The Bay City Bash
A Starsky & Hutch convention
Milton Keynes, England
22-24 March 2002
SHaron | Viv |
Well friends, having slept 15 full hours last night, I think I'm
sufficiently recovered to attempt writing a con report. I'm only
doing this right now so that I can get my version in before others
start embroidering upon reality and telling you that I was something
less than the soul of decorum this weekend!
It was our Bay City Bash, Starsky & Hutch convention, in Milton
Keynes near London in the UK.
We were small in number, but big in hearts, with a great mix of
old and new friends. The hotel was pretty nice, we'd not been there
before but they treated us well. The rooms were spacious, airy and
clean, and the staff, although extremely keen to persuade us to
use their own dining facilities, on the whole left us alone, which
was exactly what we wanted! We decorated the room with posters,
pictures, tables of things for sale and things which could be borrowed
over the weekend, and on the main table were scattered chocolates,
cold drinks and festive sperm-shaped confetti. (Don't ask!!!)
Folks began to trickle in on the Friday afternoon, mostly Brits
but including Moni from Austria, a bright, cheery and very welcome
addition to the gang. We got our con-badges (Bay City Police Department
IDs of course!) then greeted, and chatted, and laughed and watched
song vids for a while. One dear friend wasn't well enough to travel
to the con, so she sent a story (it's both funny and beautiful,
Sandra <g>) so we read that aloud, and shared two more stories
written especially for the con, before sallying forth into the wilds
of the oddly designed town in search of an evening meal. We ended
up at an American diner with the perfect menu. I had a "Two
Fisted New Yorker" sandwich (guess who that reminded me of???)
and a Mellow Yellow cocktail!
On return we got going with a vengeance. Zines were borrowed from
the library and bought from the EG-PAF table with great enthusiasm
(Hi, Lyndsay!) I'd made some mugs and bowls with S&H pics all
over them which soon sold, along with the usual jewellery, stickers,
clocks, posters, mags and zebra-striped stuff etc. We started a
list of all the foreign characters we could recall in S&H, indeed
some of us were up late into the night trying to remember which
episode featured the little Asian woman who chased the shoplifter
away with her broom (waves to Solo <g>). Over the weekend
the list lengthened to 13 (not counting the non-speaking illegal
immigrants) a surprisingly small number, we thought! And we only
found two Brits! (Stafford was a great recall, Jacqui <g>)
As the UK re-screenings in the last couple of years have missed
out a few episodes, we settled to watch those which the new fans
had not yet seen - including S&H Are Guilty and Murder on Stage
17. It's such a different experience watching with other slash fans
- as the night lengthened and the wine bottles/beer cans emptied,
comments from the group became more and more interesting (or should
I say ribald?) and the newbies began to relax and understand what
con-going is all about!
Some of us were brave enough to be up early and enjoy a swim in
the hotel's warm indoor pool before breakfast on Saturday, and very
refreshing that was too! The whole morning slipped by in a blur
of reading, watching, chatting and welcoming our day-guests into
the fun. There were serious moments to this con too, we researched
dilligently (having to watch the scene several times) whether Starsky's
assets in the walkaroundtheporch had been supplemented by the judicious
placement of a rolled up sock. The balance of opinion was that they
We took lunch outside in the sunshine of a beautiful day, sharing
the salad bits we'd managed to buy on our way back from the meal
the previous evening - in the 10 minute rush before Waitrose closed.
We had party crackers, each
with a toy-clue to an episode inside, and much fun was had sharing
our favourite moments from these eps. Instead of paper party hats
in the crackers, there were modelling balloons, which unfortunately
not a one of us could inflate! So far more interesting head adornments
appeared constructed of plaited balloons and bits of cracker paper,
Polly's expertise in working with pre-schoolers definitely paying
off here, although I don't know where Solo learnt to braid like
that - she says she's rubbish at craft-work!
We were delighted that Nikki felt well enough to join us for a
couple of hours. She wouldn't let her husband in the room with the
rest of us but had a great memory for those S&H foreign characters!
Jan came along too, she hadn't met any of us before so it was pretty
brave of her to turn up.
She soon settled in and had to be reminded (fairly gently, I hope!)
not to enthuse too much about other shows - the BCB is, after all,
a *Starsky & Hutch* convention!!!
Then we got out the new game - SHludo,
a S&H version of that old favourite Cludo or Clue as I believe
it's known in other countries. Each player becomes undercover S&H
(Rafferty/O'Brien, Hack/Zack, CW Jackson/Jonny Snowball, Mr.Marlene/Mr.Tyrone
etc.) and has to move around places from the series (Venice Place,
2000Ridgeway, the Pits, Pine Lake etc.) locating clues as to which
villain (Prudholm, Gunther, Diana, Forest etc.) has tried to kill
S&H with what weapon. When a player makes a suggestion for the
place, murderer and weapon, they also have to suggest a motivation
for the attempt and we had some beautiful scenes described, especially
from the brilliant Elizabeth, who came up with my most memorable
image of the weekend - Starsky as O'Brien in his white suit, falling
into the dock after someone (I forget whom) planted a bomb there;
Hutch pulling him out of the briny as the now see-through suit begins
to shrink and tear, and in true h/c fashion, licking the salty water
from Starsky's nipples so that they won't become chaffed. Phew!!!
It was a good job Polly brought along a paper fan!
We had with us a few S&H toys, Viv (hiya!) brought the big
S&H Torino with Mego S&H dolls to go inside, and I'd come
with a bronze penis-shaped cigarette lighter. Well, slash fans are
not to be denied a game when the opportunity arises so we had a
pose-the-dolls-and-props competition. The
results can be viewed here at your own risk.
The Saturday evening meal was enlivened with some pendulum dowsing,
Polly and Solo in particular getting strong responses to their dangling
and swinging attempts!!! Then back to the video - well, what is
a con without hours and hours of shared viewing, suggestive comments,
and rewinding favourite scenes until the tapes get hot!
Sunday arrived way too soon. Solo and Moni had to leave early to
get back to Scotland, those flights being sparse at the weekends.
The remaining small group had a go at finding all the animals shown
in the episodes - loads more animals than foreigners incidentally!
I think we got 30 in the end. We watched some of the US interviews
PMG and DS have given recently - the Fiddler Documentary, Entertainment
Tonight's Whatever Happened To... (thanks Cindy and Paladin <g>)
and even more song vids while those who had been reading zines through
the weekend sat at the table furiously trying to finish the stories
they were in the middles of! We packed up the con room together,
ate another picnic lunch and then it was time to go. We vowed to
get together sooner than next year if we can possibly manage it.
This was such fun.
Many, many thanks to those who made this such a terrific weekend,
those who organised things, brought things, those who came along,
and especially those who couldn't be there in person, but were most
definitely with us in spirit. It was a weekend out of normal time,
full of laughter, sharing, warmth, friendship, a tremendous bonding
and blending of all the very best fandom can hold.
We all behaved impeccably, with great politeness and restraint
- if anyone tells you anything different ... well, maybe they were
at a different Bay City Bash? ;-)
Here's looking forward to next year!
[back to top]
Nearly didn't make it to the bash - real life threatened to get
in the way.
But in the end I knew that there was no way that I could miss out
on the opportunity to get together with my SH pals to wallow in
the world of S/H (even if it was only for the day). And I was right
- what a hoot!!!!
It was such a relaxing time spent lazing around, reading zines
& watching episodes - my idea of heaven!! The hotel was really
nice - with a great big con room to stretch out in. And even the
weather decided to be kind to us - providing beautiful spring sunshine
so we could eat our picnic on the grass in comfort - in true "Avenger"
style (fortunately no bees).
Of course you all know the magic thing about Cons - the minute
you walk through the door "hey presto - abracadabra" you
all turn into 13 year olds again. Which means nobody has a problem
(as a 30 something would) with placing little 10inch S&H dolls
into very rude positions over the hood of a little plastic Torino
- let alone holding a "best pose" competition, complete
with photographic evidence!!! Must admit that 2inch penis lighter
did come in useful!!
Really enjoyed the game of SHludo
- a real gem "our SHaron" - think she should think seriously
about going into mass production on that one. I know it must have
taken hours to hand craft the little playing pieces - especially
loved the little hyperdermic needle. But what gave it that real
S/H touch was having to give reasons for accusing a specific bad
guy of the cardinal sin of trying to kill our superheroes. That's
where, as you would expect, the true nature of us slashers gets
a chance to shine through - especially when Elizabeth (bless her)
presented the image of Starsky in a wet, white suit & dripping
wet hair. YUM,YUM - still go to sleep at night with a smile on my
Evening meal was fun - spent at Fatty Arbuckles American Diner.
And I knew that there was no way I could turn down trying the "Two
Fisted New Yorker" - well it goes without saying doesn't it!!!
Unfortunately it turned out to be a bun full of roasted vegetables
All too soon these things come to an end - the proverbial "con
saying." Had to get myself back to the real world back in Slough.
Oh hum. Life goes on.
Gotta say a big thank you to SHaron & Solo for all their efforts
- it really was a terrific con!!! And here comes the other proverbial
"con saying" - when ya gonna do the next one?
[back to top]
I'm offering a supplementary Con Report. (And I don't think my
witness statement substantially differs from SHaron's!) First of
all, heartfelt thanks to Solo and SHaron for organising the affair.
They did a sterling job!
It was my first "true" con, as previously my experience
was limited to a day get-together last year. I suppose the highest
praise for the organisers is that I'm now keen to go to more....
Indeed, I'm hoping to spread my wings as far as Sharecon this autumn!
The worst moment?? Having picked up Solo from the airport and driven
to Milton Keynes, I despaired of ever finding the hotel. Milton
Keynes roundabouts all look the same - and absolutely no landmarks
are visible, just green banks. I feared that I'd still be circling
them on Sunday. Not only would I have missed the con, but I'd be
responsible for one of the organisers missing it too!
The best thing about the con? I knew only one of the participants
well beforehand, but I've rarely spent a more relaxed weekend. As
SHaron commented on the phone tonight, it felt like comfortable
Funny moments? Too numerous to dwell on. But I was highly amused
to be asked by my poor husband (who doesn't know the full extent
of my slashiness) at the dinner table after my return, "But
what did you talk about?" I've rarely heard or seen him look
more baffled. And I scrabbled very quickly for an innocuous reply!
I'm not sure I convinced him...
So what was I least keen to tell him about? Possibly the penis-shaped
lighter, mentioned (and bought) by SHaron. What she didn't say:
it was hilarious to watch each one of us lovingly (and often unconsciously)
handle it - and most of us commented that it seemed just that bit
too short, though quite broad enough. Nor did she mention the crucial
disappointment that the flame burst forth from the wrong end.
Another thing SHaron forgot to mention: she actually made the
SHluedo game herself. I can't imagine how many hours of industry
and inspiration were tied up in it. The red and white board was
an astonishing work of art - as were the cards, as were the murder
weapons. My favourite was the fire - I was sorely tempted to pocket
it and thus qualify as a dastardly villain! And she forgot to mention
that not only did Hutch lick Starsky's nipples, after divesting
him of the transparent and torn white suit. He also licked the nape
of his neck most assiduously, thus showing he'd been paying careful
attention to the desires of one of the con participants!
Normally I'm in bed before 11.00, so the fact that my room-mate
and I turned off the light at 2.00 am on Sunday morning, after earnest
discussion of characterisation in fanfic, among other things, shows
just how much I was enjoying myself.
All in all, a wonderful way to spend the first warm weekend of
the spring! I want more like it!
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