The furries were in town again last weekend for the 20th Anthrocon! Amber2 summed it up perfectly by saying it’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’s just something super thrilling about walking around downtown on your lunch break and seeing a unicorn strut by.
It’s a lot better than the usual lot of unsavories I try desperately not to make eye contact with, like the Maybe Bomber and the Dunkin’ Donuts Protestor.
For the second year in a row, Anthrocon made their fursuit parade open to the public! It used to be something that they did just for themselves, inside the convention center, so the general public was unable to enjoy it. But over time, Pittsburgh has become so receptive to this FURnomenon (OMG get it) that now the parade is held outside for all of us un-furred folk to ogle and applaud!
Walrus Royce contacted me last week and said he wanted to meet up after the parade if I was planning coming down for it, and I was so stoked! I missed him last year and he was determined to make it up to me. I was also excited for Chooch and Henry to meet him because hello, he’s the best one.
Chooch’s friend Dimajio came with us, and had no idea what he was about to experience. He didn’t know what Anthrocon or furries were! I was so excited for him to find out. Unfortunately, the dreaded Kenny Chesney concert was happening on the same day. This matters because it brings the worst, most disgusting, rurally-savage pieces of shit to our city like drunk lemmings.
We took the trolley downtown from the South Hills at 11:30AM and there were already rednecks and hicks OPENLY DRINKING cans of Bud Light while wearing TRUMP shirts.
Henry was all, “They’re not bothering me” and that’s because beneath his non-descript uniform and cowboy hatless head, he is a raging country jamboree waiting to happen. WE ALL KNOW THIS IS TRUE. Warped Tour is barely helping me keep his Chesney cork from popping out.
More Chesney/Trump supporters boarded the trolley at each stop until I was gagging and drowning in beer fumes and stupidity.
And look — I don’t even hate country music! I mean, I would never ever ever ever go to a country concert because ew, but I don’t think that just because you listen to country music, you’re a terrible human who wants to see our country ruined. No, it’s the classless droves of uncivilized, selfish people who look at an event like a Kenny Chesney concert as their clearance to get wasted to the point of hospitalization and an excuse to act like pigs and trash our city.
It’s just tacky, gross and most of all, embarrassing. Especially when I see people from other parts of the country posting news reports about how barbaric Pittsburgh is. Look at us! Worse than Juggalos!
It’s such a big deal that it prevented many of my friends from even coming downtown for the parade because no one who actually lives in Pittsburgh and has even an ounce of decency wants to deal with this bullshit. Chris and Monica even considered not meeting us down there because of this, but luckily, the part of town where the convention is held is a relatively safe distance away from any degenerate looking to cause trouble or belch in our general vicinity. So they still came!
I had it in my head that the parade started at 1 and was set on getting downtown by noon.
“WE HAVE TO GET A GOOD SPOT!” I kept screaming. Three-Days-Later-Erin would like to go back and smack Saturday-at-the-Parade-Erin upside the head because bitch calm the fuck down for once.
So we got down there all fucking early and shit and I’m like, “Wow, Kenny Chesney really kept people away” because no one had started lining up yet! Henry kept whispering something about how that’s because it didn’t start until 2 and I was like, “Boy, shut your lying face-pussy!”
Yeah, so the parade didn’t start until 2.
I’M WRONG SOMETIMES, GOD. SUE ME.
It’s not like you could be bored down there though. There were so many furries to flirt with, I mean, wave to as they walked by to get inside the convention center. We didn’t even have to entertain Chooch and Dimajio or make sure they didn’t get hit by a car because the streets were already blocked off!
And then the parade started and it was the best thing in the world! It was even better than last year’s because there were more furries and Chooch wasn’t being an asshole.
I don’t know much about beer, but I feel like Gangsta Furry drinks better beer than Chesney tailgaters. Don’t most of them drink moonshine, anyway?
One of my favorite moments was when Monica said she knew she wasn’t at a Kenny Chesney concert when Henry picked up our trash and put it in a garbage can.
Chooch got all of the furry handouts. I didn’t even see any of them passing out balloons! I’m so disappointed. But Chris and I both got candy from one of the furries, and I got some ribbon with paw prints on it.
“Oh another little kid!” the furry announced after handing me my prize and seeing Dimajio and Chooch next to me; apparently they were only being passed out to the kids but I just fit in so well.
Plus, my urgent grunts of “ME! ME! ME!” with cupped hands might have aided my cause as well.
This year’s theme was The Roaring 20s, duh.
Dimajio was a fast convert to the Church of Furry. I don’t mind Dimajio because he calls me Miss Kelly and not the dreaded and completely offensive Mrs. Robbins. THAT’S A SMART, POLITE BOY. I hope some of that rubs off on Chooch because he is such a jerk sometimes.
Ask Monica. We went to Ben & Jerry’s after the parade and he was encroaching on her space so much and just being a general brat that she finally snapped and called him an asshole. It was hilarious because the girl behind the counter kind of flinched a bit and then looked over at me, like, “Are you going to let this woman call your son an asshole?”
Yes. Yes, I am.
High-fives all around for Monica!
Stupid Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Of course my furry-magnet son got the most attention, but Chris and I got a lot of action too. I even had one furry single me out and fight his/her way over to wrap me up in a hot embrace. No really, it was super hot being imprisoned by all that fake fur.
“How many hugs did YOU get Henry?” I spun around to heckle. “OH THAT’S RIGHT – NONE!” So then Monica leaned over and hugged him because she is such a Henrylover.
So, let’s take back some of those high-fives we were doling out for Monica a few paragraphs ago.
Sike, j/k. Monica’s hug did not come wrapped in a fursuit so I still won! SUCK IT, HENRY!
But then Henry had the last laugh when I was snubbed by a furry, who instead leaned down to fistbump Dimajio, and his plainclothed handler gave me a bare-handed high-five out of pity.
Dimajio thought it was SO FUNNY, too, but he called me Miss Kelly again while telling me how funny it was, so I’ll let it slide.
Henry, the natural furry.
YEAH WE DO. We were positively giddy during the parade. Even Chris said that her face hurt from all the smiling she was doing, and Monica compared it to the same sense of acceptance and diversity that she associates with Pride. I love how every year, more and more of this city becomes OK with this, it’s becoming less taboo and more of something that people, especially the businesses down here, look forward to.
(Though there is this one barista at a coffee shop down here, I WON’T NAME NAMES, who completely flipped out on me when I asked if he’d seen any furries yet. He’s only been living in Pittsburgh for a year and has just recently learned about them and is not happy about it. It sounds like he just hasn’t opened up his heart to them, yet! I’ll keep working on him.)
I had a 4:00 meet-n-greet set up with Walrus Royce, who did not hear my anguished bellows of “ROYCE! ROYYYYYCE!” when he flapped past us during the parade. But that’s OK, because I got to give him a big hug and watch him flap around to the Post-Modern Jukebox rendition of “Call Me Maybe” in the lobby of the Westin – per my request! It was the best gift!
He gave Chooch and Dimajio lots of tips on making their own costumes, and they are obsessed now. I mean, we knew it was only a matter of time before Chooch became an official member, but now that Dimajio’s interested as well, there is more motivation to follow through.
You’re welcome, Dimajio’s mom!
Me and Royce’s pal, Comus! His eyes actually light up, you guys. Some of these fursuits have got all kinds of bells and whistles. I’m actually pretty excited to see what Chooch comes up with for his fursona!
After about twenty minutes or so, it was time to let Royce get back to doing his thing as quite a few people had begun to converge upon him, wanting a better look at his unique mask and asking for pictures. I’m just really honored that he cleared some of his schedule to hang out with me and meet my people — this is why he’s my favorite!
Before leaving though, I had one thing to ask of him: to let me take his picture holding a sign with the name of the ‘zine I do here at work, because (most) everyone in this department love furries and some of them even have furry-watching happy hours that they plan well in advance (gotta get a good table!). It’s just such a fun way to break up the work week, you know?
Because my ‘zine is called ATTN REQUIRED. You wouldn’t understand unless you work here. Ugh. Just forget it.
Chooch and Dimajio tried to help me with my project too. TRIED being the operative word. I found something wrong with every picture!
A normal scene in Pittsburgh during Anthrocon.
God love the furries!