Mr. Grooism

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January 09, 2004 - 8:56 p.m.

Did We Err?

Adventures In Homeland Security

This Grooism comes from my pals Janet & Elie, as posted on Janet’s blog Penguin Perspectives.

... We gate-crashed The Pentagon as our first act in the DC metro area. That Pentagon. The five-sided building in Virginia with a bunch of humorless military personnel. It was an honest mistake, really. Streets around the Pentagon are not very clearly marked, and by the time we realized that we should have turned right instead of left to get to Army Navy Drive and the hotel, we were all but in the Pentagon employee parking lot. It was nearly midnight and no one noticed. We managed to get out through a car-sized gap in the jersey barrier--which, in our defense, was marked "Exit."

Copyright 2004 Janet Harriett

Grooism #9: San Diego, 2003

I’ll bet those of you who’ve read this already are gonna read it again, aren’t you? Here then is the infamous San Diego 2003 Grooism. Keep in mind, the main attraction of GrooFest is when The Groop all get together for The Sergio & Mark Show panel featuring the Groo Crew, plus meeting and greeting afterwards.

Gary Grossmann. aka Dessesbo and I shared a hotel room last year for GrooFest 2003 (aka San Diego Comic Con International) and knew there was no way we two were getting out of it without a Grooism! We posted a Daily Con Report from Glarry Grossteller where we took turns with the narrative and interrupted each other parenthetically. Here’s the Grooism as written in one night’s Con Report but edited slightly, plus a bonus Grooism from later that night!

Any new comments I might have will be non-italicized. I intended to cut out the non-Grooism parts of the Con Report, but enjoyed reading it so much that everything stayed in, so there!

Gary starts off the report:

Hi Folks!

OK, first off, let me say: I owe Larry. I owe Larry Big Time!!! That we missed the Groo Panel is completely my fault. It is totally my Grooism. It's so pathetic, it's funny. Hmm. Actually, it's just pathetic.

(LARRY SEZ: don't worry about it, Gary, we KNEW the team of Gary & Larry would result in at least ONE major Grooism, didn't we?)

I'll try to be brief, but with so many layers of Grooish logic and results, it will be tough.

You see, It all started years ago when someone down around here told me they had seen Sergio (Aragones, Groo creator) cartoons in a Spanish language newspaper. Naturally, I thought there might be little Groos in a few. (Sergio often doodles little Groos and hides them in his work, it is Gary’s Holy Grail to find them all!) But I couldn't even figure out what newspaper it was. I finally remembered to ask Sergio and he told me: "El Diario de Los Angeles." What the rascally cartoonist didn't tell me was that the thing had been out of business for 10 years!!! Well, someway or another I found a former writer for "Diario" who said she had a large stash of the papers in storage and when she got around to cleaning things out, I could have them. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to do this any of the times I was down there for my son & daughter-in-law. But when I said I would be "in the area" this weekend, she said it would be a good time.

Soooooo, I snookered the unsuspecting Larry to come with me up to LA (early the morning of the Groo Panelr) , a mere 130 miles away. (That's "in the area", right?) Larry can fill in the holes (in my head as well as the story) but essentially, we got up at 4:00am to catch the first shuttle to the airport at 5:00 to pick up the rental car, which turned out to be at a place 2 miles away from the airport, and I was too stupid to think to take the rental shuttle, so we walked. Going up was uneventful and took about 2 hours, we spent another couple hours sorting the newspapers and helping Blanca rearrange boxes and left LA with almost 3 hours to go before the con. At this time, Larry had eaten a couple coffee cakes, a V-8 and a coke, I had eaten a vending machine cinnamon roll. Then things went bad.

It took us 4 hours to get back!!! (LARRY SEZ: 4 hours and 5 minutes, but who's counting...) We were later told this is normal!! (30 miles an hour for 130 miles on the freeway is normal!?!) So we missed the whole darn thing, bursting into the empty room at 2:45. Of course, everyone we saw asked where we were, told us Mark kept saying something about not believing we weren't there and, oh yes, they handed out Groo trinkets available only to people who attended the panel!! (You know, no matter how many times I hear it, there is always a split second when I think it's true and have a minor siezure!) I'm not sure when Larry finally ate, (LARRY SEZ: Carolyn Kelly fed me during the 3:00 Ray Harryhausen, Julie Schwartz and Ray Bradbury panel. I felt guilty eating while they were talking, but hunger is stronger than guilt. Thanks Carolyn!!!) but I think I finally got something around 5:00. (The lines are wretched on Saturdays!)

The cool thing was that Blanca had 5 copies of Diario #1 and gave me one to give to Sergio. It had a special cartoon he had done and it was something he no longer had, so he really liked getting that copy. Anyway, I spent a couple hours staggering around the con, and managed to talk to Tom, Stan, and a couple other folks I'd been looking for while also finding out how to nominate my local comic book shop for an Eisner next year. And hanging out at Sergio's table, of course.

But in summary, I proved today that I am willing to ruin the day of a loyal friend and fellow Groopie, spend over 6 hours driving 270 miles and haul around a hundred pounds or more of 15 year old newspapers on the CHANCE that maybe a couple of them have a Groo in them. So let this be a warning to all of you thinking of starting a Dessesbo-esque Groo collection. This could happen to YOU! Stop now! Before it's too late!!!!!

(Oh yeah, and I still haven't figured out how I'm getting four boxes of newspapers home.)

PS So was it a bad day for me? Heck NO!!!! I found a major stash of rare Sergio cartoons and found something of his that he didn't have to give to him. What's a little dehydration, hunger, fatigue and road rage next to that? -OK, time to take my medication-Gary "probably incurable" Grossmann

OK, Gary goes into the peanut gallery and Larry takes over now:

Hey, what can I say, we left the hotel at 5:00 am on a Grooish mission, I actually take full blame for things going bad for having the temerity to name our rental car The GROOMOBILE!!! Don't worry Gary, this is just one of those things that happens, we ARE, after all, GROO FANS!

We actually left Beautiful Downtown Burbank around 10:40 am, seemingly in plenty of time to get to San Diego with time to spare.

Did we err?

Seeing as we were both wearing orange DID I ERR t-shirts, the answer is self-evident, huh?

What a comedy routine. We started by saying "We'll stop halfway for a sit-down lunch" to, "Traffic is building, let's stop later to pop into a drive-thru and eat on the road," to "Hmmm, we'd better see when this traffic clears before stopping for lunch, we may have to grab something just before the con," to "If this doesn't clear up soon we'll be cutting it close, it can't be like this THE WHOLE WAY, RIGHT?" to"Let me call Eric and get him to save a couple of seats" to "Well, at this rate we'll probably miss the first fifteen minutes, but we'll get to make a grand entrance, since we KNOW Mark & Sergio will make a comment if we stroll in late" to "DAMN, we're gonna miss half the panel if this keeps up" to "Well, if we can JUST get there before the end of the panel, it'll at least be a humorous entrance, we'll milk it for all its worth..."

Well, clinging to hopes that we could at least make a grand entrance at the end of the panel, we dropped off the car at the hotel, sprinted to the con center, OJ-ed it through the ComicCon (running, not slashing...) and, thinking the panel ended at 3:00 not 2:30, dashed triumphantly into Room 8 at exactly 2:45 to find an empty room! Man, talk about feeling DEFLATED!

Mark teased me later we've been kicked out of the Groop! Whine whine!!! (This gag lasted a full 6 months until we were reinstated as Groopies, but the ribbing goes on to this day!)

Well, we missed The Mark & Sergio show, but I got to check out the FASCINATING Ray Harryhausen, Julie Schwartz and Ray Bradbury panel. AS stated previously, Carolyn Kelly (Name dropping time: Carolyn is the lovely and talented daughter of cartoonist Walt Kelly!) took pity on me and handed me a turkey sandwich, which I devoured while listening to these three legends wax nostalgic, philosophic and comedic!

Next was the manic, frantic and another word ending in ic CARTOON VOICES panel, with a list of pro voices that I couldn't possibly repeat from memory but including such talents as Maurice LeMarche, Bob Bergen, Greg Berger, some guy named Mark Hamill, Billy West, maybe a dozen top talents, who all did some wonderfully silly cartoon voice demos, including two script readings, a JAY WARD FRACTURED FAIRY TALES script and a PINKY & THE BRAIN script. As Mark noted, we'd need 3 hours or more to even attempt to do justice to these talented psychos, but it was a blast!!!

Groopee Chris McCollum thoughtfully gave me a wonderful black GROO Shirt he made for me, with the art from the RUFFERTO MAGNET over the front left breast (very classy) and the cover to IMAGE GROO #1 on the back. I LOVE THIS SHIRT and will wear it tomorrow!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

(BTW, I like using KAYTEE's spelling of GROOPEES with two ee's)

What, you think that's all? You think somehow that's our only Grooism of the day? Larry committed a major Grooism, but NOT ME, my friend LARRY L. and Diana plus friends Jerry, Sharon & Rosie took me to dinner at KEMOSABE'S, and driving me back to the hotel, driver Larry L got confused at a 3-way trolley intersection where only one side of the intersection had a gate.

It was closed and ringing.

Larry L. was between two sets of tracks, with me in the minivan's hatchback, trying to tell Larry he was on the tracks. I looked out the back window and saw the trolly bearing down on us, urging Larry "go forward, go forward, you're in the trolley's path!" Larry L is like, where's the train, I don't see it" and I'm like "Move, just go forward NOW NOW NOW..."

Well, I'm here ain't I?

-Larry "Mr. Grooism" Steller

P.S. So was it a bad day for me? Heck YES!!!! Naaaahhh, just kidding, I had a lot of fun on our little adventure anyway!

Copyright 2003, 2004 Larry Steller & Gary Grossmann

Grooism, Grooism, Who’s Got The Grooism?!

Ok, the offer still stands, but I guess I can stop badgering you to email me with your own Grooish tales!

Avast! Only 244 more days until Talk Like A Pirate Day!


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All content except as noted copyright 2003, 2004 Lawrence C. Steller, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without express written permission from Larry, ok?

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