Archive for scares that care

Con Report: Scares that Care 2017

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 25, 2017 by dwbarbee

Nine damn hours I drove through the backwoods of Georgia and the Carolinas. Nine hours of ass-numbing, leg-cramping, dipshit-driver-dodging sojourning to get to SCARES THAT CARE 2017. The time behind the wheel might have been rough, but the trip was worth it. I saw a lot of great friends and the con itself is thrown for a good cause: kicking cancer’s ass.


After checking into my hotel and getting a much-needed shower, I traveled to the convention and started wandering around. There was a ton of horror paraphernalia, creepy knickknacks, writers slinging books, and folks wearing crazy costumes. I didn’t get pictures of any of this stuff, I was so busy gawking at it with my actual eyes. Eventually I ran into the Grindhouse Press crew (CV Hunt, Anderson Prunty, and John Wayne Comunale). I wandered around some more with John Wayne for most of that evening and he was good enough to capture a selfie of us. I had half a beer and then watched Adam Cesare read a story that made me want to commit murders. With beer and homicide flowing through my veins, I stepped out and eventually drove back to my hotel to get some rest.


Then came Saturday, where things got so crazy that I’m just going to start name-dropping people now: Scott Cole, Wile E. Young, Frank Edler, Matt Serrafini, Eric Hendrixson, Amber Fallon, and John F’n Skipp was kind enough to introduce me to JOE LANSDALE, a personal hero of mine. I actually was able to give Mr. Lansdale a signed copy of A Town Called Suckhole, my redneck detective thriller. I even managed to tell him that I’m the Sebastian Haff to his Elvis Presley, which I bet a ton of young men have said to him over the years. Mr. Lansdale is a seriously nice man and, to me, at least, an example to all creative people. We only spoke for a moment, but it was great. He’s got a great reading voice, also. I did a reading that evening with Christian Jenson (who was grotesque and wonderful) and Wrath James White (also a very nice man with a fantastic reading voice). I listened in on a recording of Brian Keene’s The Horror Show, where he received a golden statue of appreciation from several people he’s mentored over the years. It was a touching moment. I wouldn’t say Keene has mentored me necessarily (I don’t live in his basement… yet), but he’s been a huge supporter of mine. He dropped my name on his podcast, introduced me at my reading (describing it as an atomic bomb!), and we made plans for me to appear on the Horror Show at the Ghost Town Writers Retreat. Brian Keene was also in charge of managing the convention itself, so it’s basically a goddamn superhero and another towering figure to look up to.


Now I want to mention the hotel we stayed at. It was run by nice people, they did not disturb my room, and I never got mugged. I will say, however, that it was an old hotel that reminded me of my one and only trip to Panama City Beach as a teenager, urged on by an acquaintance like it was a rite of passage. Panama City Beach sucked, the hotel room we had sucked, and I got sick on that trip without touching an ounce of beer. Anyway, this story is way better. On Saturday night, hanging out with the Grindhouse crew again (they were staying at the same hotel, and were basically the first and last people I saw at the con), I managed to destroy this hotel. We were drinking and smoking out near the benches when I sat down and leaned back against a post… which moved. Sitting on my ass, I expected the roof to cave in on me since I’d just knocked a post off balance. But it didn’t. Instead I made my friends nearly die laughing, which is what I like to call the David Barbee Experience. Unwittingly, I had discovered the utter uselessness of this post. It held nothing up, and was merely wedged between the concrete sidewalk and the awning above. It had a drain pipe attached to it that did not hook up to a gutter. This post was meaningless, and I had revealed its stupidity to the world.


The next morning I packed up and exited my room to see CV, Anderson, and John Wayne out by the stupid post again. We hung out a minute, said some goodbyes, and then I started my nine hour drive back home to Georgia. Scares that Care ruled. Next up is Ghost Town in Colorado, which I will fly to like a civilized person, and then Cartersville Comic Con, which will only be an hour or so away from home. After that, who knows where my quest to discover useless things and destroy them will take me?