The Sound and the Fur(r)y Part 5: “That Mouse Has Boobs,” and Furry Diversity
At a second checkpoint, where the line in which we had been waiting passed on its way toward the thumping house music coming from somewhere in the distance beyond, we were again turned away for our lack of badges.
“Badges?” Hayley asked. “We don’t need no stinking badges!”
The woman didn’t laugh, and the furries behind us pressed forward, pushing us out of the way. However, they pushed us in the direction of five or seven opened doors leading beyond the aforementioned checkpoint, and so with little hesitation this time we walked through them and into another concourse that split several different ballrooms on either side. Those to our left were vacant save for the arranged seating, but the grand ballroom to our right was flashing with neon lights and intermittent strobe effects and throbbing with muted dance music. The parade of furries from the line in which we had been waiting filed into the various entrances where there was yet another set of people checking badges.
“Jesus Christ, what the fuck is going on in there that they need to have all of these checkpoints?” Hayley asked. “Not even the Nazis asked to see people’s papers as much as these people ask to see our fucking badges.”
“They’re direct descendants, that’s why,” I said. “Goebbels was Mr. Fox’s father.”
I pointed toward a door farther ahead that stood opened but unattended, and we made straight for it and entered the ballroom.
“Furries are a lot better at eroticizing plush toys than they are at organizational management,” I said. “We just made it past three checkpoints without having to pay for a $45 badge.”
“I’ll bet that money goes toward bleach and Purell in order to sanitize this place once the conference is over.”
At the north end of the room there was a large stage flooded with light, and the rest of the room was dark apart from some swirling neon-colored lights and intermittent strobe effects. The room was filled with seating that was nearly filled to capacity with 1000+ people in various stages of furry-ness.
We took the first seats we came upon lest any badge-checkers take notice of us, and we were fortunate to find ourselves near the foot of the stage.
“So this is a dance competition?” Hayley asked.
I shrugged. “I think that’s what I read, but I don’t know what this is all about. Seems like a lot of security for a dance off—maybe it’s a human sacrifice or some live furry sex acts.”
“I don’t know which would be worse,” Hayley said, looking toward the stage.
“Just hope that they don’t spot us. No one knows we’re here, and if we were to go missing, there’d be no way of finding us.”
In the light that reached us from the stage, I could see Hayley tense.
When the muted dance music swelled for a moment and then receded again, there was thunderous applause and cheering, and the evening’s host took the stage.
The host was the first of many disappointments soon to come because he was not even dressed in a furry costume. He was an African-American gentleman, and the boredom in his voice betrayed a general disinterest with the event as a whole. Suffice to say that the furry “dance competition” was less a competition than an endurance test consisting of five-minute dance routines performed by various furries, all of whom performed choreographed dances to synthesized techno music that was as interchangeable as the formulaic dances of the furries themselves. In their defense, there is really only so much dancing that one can do from inside a furry costume, and so it’s really no surprise that these furry dance competitions are lacking in the sort of entertainment values associated with even comedy or poetry open mics, even if this was equally as excruciating and seemingly interminable an experience.
Each furry dancer received an introduction from the host, who struggled to maintain the attentions of an audience of mostly disinterested attendees that I noticed consisted of at least one mother and her young child. I suspected that they must have come to this convention either against their will or as a result of a gross misunderstanding of the press materials and her child’s interest in Disney characters.
Hayley and I managed to sit through a handful of routines, the highlight of which was a mouse that Hayley was first to point out had tits, and at about the time when the host described the “diversity” of this year’s performers, we had had enough.