The Sound and the Fur(r)y: A Chronicle of Furries, Terror, and Rumors at FurCon 2015
Part 1: Rumors at the Bar
It’s not often that you find yourself standing next to a six-foot tall squirrel at the bar while waiting to order a Miller Lite. And if ordering a beer next to a plush cartoon character who can barely manipulate the currency needed to pay for a peach-colored drink that would be more at home in a sippy cup being handled by an infant child isn’t odd enough, then watching said squirrel consume that liquor through a straw through its plastic snout should certainly qualify as “exceptional” at the very least.
Such was my introduction to FurCon 2015, short for “Further Confusion,” a gathering of like-minded individuals with crippling social anxiety who come together to revel in their shared love for all things colorful, furry, and borderline pedophiliac. And this being the third weekend of January, 2015, what better way to celebrate the 86th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth than by dressing up as a unicorn and fucking a stranger dressed as a furry snow leopard in the stairwell of a Holiday Inn Express?
I came to the San Jose Convention Center on this Saturday evening with the expressed intent of investigating a furry convention for both my own edification and to report back to Godfrey’s Pub Crawl, an internet radio show of which I am an occasional part. I came equipped with what I thought would be enough provisions to brave the dander-riddled air and navigate the alcohol- and MDMA-soaked waters of a furry convention. Those provisions included a Tascam DR-03 dat recorder and head a full of absinthe, but when a woman wearing a plastic masquerade mask and a leopard-print shirt with a plunging neckline took a seat next to me at the bar, I began to worry that I may have underestimated my assignment.
I was interested in some interviews, but the atmosphere was beginning to make it seem as though this would require more subterfuge than simply strutting through the convention in a leather jacket and designer jeans.
Hayley explained that she had worn her leopard-print shirt and purchased her masquerade accessories for $5 on the way to the convention center because she was a civilian like myself, interested only in infiltrating FurCon in order to bear firsthand witness to the madness she had heard so much about over the years.
She was a fellow traveler, and serendipity and alcohol brought us together at the end of the San Jose Marriott Convention Center bar where she quickly divulged sensitive and insider information about the goings-on around us. She had an inside line, she told me—she knew people who worked at the hotel, and they had told her that there was a room, somewhere on the third floor, that was “wrapped in plastic.”
“You mean like Dexter-style?” I asked.
“If Dexter liked to dress up as a panda and fuck women dressed as German shepherds, yes.”
It was obvious that Hayley had chosen the proper tack by imbibing increasing amounts of increasingly strong liquor, and so I cast aside my Miller Lite and ordered a double shot of Johnny Walker Red, neat, as Hayley elaborated further points of furry life between intervening sips of Jack and Coke with Jose Cuervo chasers.