When I woke up the morning of the last day of the conference I had to conclude that the weird puppet group of cultists did not in fact summon Cthulhu and that the stars must no longer be right for the calling of the Great Old Ones from out of space and time. This came as quite a relief. Three days of Lovecraftiness however had taken a toll on me and managed to just drag myself out to the last few panels, they being the customary “WHY CTHULHU?”—IS HPL TOO MAINSTREAM?” hipster bait and the patting ourselves on the back “LOOKING FORWARD – AND FAREWELL!” panel. We had survived, but only just.
Sadly what had not however was my desire to eat more nachos. You’d be hard pressed to find someone more into nachos than myself, but apparently even I have a limit, and that seems to be four dishes in three days. I figured walking all over this eldritch city would arouse strange and terrible hungers in my belly, but the nachos themselves being strange and terrible seemed to cancel that out. I’d seen many an otherworldly thing on my days there, but perhaps the most otherworldly thing to find would be nachos that taste good. With one day to go, I had to throw in the towel. I was done with nachos. At least the ones in Providence.
So what did I learn about Lovecraft and Providence and Nachos and Conferences and NecronomiCon and NachoProviCon and Myself?
LOVECRAFT may or may not have been a racist, or he might have just been a little more racist than other people of his day. I don’t think we’ll ever know.
PROVIDENCE may be known as “The #1 Food City in the U.S.” by a Travel + Leisure poll in 2012, but if that’s the case the raters must not have had any nachos, or the places they went were secret ones I had not located.
NACHOS are as always delicious, however eating them every day for days in a row, probably not the best idea.
CONFERENCES will have uncomfortable chairs. There will be a lot of panels you want to go to, but going to them all instead of resting is a bad idea. You may feel like you need to get the most bang for your buck by doing and seeing as much as possible, but a good night’s sleep is worth much more.
NECRONOMICON was a great time, especially for a first time conference. However don’t have panels run right up to the time of the next panel, especially when the next panel you want to go to is a ten minute walk away and up to the 18th floor of a hotel when there are only three tiny elevators from last century to get you up there.
NACHOPROVICON was excellent in theory, but that theory was under the false assumption that the nachos would all be good, or at least not all meh. Perhaps the next NachoProviCon will be better...
MYSELF , well, I quite enjoyed myself, but not even a nacho lover like me should eat as many nachos as I did.
While there may be many things about the city that ol’ Howard would recognize from his time, all in all the changes would have probably disgusted him. While Lovecraft may have been Providence, Providence is no longer Lovecraft. The very idea of nachos probably would have disgusted him, from the fact that they were invented by a Mexican to the uncivilized way you consume them to probably just them being spicy. But whatever, he and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, so let’s just enjoy him for his writings and not for his views on race nor food. I think that is something all Lovecraftian scholars can agree on.
NachoProviCon was over, but the one day the stars would be right again and it would return. Maybe the nachos would be tastier then, maybe not, but we will see. As the Innsmouth Jews say “Next year in R’lyeh”, I say “Next year in Providence”.