like me when I’m hangry” with the Hulk on it, had to venture out to grab lunch in said outfit, knowing that I was partially cranky because I was starving.

The irony of the shirt I was wearing was not lost on me as I sat down in a back corner eating pork tacos, feeling ashamed of my outfit, wondering what fresh hell would come over me next.

I credit these tacos with saving my life–also if you ever get the chance to check out Burnside Brewing make it happen. Note that is a bottle of water not a full bottle of wine that I was drinking at noon.

Would Norman Reedus or Jeffrey Dean Morgan from Walking Dead come through the door to grab a quick drink while I looked like a mess?  I would have put money on it given the way the day was unfolding.

But full of tacos, I finally got my pass and was able to set up.  I always enjoy the general camaraderie between vendors, and when the guy setting up next to me arrived, I grew a little concerned.

For the sake of not humiliating someone on the internet, I will refer to him as Johnny Jabber.  And he did not stop talking.  And if you know the level of verbal diarrhea that usually spews forth from my mouth, you’ll know that is a major claim.

Johnny seemed a little full of himself from the get go.  I asked what he was selling.  He told me he was an actor, and visibly put off that I didn’t recognize him.  I repeated the question, as stating, “I’m an actor,” didn’t really provide me with an answer.

“You’ll see,” he responded.  Needless to say I was not a fan.  Case in point of entitlement being my least favorite quality in another human.

As the convention went on, Johnny shared such gems of wisdom like, “Yes, it IS really me, the real Johnny Jabber.”

“My autograph goes for $50.”

“Now I’ve lowered my price to $15 for an autograph.”

“So many people have asked me to dinner, but you know I’m just not feeling it.”

“A woman told me she would cook dinner for me tonight at her place, and I said no because if our roles were reversed and I had invited her over for dinner, I’d be on CNN.”

While posing for a photo with fans: “Now we are going to attack the camera!”

While explaining to me how there was a week in his life where he juggled an acting gig and a convention simultaneously and the “struggles” of two jobs: “But I needed to be at the convention.  I wanted to be seen.”

As a general rule, anyone who utters the phrase, “I wanted to be seen,” has some sort of severe narcissistic qualities in my mind.   I wanted to point out that well-known actors had their own booth setup station in a different part of the convention that wasn’t just out and about with the vendors so maybe he should reassess his D level acting status in conjunction with his entitled attitude.  But I needed someone to keep an eye on my booth when I had to pee, so I kept my mouth shut.

The last day the guy from a booth close by came up to me and introduced himself, saying, “What’s it like sharing a space with Johnny?”

I’d learned that to my surprise there were actually people who knew of this man, so I kept it vague because with my luck he was a huge fan and said, “You know.  It’s fine.”

“He’s near us every time and he does not stop talking does he?  I heard him talking to you during setup and thought, ‘That poor, poor girl.'”

I laughed and made the comment that I’d get fired from a job that I showed up to 2 hours late because “my body said I needed sleep,” but he doesn’t seem to have a grasp on how real world rules work so did just that.

And there I was back to myself, making friends quickly by being in my natural state of asshole self.  I didn’t even feel bad.  Because I knew no matter what I’m thrown in life, I would never end up that level of entitled, which I considered a win in my book.


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