Unless you’re a complete furophobic square, the first weekend of July is the best if you live in Pittsburgh. It’s when you can get all your anthropomorphic tendencies and childhood mascot dreams out of hit system by getting whacked with tails and high-fived by anything from a furry dog paw to a fuzzy shark fin.
YES FRIENDS, IT’S FURRY TIME. (More officially known as Anthrocon.)
I don’t know if it’s just the mental malaise I’m doggy-paddling through or the novelty has worn off or what, but I just wasn’t as into it this year. Typically, I begin furry-stalking on the Wednesday before the convention, because one is sure to bump into a stray wolf or cat early into the festivities. I did see some this year while I was out on my lunchbreak walks, and Lori and I even hung out next to the hotel they stay in, ACTING CASUALLY like we weren’t actually there to gawk and wave.
(I think if we’re being honest, it’s because my favorite furry wasn’t there this year so I didn’t have his dapper tophat and flippers to look forward to.)
But then I figured the third annual furry parade would get me into the spirit. So I dragged Henry and Chooch downtown on Saturday, July 1st to claim the same spot we’ve had for the last three years to ogle the veritable congo-line of fursuits.
This was our giddy “Henry is behind us on the trolley, hngggggh” face.
On our walk to the convention center, I pointed out all of the decrepitude that I see on the reg when I’m out and about on my lunch breaks.
“And there’s my favorite homeless person that I was mad at for a minute because I saw him using on a cell phone, and oh shit oh shit oh shit—-” I sputtered just as BRING SOME HOME TO DADDY walked past us.
All in the same second! It was like if I wrote a mediocre novel about my lunch time walks and then after I died, some really lame tour company put together an “Erin’s Lunch Break” walking tour for tourists who thought they paid to see the basement of the Alamo, but nope – just Pittsburgh alleys and the spot where some asshole attacked a man with a machete.
OK back to the furries. Chooch is suddenly super starstruck around them to the point where he was too bashful to even ask for a picture. I kept reminding him that they were just real people underneath it all, but he was like, “UGH I HATE MYSELF I CAN’T DO IT!” so he let numerous photo ops slip between his sweaty, grit-encrusted fingers.
And then he finally got the nerve to ask a tiger for a picture, but the tiger brusquely said, “I’m late for a photoshoot” and TOTALLY BRUSHED HIM OFF.
Oh shit son, you got snubbed!
Once he got his voice back and was able to ask furries for permission, he kept trying to me take the pictures using his tablet like I’m some dime-a-dozen soccer mom!
But then Chris and Monica arrived and shit got crunk (shoutout to 2006 or whatever year dumb white people appropriated that dumb word). Things are always 374897203497b254 times more fun with those two!
Anyway, the parade was fairly anti-climatic. There were no arrests that I was aware of, no obscene political demonstrations, no furry fisticuffs. Just good old-fashioned undulating mascot fun!
Guys, this was the best furry in town and I don’t even think he was actually a part of Anthrocon. I tweeted this picture and the guy inside the pigsuit RT’d and was all “It me!” Turns out he’s a local comedian. BRAVO, SIR. BRAVO.
I was simultaneously horrified and aroused by these bare-skinned lion-gladiator things.
This is the furry that snubbed Chooch. Wow. There wasn’t anything that great about him anyway. Hope he had fun at his dumb photoshoot.
If Ronald McDonald became a furry?
Chooch and I fought over who got the most high-fives, as usual, but I think I was the real winner because one of the furries pointed to my shirt, pointed to themself, and then gave the thumbs up. I was wearing my KPOP vs EVERYBODY shirt so obviously they liked kpop too and I felt an instant bond!
“I mean, there has to be some crossover here,” Monica said, and now I wonder if any of them had been to KCON the week prior! Ugh, I should have worn that shirt instead. I might have walked away with a whole flock of Kpop-loving furry friends. I WONDER WHICH GROUP THAT FURRY STANS?!
OMG this thing was so cool and creepy! I like how confident he/she was. Like, “Furries don’t have to be furry if they’ve got the fur inside.” I don’t know. It’s not like I have an Etsy shop full of inspirational furry posters or anything.
(WHY, DO YOU THINK I SHOULD?)
After the parade, we briefly caught up with fellow furry lover Sandy and her fam, and then decided to stick around downtown. It was a beautifully sunny day and none of us had anywhere else we needed to be right away, so ice cream from Sinful Sweets and a river walk to the Point happened, and it was honestly the most chill, perfectly-summer afternoon I had all season. Good company is all you need!
Plus, we got to peep a wedding party in blinding gold lamé that looked like they mermaided here straight from Tony and Anna wedding on Days of Our Lives circa 1980-something. At first we were like “Ha! OK gaudy!” But then we decided we liked it and now i think Henry might actually propose sometime this century because he wants Monica and Chris to wear similar dresses in our wedding party, no sandals allowed. (His rules, guys!)
And then Chooch and Chris walked ahead of us, speaking in their secret language while Monica, Henry and I hung back and yawned a lot because that fucking sun was great for a minute but it really zapped the energy from us.
We to Dunkin’ Donuts to refuel on caffeine and somehow, Henry, Monica and I got trapped inside the vestibule while an Asian family featuring four elderly people utilizing different wheeled walking aids (2 wheelchairs, two rolling walkers, plus one bonus cane) came limping through the doors, smashing us against the glass wall. But we were polite about it because aw, old ppl. But then on their heels came another family, who thought we were just your standard Dunkin Donuts welcome wagon I guess, and they proceeded to also barrel their way in and I thought Monica was going to rip her face off to reveal that gif of the man’s exploding head from “Scanners” and even Henry, Patron Saint of Patience, was like, “ARE WE ON CANDID CAMERA” while I stood there wondering how many other 1980s pop culture references I could waste on this landfill of nonsense.
I’m surprised none of them tried to hang their fanny packs and canes on us like the ornamental coat racks we apparently are.
Meanwhile, Chris and Chooch were gabbing away, still inside Dunkin Donuts, and we were like HOW DID THEY NOT NOTICE THIS.
And this has been “Erin Goes to the Furry Parade, & other loosely-related tales.”