The Sound and the Fur(r)y Part 3: Fantastic Mr. Fox
The mezzanine leading to the convention center was crowded with people in varying degrees of furry-ness, some decked out in full-fur costumes and others dressed in only partial furry attire that still afforded them full use of their arms, hands, and legs. Some wore only small facemasks similar to but more resplendent than Hayley’s, and still others exhibited their “furriness” with only a simple tail attached to the waistband of their pants.
When we tried to follow the crowd into the convention hall concourse, we were turned away by a woman who said that we needed a badge in order to enter. As we stood pondering our next move, our entire mission now threatened by a simple checkpoint monitored by a woman who looked as though she had arrived on a little rascal scooter driven from the nearest Walmart super store, we saw through the windows ahead of us a costumed fox who approached the garbage can next to the doors and pretended to rummage through its contents.
You know, like a fox scavenging through garbage. Because that’s what foxes are most known for. So puns are a thing at furry conventions.
Hayley, brazen as always, proceeded to pound the glass with the palm of her hand like a child at the zoo trying to rouse sleeping lions from their afternoon nap. Hayley was far more successful than any schoolchildren I’ve seen because the fox turned toward us and accepted Haley’s gestures of invitation to come speak with us on the mezzanine.
Our most pressing concern, of course, was the plastic room on the third floor. As it turned out, our lackluster foray to the third floor was the result of erroneous, some might say intentionally deceptive intel. Mr. Fox, however, was happy to set us straight.
Back at the bar, Hayley had described how furry costumes are seldom cleaned, in part because it’s difficult to do and because hygiene of any kind is not a discipline in which most furry enthusiasts excel. Furthermore, some of these costumes date back to the dawn of furry conventions, sometime in the 1960s, when the conventions began as some sort of animal rights advocacy before it degenerated into the methamphetamine-fueled rave that it is today, meaning that those fabrics carry with them the traces of decades of sweat and other nameless bodily fluids. Hayley had also suggested that because such costumes are difficult to put on and take off, some people are known to wear diapers underneath them.
Mr. Fox did not address the issue of diapers, but he did confirm that the furry tradition dated as far back as the 1960s and beyond, which seemed more like a weak attempt to endow furries with a mystique that is mostly lacking, especially when our first introduction to this particular gentleman was of him digging through the convention hall trash bins.
According to Mr. Fox, your perception of furries as sex-crazed deviants is media propaganda, and Mr. Fox dodges this question with a comical flourish that no one should believe, especially as he proceeds to recount a story in which five police officers had to remove him from a youth day parade because someone seemingly mistook him for a sexual predator. Hard to imagine that this “woman dressed in red” didn’t want Mr. Fox speaking with children, and I was myself a little nervous while conducting this interview given the ominous allusion to some sort of retribution Mr. Fox and his friends visited upon that woman in red who had had the temerity to suggest that an unknown adult male dressed as a beagle may not be the most wholesome source of entertainment for prepubescent children.
Ultimately, Hayley and I enjoyed our conversation with Mr. Fox, who answered our questions with alacrity. FurCon was turning out to be more fun than we had expected, and its attendees nice and welcoming.
After 25 years of furry excellence, how do you maintain a clean furry costume? The answer may surprise you.
And Hayley hazards a firsthand smell test.