The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 5 of 10: Hooked on Butt Drugs

Butt Drugs' storefront. Yes, their actual name.

Corydon’s own Butt Drugs is easy to get to, if you do as we did and park in the rear.

Every Indiana town above a certain size has large corporations trying to muscle in on their homegrown businesses and industries. Corydon has CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart servicing anyone’s prescription needs, same as we do here in the big city. Their residents have one convenient pill-vending option we don’t: anytime they want, they can go hit Butt Drugs.

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“The Menu”: Tonight’s Special is a 10-Course Massacre

Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes face off as diner and chef in "The Menu".

“No, miss, I will not recite today’s specials in Voldemort’s voice.”

Speaking as someone who’s been in customer service for 34years and counting: when everything goes well, the symbiosis between a service team and their customer — whether a singular exchange or a recurring relationship — makes for a heartening occasion that both sides can appreciate. They pull off the quid pro quo between creator/provider and receiver/consumer, and everybody wins.

When things go wrong between the two parties, the results can be anywhere from mild disappointment to small-scale war. The customer gets full of themselves, or the employees show up in a foul mood, or there’s a miscommunication between the sides that could be resolved with some calm negotiation, yet isn’t. No one wins, everyone’s miserable, and it’s another round of cringing when they look back on That One Time years later.

The Menu falls in the latter column as an extreme worst-case scenario. An evening gone wrong becomes no mere comedy of errors, but an all-out class-war ambush where no one is innocent.

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Merry Christmas from MCC!

silver Christmas ornament selfie!

Another Christmas ornament selfie, an outtake from our Festival of Trees two-part gallery.

Hey, kids! It’s that beloved holiday tradition where we just post a couple of recent Christmas-themed photos with some short yet sincere seasons’ greetings, and we give readers a break from my usual self-indulgent verbosity. It’s the most wonderful time of the MCC year! Click, scroll, ooh, ahh, and keep on frolicking down the internet superhighway!

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“Avatar: The Way of Water”, the Weight of a Waterworld and the Wonder of Warrior Whales

Na'vi characters greeting each other in "Avatar The Way of Water".

Jake Sully, a fish out of water, becomes a little fish in a bigger pond, fishes for compliments from his hosts, believes he has bigger fish to fry, and realizes there’re other fish in the sea.

It’s been 13 years since the original Avatar hit theaters in December 2009, made a zillion dollars, and was nominated for a couple of awards. It was two years before this site existed, four years before I signed up for our first streaming service, 4½ years before I bought my first smartphone, and seven months before I joined Twitter. My son was in middle school. Barack Obama had been President for less than a year. Breaking Bad was two seasons in and a handful of AMC viewers thought it was keen.

It’s in those primitive times that James Cameron unleashed Avatar‘s technological might. I saw it twice in theaters, both times in 3-D. The first time, I was enthralled and perhaps a little giddy. The second time, I nodded off during one of the space-pterodactyl taming sequences. Over a decade in the making, the first sequel Avatar: The Way of Water vows that any theater-goer who pays extra to see it in a deluxe format cannot possibly sleep through a single second of it unless the speakers give them a concussion.

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A Stack of Cross-Cuts from Indy’s Festival of Trees 2022

me doing jazz hands next to "A Christmas Story" replica leg lamp.

Me with a major award.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis hosts a special Christmas exhibit called the Festival of Trees, for which dozens of local businesses and charities festoon a tree or tree-shaped object with decorations befitting their interests and colors. A few days after Thanksgiving this year, my coworkers and I decided to make that time and sauntered over there on our lunch break…

I took enough pics for two MCC entries’ worth of Christmas trees, plus a handful of non-tree Christmas decorations as well as a few glimpses at the Historical Society’s year-round environs. Sadly I overlooked their Elf on the Shelf that was round there somewhere, and our visit was too early to catch its pal the Mensch on a Bench (yes, really), who only shows up for Hanukkah.

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Walking in a Christmas Tree Forest: Indy’s Festival of Trees 2022

Me doing jazz hands in the little hall cut through the middle of a 30-foot Christmas tree.

Having a holly jolly Christmas under a 30-foot tree.

Every year the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis hosts a special Christmas exhibit called the Festival of Trees, for which dozens of local businesses and charities festoon a tree or tree-shaped object with decorations befitting their interests and colors. Anne and I have been meaning to check out the Historical Society (with or without a holiday-based excuse) but kept failing to make time. A few days after Thanksgiving this year, my coworkers and I decided to make that time and sauntered over there on our lunch break. Anne doesn’t work downtown or at my company and therefore sadly wasn’t included in our field trip, but I took photos to share with her and with You, The Viewers at Home.

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GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 4 of 4: Columbus Is Our New Chicago

A bunch of toys glued to a car roof; downtown Columbus is hazy in the distant background.

A toy army prepared to march the streets of downtown Columbus.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

We’ve already shared all our stories from the Convention Center grounds apart from a few photo outtakes, but we’d be remiss to neglect the fun times we had in and around the neighborhood. Our third stop in town this year was at least as stimulating as the first two. Longtime MCC readers will recall when we used to find ourselves at Chicago cons a few times every year, up until the pandemic ruined everything for a while. This year Columbus has gone above and beyond in catching our straying eyes and luring us eastward instead of northward.

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GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Who Else We Met, What Else We Did

Books I bought at the show.

My latest loot pile. Thanks, GalaxyCon!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Usually the concluding chapter of every MCC comic-con miniseries is the overlong recap of our experience in chronological order. This time the final chapter is more of an epilogue covering sights off the Convention Center grounds, while the recap novelette is this very entry. Welcome to storytime, in which we meet actors, attend panels, buy stuff, walk miles, and note how this con, more than any other we’ve ever attended, pointed time and again to the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.

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GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 2 of 4: A Cosplay Sampler

A family of nine, each cosplaying as a different Doctor from "Doctor Who".

All the Whos down in Whoville: a family cosplaying as nine different Doctors.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

It’s time for the mandatory cosplay salute!

Much as we’d love to be everyone’s one-stop shop for post-con costume galleries, attendees are getting younger while Anne and I are getting older, and we’re doing a crappy job of keeping up with today’s popular animation, which was far easier (a) when my son was young and gave me an excuse to keep up, and (b) there were just…fewer series to watch back then, I’m pretty sure? I blame the streaming entertainment explosion for helping far too many pop-culture segments escape us. The talented cosplayers out there are stumping us a lot more than they used to with their secret identities. And, unlike the average Instagram photog, I feel sheepish posting too many unlabeled cosplay pics in a row.

Nevertheless, we tried to do our part in the name of cosplay appreciation. What’s presented below is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the sum total costume experience that we witnessed throughout our two days at the show. Other corners of the internet will represent those other fractions that we missed, which is the cool part of having so many people doing this sort of thing. Enjoy!

Cosplayers: the Thirteenth Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness.

More Doctor Who representation with the Thirteenth Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness.

Cosplayers: Harley Quinn, Robin and Beast Boy.

Harley Quinn, Robin, and Beast Boy.

Cosplayer Peacemaker with an Eagly puppet on his arm.

Peacemaker and his partner Eagly, whose wings could flap.

Cosplayer: Silk Spectre from Watchmen.

The original Silk Spectre from Watchmen.

A sextet of cosplayers posing.

Ghost-Spider fronts a super-team uniting Black Widow, Wolverine, a Carnage-infected T-Rex, Iron Man and Deadpool.

Cosplayer: Squirrel Girl!

Marvel may have canceled Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, but I will never stop braking for her cosplayers.

Cosplay: Not Daredevil!

Fans of the Mark Waid/Chris Samnee Daredevil run remember that time when Matt Murdock’s shirt totally convinced everyone his blown secret identity was fake news. Bonus points for adding Christmas flair.

Cosplay: Christmas Jedi vs. Santa Sith.

Christmas Jedi vs. Santa Sith.

Cosplay: Santa Wookiee!

Santa Wookiee is a tall reminder of how this is the first time we’ve ever attended a con in December.

Cosplay: Ahsoka and Hera!

Star Wars fun continues with Ahsoka Tano and Hera from Rebels.

Cosplay: Barriss Offee and Ahsoka Tano!

Another Ahsoka teams up with Barriss Offee.

Cosplay: Quinlan Vos!

Quinlan Vos from Dark Horse’s old series, the one character Clone Wars did wrong.

Jawa costume!

Utinni!

cosplay: Star Trek women!

The women of classic Star Trek.

Cosplay: Leeloo!

Leeloo from The Fifth Element.

Cosplay: Morticia and Gomez Addams, but surrounded by atomic electron orbits.

They’re all submicroscopic / They’re sometimes isotopic / They’re horridly myopic / The Atoms Family!

Cosplay: Rosie the Robot!

Once all pieces were in place, Anne was the first on Saturday to photograph Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons.

Cosplay: Woody Woodpecker!

Woody Woodpecker! [insert iconic laugh]

Cosplay:

Donald Duck and Goofy took the weekend off from their day jobs and flew up for the occasion.

Cosplay: Tafiti from Moana!

Te Fiti from Moana, being stalked by Ghostface.

Cosplay: Carl Fredricksen!

Carl Fredricksen from Pixar’s Up.

Cosplay: yellow mushroom anime woman? We don't know.

Anne thought this one was really pretty, but we have no idea who she is. Can anyone out there help out a couple of stumped, appreciative olds?

To be continued! Other chapters in this very special miniseries:

Part 1: The Stars in Our Galaxy
Part 3: Who Else We Met, What Else We Did
Part 4: Columbus Is Our New Chicago

GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 1 of 4: The Stars in Our Galaxy

Cast members from "Smallville" doing jazz hands with us.

It’s a Smallville cast reunion! Us with star Tom Welling (Clark Kent pre-Superman), Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang), the always ebullient Michael Rosenbaum (Young Lex Luthor), and John Glover (his dad Lionel Luthor).

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

The last comic-con we attended before the pandemic was GalaxyCon Louisville 2019, which was a well-run show with a fair assortment of vendors and an eclectic guest list that suited our fancies. Sadly, subsequent negotiations between the showrunners and city officials broke down, and GalaxyCon Louisville disintegrated even before public health became an issue for con-goers worldwide. As consolation they’ve turned their attention and services to other cities willing to meet them halfway in providing for everyone’s geek-out needs. As it happens, this past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

And what we do wherever possible is collect jazz-hands photo ops with actors from films and shows we’ve liked. Before I get into the usual rundown of events, let’s take a moment to celebrate the new faces who happily costarred with us in our little-five second bursts of joie de vivre and shall be added to our jazz-hands Pinterest board for posterity.

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